The new chairman of the Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, made a victory speech shortly after midnight on Tuesday night. With all the ballots counted, Bennett defeated his rival, MK Zevulun Orlev, with a majority of 67%.
"If there is anyone who still thinks that religious Zionism has finished its historical role, that it is not relevant ...... Today is his answer,” Bennett said. “This answer was given through numbers that no party has ever been able to bring in such a short time. By young people who voted for the first time in their life and who have never even had a chance to vote in the elections to the Knesset before.”
"Gentlemen, I love the State of Israel, I love the people of Israel, I love the Torah of Israel, I love the Land of Israel and I am not ashamed of it,” he continued.
"I love the Israel Defense Forces. As we celebrate, our soldiers are protecting us in the cold on the Syrian border, are patrolling along the border with Jordan and are lying in ambushes in the Sinai, I know this very well,” said Bennett. “IDF soldiers are our heroes and it's not obvious.”
“I love the people of Israel, I love them religious, I love them hareidi, I love them secular, I love them all,” he declared. “I love the Torah of Israel, I love the tradition of Israel, we are not prepared to have the Torah of Israel remain the private interest of people wearing a kippah. Just as a strong Air Force is not only the interest of the pilots, but of all the people, so is the study of Torah the national interest of the State of Israel.”
“And I love the Land of Israel. We do not think of our land as a piece of real estate up for negotiation. I feel in this land the footprints of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who really walked here. I do not give up on my land and I love it. It's easy, it's simple, and we do not need complex slogans to understand it,” Bennett said excitedly.
"There are parties that ask where the money is, we ask a different question ... where are the values? And we respond by saying: They're here, they're in this room, they are in every home in Israel,” he said.
Bennett said that the task now is to restore the Jewish soul to the people of Israel. He thanked his entire staff for assisting in his victory as well as his family and National Union MKs Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz and Uri Ariel. The National Union and Jewish Home parties plan to run in a joint Knesset list.
Bennett concluded his speech by saying, “Tonight we are going to sleep but tomorrow morning something new will begin.”