In a clear portrayal of his support, one of the first stops Naftali Bennett made after being elected chairman of the Jewish Home party was to the Itamar beit midrash Mishkan Ehud, named in memory of Itamar resident Rabbi Ehud (Udi) Fogel, who was murdered last year by terrorists along with his wife Ruth and three of their children.
There he met with the head of the beit midrash, Rabbi Avi Ronsky, and spoke to students Wednesday about unity not only during times of tragedy but at all times.
"This place which was established in memory of the terrible murder of the Fogel family proves that we know how to be united in difficult moments - our job is to know how to stay like that all the time. Anyone who wants to see us divided and weak, will find us instead united with a Jewish soul," he said.
Bennett said he received hundreds of calls in the past day from leading religous figures and government officials -including Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, coalition chairman Zeev Elkin, Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, Shas leader Aryeh Deri, Eli Yishai, Rabbi Moshe Gafni and others who wished to congratulate him on his primary victory and who expressed optimism on being able to work together in the near future.
National Union chairman MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzele) praised Bennett on his Facebook page, writing, "Naftali, congratulations on winning the Jewish home primaries. We hope you will bring with you a new spirit of religious Zionism. As you made clear before the primaries, we believe you can lead to a spirit of unity together with the National Union, so that the national religious community will be able to express its power in the Knesset with a faction of members of Parliament in the double figures. Good luck!".
Bennett won the primary Tuesday night with 70% over the vote, a clear majority over the party's other main contender MK Zevulun Orlev.