Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party members go the polls Tuesday to choose candidates for the Knesset, and American-born Jeremy Gimpel may win a place that would all but guarantee his election.
The Jewish Home party has three MKs in the current legislature but will run on a combined slate with the Ichud Leumi (National Union) party in the January elections. The National Union has four seats and nationalist leaders expect that the merged list will result with at least 10 MKs in the next Knesset.
A larger bloc of nationalist MKs would give them far more influence in the next government, which is expected to be headed again by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Each of the 54,000 Jewish Home party members can vote for up to five candidates, and voters must rank their preferences from one to five. A higher ranking makes it more certain that a candidate will be elected to the Knesset. Voting will take place from 3-10 p.m.
Results of Tuesday’s voting will be announced Wednesday afternoon at a news conference with the new party leader, Naftali Bennett, who was elected by voters last week.
Candidates for MK include incumbent Ori Orbach and newcomers Yitzchak Ben Aryeh, Aharon Jimani, Jeremy Gimpel, Doron Moshe Danni, Avi Wortzman, Amiad Taub, Motti Yogev, Shuli Muallem, Rachamim Nessimi, former MK Nissan Slomianski, Gila Finkelstein, Yoni Shetbon and Ayelet Shaked.
The party has reserved places for a woman and a candidate from the younger generation. If Shaked wins the place reserved for a woman, a five-judge party court will decide if her status as a member of the younger generation affects that slot as well.
Gimpel, along with Ari Abramowitz, founded the Land of Israel movement and hosted the Tuesday Night Live television show.
He immigrated to Israel with his family from Atlanta at the age of 12 and has campaigned partly on his plans to speak directly to American Jews to encourage aliyah as well as communicate more effectively with Americans concerning issues in Israel.