Gimpel Loses Jewish Home Primaries
The party, now headed by former Netanyahu advisor Naftali Bennett, announced after the primaries vote count that the four candidates who received the most votes were former Knesset Member Nissan Slomiansky, Ayelet Shaked, incumbent MK Uri Orbach and Avi Wortsman, deputy mayor of Be’er Sheva.
All the candidates, including Bennett, will go into the January elections with a merged slate of contenders from the Ichud Leumi (National Union) party, which has not yet selected its candidates.
In sixth place was Motti Yogev, IDF colonel (res.), former director of Bnei Akiva and deputy head of the Binyamin Regional Authority in Samaria (Shomron).
He was followed by Yoni Shetbon, activist in the youth wing of the party, Shuli Muallem, whose husband was killed in the mid-air helicopter crash in the Second Lebanon War and is Vice-President of the Association of IDF Widows and Orphans, Gimpel and Rabbi Rahamim Nessimi, founder of a Zionist outreach program for development towns where groups of young religious families move and work to improve education and culture.
The combined party is hoping to win at least 12 Knesset seats, five more than the two parties now hold. Some polls predict more and the potential, if all religious Zionists and other right wing Zionists vote for the party, is 13-15.
Gimpel’s ninth place finish puts him out of the running, barring a major political shift. He was supported by a large number of English-speaking Israelis. The list includes an American-born MK, since Bennett was born in California and made aliyah as a youngster.
Shaked won the reserved place for a woman and will be the first secular, but traditional, right wing Zionist to become a Jewish Home MK, if elected.
After the results were announced, National Union chairman and Knesset Member Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz said, “The Jewish Home list of candidates is excellent and will be completed with the those of the National Union.
“The nationalist religious movement has broken the barriers and is on the way to run together to win more than 12 mandates in the Knesset.
“With G-d’s help, our coordinated list will be a larger participant in the next government".