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      Bennett: We Want to be the Second Largest Party

      "The Likud has stopped being the Likud. We want to lead the nationalist camp," says Jewish Home chairman.
      By Elad Benari, Canada
      First Publish: 1/18/2013, 10:11 PM

      Naftali Bennett
      Naftali Bennett
      Flash 90

      Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) is aiming to be the second largest Knesset party after Tuesday’s election, its chairman Naftali Bennett said on Friday, according to a Channel 10 News report.

      "We want to pass Labor and be number two, unequivocally,” Bennett said at an event in the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Motzkin, near Haifa.

      Most polls have shown that the Jewish Home will be the third largest party in the Knesset, after the Likud Beytenu and Labor, but one poll released on Thursday showed Bennett’s party passing Labor and achieving 17 seats, making it the second largest party.

      Bennett said during Friday’s event that his party seeks to lead the nationalist camp since, as he put it, the Likud is no longer the Likud.

      “The Likud, in many ways, has stopped being the Likud,” stated Bennett. “We want to be the new national camp.”

      Asked about the repeated attacks against him by the ruling party, he said, “I really do not know why they’re doing it. Likud has invested so much money in the election campaign, and more than 50% of these resources have been put on my head. Why does Netanyahu not want me in his coalition? You need to ask him that.”

      The Likud has targeted the Jewish Home in several of its campaigns, including one that attempted to portray its lesser-known candidates as right-wing extremists. Another Likud campaign targeted Bennett and claimed he advocated refusing to obey orders during a television interview, even though he hadn’t.

      “The Likud has been attacked by weakness and it is notable in many areas,” said Bennett. “They are not willing to stand by their principles, they completely surrender to hareidim. Beyond that, the Likud favors the establishment of a Palestinian state, and I oppose it. It would be national suicide.”

      (Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)