Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party which made an historic achievement in Tuesday’s election, gave a post-election speech at party headquarters on Tuesday night.
Exit polls have predicted that the party will win 12 seats, making it the fourth or fifth largest party in the Knesset.
“My brothers and sisters, today we have established a new home in Israel,” Bennett declared. “Israel is coming back to itself. The Jewish Home is the new home for everyone, of all the people of Israel, of Israel who believes in its strength.”
He added, “Today we set up a new home that knows how to protect its residents not only with concrete, but with martial prowess and power. Our enemies will know that you do not mess with Israel.”
Bennett declared that, "There is one truth - the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel." He noted that his party is “a home for proud Zionists. A new home that will not be held captive by interest groups, but will fight for lowering the cost of living for the people of Israel. In this home we will act for equal opportunities for all the people of Israel.”
Earlier on Tuesday evening, as he left his home towards his party’s headquarters, Bennett said, “Something new is beginning. Religious Zionism is back on center stage.”
MK Uri Ariel exulted over the results. “There hasn’t been an achievement like this before” for religious Zionism, he declared.
“We hope to continue from here and to help the nation of Israel and the state of Israel,” he said.
The National Religious Party had 10-12 Knesset seats until the the 10th Knesset in 1981, when many of its Sephardic voters moved to the new and short-lived Tami party and in later elections to the newly-formed Shas. The 11-12 seat result in the 2013 elections is thus evidence of significant growth, since Shas and Likud attract religious Zionist voters.