Possible Split Within Jewish Home?

New 'camp' forming in Jewish Home to oppose new constitution, after dissenters say it detracts from Religious Zionist values.

Hezki Baruch and Tova Dvorin,

Jewish Home members
Jewish Home members
Flash 90

A possible split within Jewish Home is brewing, sources told Arutz Sheva on Thursday, after dissidents from within the party met to discuss the "harmful effects" they say the new constitution will have on the Religious Zionist community. 

The new constitution sees the party advance more secular candidates in what has been described as a conscious shift in pursuing the secular and Druze vote. Controversy over the constitution and its aims continues, leading Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett to compromise by allowing it to be open to amendments 3-5 months after it passed.

"The fact that the Chairman of the party seeks to open the faction to new audiences can be a blessing, but there is also danger of losing its identity as the party of the Religious Zionist community," the source said. "Opening the party up needs to be done in a measured and moderate way, while [also] strengthening the classic values of Religious Zionism."

"If we want more voters to choose us, we have to keep Jewish Home's natural audience," the source continued. "We need to strengthen our message and our identity as a community, not blur values just to be liked."

Arutz Sheva has also learned that during the meeting held this week it became clear that the leaders of the National Union faction, which joined Jewish Home's list in the last election, has no intention of "restructuring" in its ranks - certainly not to a new party.

Thus, the meeting and the potential movement is being seen as a new "camp" within Jewish Home, not a political party itself. No new announcement has been made confirming the source's claims yet, and all parties involved deny the establishment of an entirely new faction.

Several MKs have led opposition to the new constitution, including MKs Yoni Chetboun and Moti Yogev. Housing Minister Uri Ariel, head of the National Union, has warned before that the issue, if remained unresolved, could cause a potential split, torpedoing the Religious Zionist vote for future Knesset coalitions in the event the vote becomes fragmented.

Bennett has vowed to keep the party united throughout the process, with proponents of the new constitution arguing that the party's Religious Zionist ideology is protected in the constitution.




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