Bennett: Give me the strength to stand up for religious Zionism

Jewish Home leader asks party members to stand by him as party primaries get underway.

Aruz Sheva Staff ,

Nafatli Bennett
Nafatli Bennett
Photo by Roy Alima/Flash90

With voting in the Jewish Home leadership primary underway, party chief and Education Minister Naftali Bennett called on party members to come out and vote, adding that a weak mandate for the Jewish Home's leader would only hurt the party.

In a statement issued by Bennett to party members, he referred to voices from the field calling for primary voters to "punish" Bennett by voting for the other candidates in the primaries.

As of 5:30 p.m., just 16 percent of the members of the Jewish Home Party have so far exercised the right to vote in the primaries for party leadership. The polling stations will close at 10:00 p.m..

"I have heard in recent hours that there are those who want to 'punish' me. They want me to continue to lead the Jewish Home, [but they also] teach me a lesson by voting for others," Bennett said.

According to Bennett, during the last month in which he held extensive meetings with party activists throughout Israel, he was exposed to criticism, some of which was justified. "What I need to correct will be corrected," he promised.

"It is necessary to understand - in all of my struggles for the country, whether during Operation Protective Edge, in the campaign to defend the Israeli communities close to Gaza, or in the ultimatum I set for the prime minister in order for our party to receive the justice portfolio and have Ayelet Shaked as Justice Minister, in passing the Regulation Law - it is a fact that to do this I needed political power."

Bennett explained, "If you punish me, it creates a handicap [for the party], and it will then be more difficult for us, the Jewish Home, to stand up during struggles [for religion and Zionism]. This weakens us in the real struggle for the People of Israel, the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel.

"Therefore I ask - give me the strength and the backing, and what needs to be corrected, I will correct. Give me the strength to work hard for you and for the entire Jewish people."