Rabbi Druckman urges Jewish Home to sign deal with Otzma

Following Otzma Yehudit's acceptance of Jewish Home's terms for united list, senior Religious Zionist rabbi urges leaders to finalize deal.

Hezki Baruch,

Rabbi Chaim Druckman
Rabbi Chaim Druckman
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Following the announcement Wednesday morning that Otzma Yehudit has accepted the terms laid out by the Jewish Home for a joint run, one of the most prominent rabbis in the Religious Zionist community has called on the Jewish Home and National Union leaders to finalize and sign the deal Wednesday night.

Rabbi Chaim Druckman, dean of the Ohr Etzion yeshiva and chairman of the Center for Bnei Akiva Yeshivot and a former lawmaker for the National Religious Party – a forerunner of the Jewish Home – warned that failure to create a joint ticket between the Jewish Home, National Union, and Otzma Yehudit would endanger the Israeli right.

“I understand that, based on polls I’ve been shown, without an alliance we’re very much in danger of not even winning four seats,” said Rabbi Druckman. “Given that, anyone who doesn’t understand that we need to unite is endangering the right-wing bloc.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Otzma Yehudit announced that it would drop its demands that it receive either the fourth and eighth spots on a joint list, or the fifth and seventh – removing the primary barrier to forming a joint ticket with the Jewish Home and National Union.

The alliance, Otzma Yehudit officials emphasized, would be a technical bloc, limited to the election itself, with no obligations to remain united after the list enters the Knesset.

Polls have shown the Otzma Yehudit faction, which is associated with the legacy of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the banned Kach movement, receiving two to three percent of the vote – enough for several seats, but below the 3.25% minimum threshold required to enter the Knesset.

The Jewish Home and National Union bloc, which recently renewed its alliance, has been polling at around the threshold, winning four to five seats in some polls, while failing to cross the threshold in others.

Party officials are slated to meet Wednesday night at a Jewish Home committee event to discuss finalizing a deal with Otzma.

The meeting comes a day ahead of the Thursday deadline for submitting party lists to the Knesset elections committee.