Labor Group: Jewish Home 'Pretending' to be Jewish

Labor supporters petitioned Israeli election officials to bar Jewish Home from calling itself that, because it doesn't 'act Jewish.'

Moshe Cohen ,

Jewish Home members
Jewish Home members
Flash 90

Call it a case of “tit-for-tat.” On Sunday, a group from within the Labor party filed a petition with the Central Elections Committee demanding that Jewish Home be required to change its name, because “it is a party that acts in a manner that is completely the opposite of the religious Zionism we we were raised on."

It's fair payback for a petition filed last week by Jewish Home Knesset candidate Ronen Shoval seeking to prevent the Labor-Hatn'ua list from running under the name "The Zionist Camp,” said a Labor spokesperson.

In that petition, Shoval, the founder and former chairman of Im Tirzu, presented a long list of "anti-Zionist statements" made by the party's candidates.

Several of the more radical members of the new Labor party list have made controversial comments including calls for dodging IDF service, which many see as beyond the pale for a self-declared "Zionist party,” the petition said, and the party should be banned from using the name in consideration of the prohibition on political parties running under names that may mislead the public.

Those were the same arguments the Labor petitioners made Sunday, when they submitted their request to Central Elections Committee chairman, judge Salim Joubran.

“The name 'Jewish Home' misleads voters into thinking that this party represents Jewish values, and poses itself as a home for such voters.” However, the group claims, the values of Jewish Home are not Jewish values.

Quoting a passage from the Biblical Book of Isaiah, for example, the petitioners claim that allocations of public housing apartments to poor yeshiva students instead of poor working people is a violation of precepts against mistreating the poor.

Other examples of “anti-Jewish values” in Jewish Home include the much-publicized stance of some of the members against gay marriage and public displays of gay behavior, and claims that public denigration of gays violates Jewish precepts against embarrassing other Jews.

Joubran has not commented on either of the petitions.