PM Looks to Steal a Chunk of Jewish Home Mandates

Trailing in polls, Netanyahu seeks to convince religious Zionist voters to choose Likud over Jewish Home in open letter Thursday.

Eliran Aharon, Cynthia Blank ,

Netanyahu at Kotel
Netanyahu at Kotel
Photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO

In yet another attempt by Likud to bite into Jewish Home's voting pool, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu published a letter Thursday morning calling on religious Zionists to vote Likud. 

"If Likud is not the biggest party, the Left will win control and form a coalition with the support of the Arab party. Every vote that goes to a party that isn't Likud, from the Right or the Left, endangers a national camp victory," Netanyahu writes in the letter. 

The move comes amid speculation that Likud will be forced to enter a unity government with Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog in order to keep power, as Labor-Hatnua continues to lead in the polls. 

In the letter, Netanyahu discussed the weekly Torah portion and its connection to the current Jewish State. 

"This Shabbat we read the signatory verses of the Book of Exodus. This is book that tells the story of the birth and consolidation of the Israeli people." 

"From a small family that went down to Egypt, through bondage to Pharaoh, the Exodus, Sinai, to the construction of the Tabernacle. This book tells us - thousands of years before the histories of modern nations were written - the story of an ancient nation that aspired to attach itself to a stretch of land, promised by God, of its own. A glorious nation that had tradition, values and a developed law system."

"And this story continues and is being written down today," Netanyahu continued. "After two thousand years of exile, we returned home from all over the world and built an independent, prosperous, and strong nation."

Noting Likud's cooperation and deep partnership with the national religious public, Netanyahu stressed the "strong decades-old alliance. The national religious community are part and parcel of the Likud," he added. 

The Prime Minister also refers in the letter to Likud's refusal to freeze construction in Judea and Samaria during the 19th Knesset and his prior prime ministerial term. 

"We stood up against great international pressure to withdraw and give up. We guarded the communities, we have enlarged them and developed them. In the past six years under the leadership of Likud, we built thousands of housing units in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem."

Making clear that Jewish Home remains one of Likud's natural partners, he stressed that "they will sit with us in any coalition." 

"On the other hand, there is a gaping chasm between us and the Labor party. There will be no unity government with them. Period."