Report: Jewish Home Seeks to Limit Bennett's Power

Discussion of Jewish Home branch heads shows deep unrest in party following election drop, anger targeted at chairman Naftali Bennett.

Shlomo Pitrikovsky, Cynthia Blank ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Tamar Nueberg/Flash 90

The poor showing in last month's general elections have caused significant unrest in the Jewish Home party, reports reveal Sunday, reflected primarily among the disappointment of branch officials. 

Initially predicted to receive at least 15 MKs in the 20th Knesset, elections saw Jewish Home reduced from 12 MKs to eight, with party leader Naftali Bennett fighting just to be included in the government, let alone receive a senior position. 

Heads of Jewish Home branches across the country met Wednesday night at the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day, moving from a memorial ceremony to a discussion over the party's failed campaign. 

During the discussion, whose contents were revealed Sunday on Army Radio, branch heads began demanding that Bennett's power, as well as those close to him, be reduced. 

One of the branch heads argued that "too much campaign money went to Facebook," adding that "more democracy is needed in the party."

Other heads and party activists suggested that it was Bennett's close associates "who led him astray," with more adding that Bennett himself was a worthy person, but inapproachable because of his advisers'. 

Yet another head of a Jewish Home branch stressed the need to reduce the Chairman's authority when it came to reserved seats, a not-so-veiled reference to the Eli Ohana debacle. 

According to him, a Jewish Home chairman should be given the authority to nominate one candidate only for every ten, and to do so only with the approval of the party's institution. 

Bennett's right hand, and number three on the party list, MK Ayelet Shaked, responded to Army Radio's report, saying that the branch heads "needed to remember the [prominent] place Bennett brought the party." 

"Even if mistakes are made, that's human," she added.