'Our candidate for prime minister'

Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan welcomes early Jewish Home internal elections, says Bennett is party's candidate for premier.

Hezky Baruch ,

Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan
Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan referred in an Arutz Sheva interview to the moving forward of internal elections in the Jewish Home party. Ben Dahan welcomed the move, declaring that the election would not just be for the party head but also for the national leadership.

"We in the Jewish Home party are also choosing our candidate for prime minister. I want to congratulate my friend Minister Naftali Bennett and I'm sure he will be chosen as head of the party and candidate for prime minister. It's time the Jewish Home party aimed for the premiership and Naftali Bennett is a capable and worthy candidate for the role."

He said that the advancing of the internal elections has nothing to do with national elections. "I don't think that the State of Israel is moving towards elections," said Ben Dahan. "I hope that the government continues to function. There is mutual cooperation between the coalition factions and I expect the government to last the full term."

Ben-Dahan also referred to the storm over the words of Eli paramilitary academy head Yigal Levinstein [who said that girls lose their moral values while serving in the army.] "I don't agree with his tone of speech and it does not add respect to the Torah. The right way is to continue the dialogue between the Chief of Staff and the Religious Zionist rabbis in order to examine the subject of integrating females into combat roles. On the one hand there is a social demand [for female participation] and on the other hand the security requirements of the State of Israel are paramount. I expect the dialogue to continue and in the end we will reach a joint conclusion which will strengthen the IDF. The army is ultimately meant to win battles but we will only reach an agreement through mutual dialogue."

Ben-Dahan concluded by describing his visit abroad with bereaved families: "I came back this morning from a meeting in Cyprus with bereaved families. The Soldiers Memorial organization helps bereaved families not to stay engrossed only in their grief and encourages them to leave their homes and break their routine. I felt I ought to encourage them and give my blessing and I feel I achieved my goal."