'We'll keep our promises - Itamar Ben-Gvir will be an MK'

Jewish Home chief vows to keep promise to get Otzma Yehudit candidate into Knesset, will resign from Knesset using Norwegian Law.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Rabbi Rafi Peretz

Rabbi Rafael ‘Rafi’ Peretz said the Union of Right-Wing Parties would uphold its election agreements with the Otzma Yehudit faction and ensure that attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir enters the 21st Knesset.

Ahead of the elections, three small right-wing parties formed a joint ticket to ensure their entry into the next Knesset. The joint ticket, dubbed the Union of Right-Wing Parties, included the Jewish Home and National Union – who had run together in the two previous elections – as well as the Otzma Yehudit faction, which is led by followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.

Otzma Yehudit was given the fifth and eighth spots on the ticket, but lost the fifth slot after the Supreme Court disqualified the candidacy of former MK Michael Ben-Ari over videos the court said constituted anti-Arab incitement.

While the second Otzma candidate, Itamar Ben-Gvir, was bumped up to seventh place on the Union ticket, the list won just five seats.

In an interview with Reshet Bet Wednesday morning, Peretz said the alliance with Otzma had ensured the joint ticket’s entry into the Knesset, and vowed that Otzma would receive a seat in the Knesset.

“We had a very complicated job linking up with Otzma Yehudit, but it proved itself, and I see them as partners who helped us get to where we are now, and because of the alliance with them all of us are now in the Knesset.”

Peretz added that the Union of Right-Wing Parties would use the so-called “Norwegian Law” – which permits a minister to resign from the Knesset to enable another candidate on the list to enter – and then return to the Knesset if he or she leaves the ministry.

The Union of Right-Wing Parties would need to vacate two seats to bring the Otzma candidate, Itamar Ben-Gvir, into the Knesset. At present, the version of the Norwegian Law used by Israel limits the right of a party to rotate ministers in and out of the Knesset to a single MK. Prior to the deal between Otzma and the Jewish Home, however, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed to pass legislation expanding the Norwegian Law, enabling multiple ministers from a single party to leave the Knesset with the option of returning later.

“We will honor our agreements. Regarding the Norwegian Law, the Prime Minister promised, and it is definitely a major condition [for joining the government]. We will follow the deal as written, and using the Norwegian Law, Orit Strook and Itamar Ben-Gvir will get into the Knesset.

Strook, a candidate from the National Union, ran on the Union of Right-Wing Parties’ sixth slot.

If both Peretz and National Union chief Bezalel Smotrich – the number two on the joint ticket – receive ministries in the Netanyahu government as expected, Strook will enter the Knesset.