Rabbi Rafi Peretz:
'I'm not afraid, I will win the primaries'

Jewish Home chairman unfazed by possible primaries for the leadership of the religious Zionist list.

Hezki Baruch ,

Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash 90

Education Minister and Jewish Home chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz on Sunday commented on the possibility that he would have to participate in primaries for the leadership of the religious Zionist list.

"If there are primaries for the list, we will run and win," Peretz told Arutz Sheva. "I'm not afraid of an attempt to oust me."

Peretz and other Knesset members from the Jewish Home and National Union met on Sunday night with Rabbi Haim Druckman in an attempt to formulate an outline for the make-up of the religious-national list.

In recent days, there have been growing calls from the National Union and Otzma Yehudit parties for primaries to be held to determine the make-up of the list for the elections to the 23rd Knesset, which are scheduled for March 2.

The Jewish Home, however, prefers to leave the Jewish Home-National Union list as it is now and have other parties join it.

"It is possible and necessary to ask the public who it wants to represent it," Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, chairman of the National Union, told Channel 12 News. "Rabbi Rafi, who I have a lot of appreciation for, was recruited and appointed by a committee at a moment of crisis. In order to bring back the masses of the religious Zionist public, there must be a single and open party.”

Last week, the Yediot Aharonot newspaper reported that New Right chairwoman Ayelet Shaked and Smotrich plan to oust Rabbi Peretz from the position of chairman of the Jewish Home.

Shaked's office said in response to the response, "They (Shaked and Smotrich -ed.) meet and are in talks on the future of the right."

Smotrich’s office said in response, "Smotrich and Shaked are good friends and are in continuous contact on many issues. The attempt to set a 'secret' and conspiratorial tone to their talks is ridiculous. Smotrich has called on Shaked on every stage to return to religious Zionism and he hopes that she will do so."