'It's not about me, it's about religious Zionism'

Rabbi Rafi Peretz speaks with Jewish Home activists, says he is willing to step aside if that will help the party.

Hezki Baruch ,

Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash 90

Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz on Thursday held a Zoom meeting with activists from the Jewish Home party branch in Jerusalem, and spoke about the efforts to rehabilitate the party.

"I am not the issue," said Rabbi Peretz, who stated that if the public decides, "I will move on and vacate my seat."

Rabbi Peretz stressed, "I came to the party because I was called upon to join. I did not think about myself then and I do not think about myself now. The question is not about me but about the future of the Jewish Home and of religious Zionism. And that is the only thing that matters in this regard."

“Religious Zionism and the values ​​it represents are what matters. This is a question of ideals, not a question about me personally," the minister said.

Activists who took part in the conversation said that there was a consensus in the Jewish Home that "the path must be recalculated," and in light of this, the correct route is being examined in order to return the party to the center of the religious-Zionist political map.

Activists told Arutz Sheva that they fear that the Jewish Home party would be eliminated in the next election and urged party leaders to take action to rehabilitate it in the near future.

Hagit Moshe, chair of the Jewish Home branch in Jerusalem and the city’s deputy mayor, said at the meeting, "Rabbi Rafi came to the Jewish Home and saved it. Literally. We need to initiate a process that will strengthen the Jewish Home because it is the clear religious Zionist party."

Dan Bismuth, a member of the Jewish Home Central Committee, said at the meeting, "We think that Rabbi Rafi should lead the process. We are with you. We want to see a significant shift in this matter in the immediate term."

The party's director general, Nir Orbach, said that "Rabbi Rafi came a year and a half ago to save the Jewish Home. If he had not arrived, there would not have been a Jewish Home left already after the first election. We have over 100 representatives in the local authorities and dozens of branch heads who proudly represent the Jewish Home.”

"Now, because of the complex reality, the Jewish Home must take significant action to return to its central place in religious and national Zionist politics," Orbach added. "We must quickly decide what the right path is and embark on it soon."

Rabbi Peretz concluded: "It was an important conversation. I have met in recent weeks with dozens of party activists, seen the best of religious Zionism in the city and village and admire it over and over again. The Jewish Home is a historic party and I am sure we will find a way to bring it back to glory."