'Religious Zionist parties' failure to unite turns off younger voters'

Former Deputy Min, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, says before joining up with New Right, Jewish Home, Nat'l Union need to unite.

Nitzan Keidar ,

Rabbi Ben-Dahan
Rabbi Ben-Dahan
Hadas Parush/Flash90

As the Jewish Home Party gets ready for internal elections next week, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, who's decided to remain out of the race, says he hopes the religious Zionist public has learned its lessons from previous election campaigns.

"Unfortunately, we have not taken advantage of the past two years. We should have already been at a stage where the Jewish House and National Union were united. Time has been wasted and nothing has been done for this to take place. You can say the two parties are completely identical as far as their political and social platform. I started out with the National Union and joined up with the Jewish Home. Did that make things better in any way? Absolutely not," says Ben-Dahan in an interview to Arutz Sheva.

"Both parties need to join forces and elect a common leader, making the challenge of joining up with the New Right for a Knesset run a lot easier. In the meantime, Bennett doesn't seem as keen on religious Zionism [as before], so running together is the right road to take."

Rabbi Ben-Dahan says he believes there's a high likelihood the parties will join forces just prior to election day.

"I hope they realize their mistakes and end up running together. That's the only realistic option they have. Hopefully, the move will be made ahead of the coming election. It can only help the cause of religious Zionism."

According to Ben-Dahan, infighting within the religious Zionist camp has inflicted great harm to the parties' support base. "It's not good for the parties. It cuts people - especially younger voters - away from them. Older Israelis, who have supported religious Zionist parties for years, will stay the course but the younger generation expects to see its representatives acting like responsible adults by showing people they're united instead of going their separate ways. This makes it less likely they'll vote for us again," he concludes.