National Union splits off from Yamina

Knesset House Committee ratifies split between Bezalel Smotrich's National Union faction and Yamina.

Hezki Baruch ,

Smotrich and Bennett
Smotrich and Bennett
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The National Union party formally broke away Wednesday afternoon from Yamina, becoming a separate Knesset faction under the leadership of MK Bezalel Smotrich.

The split was ratified Wednesday by the Knesset House Committee, which voted to approve the National Union’s request to split off from Yamina.

The new two-MK faction consists of Smotrich and Ofir Sofer, while Yamina shrinks to three MKs, all members of the New Right: Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked, and Matan Kahana.

Yamina ran in March as a joint list of the New Right, National Union, and Jewish Home parties, winning six seats. Shortly afterwards, however, the Jewish Home split off to join the government, reducing Yamina to five seats.

The House Committee’s approval for the split will enable the National Union, rebranded as the Religious Zionist Party, to receive full campaign funding for the upcoming election.

The split comes less than a day after Hagit Moshe, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, won the internal leadership election for the Jewish Home, becoming chairwoman of the party.

Moshe, who was backed by Smotrich, has reportedly entered into negotiations for possible election alliances to ensure the Jewish Home crosses the 3.25% electoral threshold.

After the split was formalized Wednesday, Smotrich made a public call for the Jewish Home to unite with the National Union for the upcoming election.