The members of the Tekuma Central Committee have officially decided that the party will not split off from the Jewish Home.
The Central Committee voted on the issue late Saturday night, in a meeting that was called after the Tekuma council on Thursday discussed whether or not to run jointly with Jewish Home, but could not reach a decision as a vote on the issue resulted in a tie.
During Saturday night’s meeting in Jerusalem, the Central Committee decided that Tekuma will accept Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett’s proposal, according to which four spots on the Jewish Home’s Knesset list will be reserved for Tekuma members. Bennett also offered Tekuma chairman Uri Ariel a senior ministerial position in the next government.
Before Saturday night’s vote, Ariel explained why he thought it would be better for the party to join former Shas chairman Eli Yishai’s new party but said, "I will accept any decision that is reached.”
Ariel added, "Eli Yishai - a humble man, there is no suspicion of a lack of integrity on his part, he helped the settlement enterprise in any way he could, spent months in Gush Katif, he served in the army and he says that those who do not study Torah, should go to the army."
He stressed, however, "We could have brought you a signed agreement and asked you to confirm or not to confirm it. That’s how it is done in Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party and also at Hatnua and in Liberman’s party. I must emphasize here that I will accept any decision made by the Central Committee and I will enlist myself for each mission as decided upon by the Central Committee, whether I like it or not.”
Arutz Sheva learned on Friday that a majority of the Tekuma party's rabbis are against a split in the national-religious camp.
Three of the four Rabbis - Rabbi Isser Klonsky, Rabbi Chaim Steiner, and Rabbi Gidon Perl - opposed the split during the Thursday night meeting over the game-changing potential to break off from Jewish Home.
On the other side, Rabbi Dov Lior adamantly opposed joining with Jewish Home, leading the final decision to be made by the party's Central Committee. The meeting of the rabbis came after the Tekuma council’s discussion of the issue.
According to reports on Saturday night, Rabbi Lior is expected to resign from the Jewish Home as his position was not accepted.