Baruch Marzel
Baruch MarzelAmir Levy/Flash 90

Otzma Yehudit candidate and #4 on the Yachad-Ha'am Itanu technical bloc list Baruch Marzel defended Ha'am Itanu leader Eli Yishai Saturday night, after advertisements appeared in Shabbat newsletters calling Yishai a "leftist" according to leaks from "backroom conversations." 

According to Marzel, the accusations not only damage Yishai's reputation, but can harm the possibility of a stronger right-wing bloc after the 20th Knesset elections later this month. 

"I would not be surprised if those behind the advertisements are officials who want to do damage to the Right," Marzel stated. 

Marzel added that the journalist linked to the accusations, Raviv Drucker, has "an agenda against" him and has called for the party to be excommunicated due to its reaching out to a "Kahanist" (ed: i.e. one who follows in the teachings of Rabbi Meir Kahane, often labelled as extremists) - and that Drucker has self-identified as an "extreme leftist" who "misses the days when Rabbi Meir Kahane was excommunicated." 

"After Drucker noticed that no one paid attention to him and that Yishai did not boot me from the [Knesset] list, he changed tack, and decided to say instead that Yishai told him he was a leftist." 

"It's unnecessary to note how much we can believe someone whose entire being is devoted to removing the Right from power and replacing it with the Left," he added. 

As for Yishai himself, Marzel testified that the MK had been on the side of the Right "for many years," and that he was "the best politician for the Right during Gush Katif [the Disengagement, 2005 - ed.] - unlike others who were not there or participated in the [Ariel] Sharon government, Yishai was against it." 

Marzel continued that Yishai worked against efforts for a peace agreement at Camp David by former prime minister Ehud Barak's government as well, and that "Tzipi Livni admitted that if it were not for Yishai's opposition, she would have been made Prime Minister [in 2009 - ed.]."