Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, in an interview with Arutz Sheva, rejected the claims of several candidates running against Education Minister Naftali Bennett in the primaries for the leadership of the Jewish Home party that they are more religious than the current party leadership.
"Maybe the public does not know enough [about it], but once a month, the seven senior rabbis in the religious Zionist community convene for a few hours of discussion dealing with areas related to the Jewish Home Party," Ben-Dahan said.
"Naftali has appeared before this forum several times so that he can come and say to the other candidates who claim that they are more Torah-oriented that the party has taken upon itself the obligation to consult with the great religious Zionist rabbis and that it accepts their opinions. It is a great privilege that we are able to hear their opinions in the fields of religion and state, even if they do not deal with appointments or personal roles. "
Rabbi Ben Dahan said that despite the expected results, it is important that all eligible voters go out to vote, "I am sure who will win, but as a former athlete I know that sometimes it is not only the victory that is important, but also the result, so it is important to have as much support as possible for Naftali."
The deputy defense minister is convinced that the party will continue to consolidate the entire range of views in religious Zionism: "We have been operating in this format for more than four years, and things have proved themselves ... It is true that not everyone is satisfied with every decision, but when you represent the diversity of opinions in religious Zionism, [not everyone can be satisfied]," he said.
Later, Ben Dahan addressed the struggle over the nature of the IDF and the party's place in the struggle. "Let's take the issue of women in the army, for example, which is a very complex issue. I will be able to say that as a result of our involvement, a deep and important connection was established between the religious Zionist rabbis with their diversity [of opinions]. In the last meeting with the chief of staff, he heard their criticism of the things which are being done in the army, and as a result, changes are being made. "
"The army is a large body, and therefore the changes take time, but I can say with certainty that there is a genuine desire to correct the faults that were tthere, and to bring about a reality in which the national religious public will feel that the spirit of the army is what it needs to be in order to win the wars."
Rabbi Ben Dahan welcomes the haredi community to join the Jewish home: "The Jewish home has a haredi activist who has succeeded in gathering around him hundreds of haredim who wanted to join the Jewish home, and who feel that the haredi parties are not giving them the answer they want to receive. It is true that they have not yet learned the writings of Rabbi [Avraham Yitzhak Hakohen] Kook and Rabbi Zvi Yehuda [Kook], but we are committed to the fact that the redemption of Israel will come bit by bit, and this is a welcome phenomenon, just as the Jewish home includes the traditional (mesorati) public. They also have a place in the Jewish home. "