After selecting new leader, Jewish Home party set to choose Knesset list
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After selecting new leader, Jewish Home party set to choose Knesset list

Primary elections for parliamentary slate come amid changing of the guard on the right

Naftali Bennett emerged victorious in the primary for the leadership of the Jewish Home party late Tuesday, November 7, 2012 (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)
Naftali Bennett emerged victorious in the primary for the leadership of the Jewish Home party late Tuesday, November 7, 2012 (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

The Jewish Home party’s 53,000 members were set to choose their Knesset slate for January’s election on Tuesday. The right-wing party has three seats in the outgoing Knesset, but will run in this election on a joint list with the National Union, fueling speculation — backed by recent polls — that a combined nationalist ticket could bring gains for both parties.

In a changing of the guard last week, 40-year-old hi-tech entrepreneur Naftali Bennett secured leadership of Jewish Home in a landslide victory over party stalwart MK Zevulun Orlev, who announced his retirement following the results.

Running for a spot on the list on Tuesday are 14 contestants, including former MKs Nissan Slomiansky and Gila Finkelstein, current MK Uri Orbach, secular activist Ayelet Shaked, Binyamin Regional Council representative Moti Yogev and youth movement leader Yoni Sitbon.

In the first decades of the state, the party, then called the National Religious Party, had as many as 12 seats in the Knesset. It had nine MKs in the 1996 elections, and dropped to an all-time low of three in the current Knesset.

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