Bennett defends decision to appoint Ohana

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett rejects, during a Channel 2 interview, accusations that his decision to appoint Eli Ohana was motivated by populist thinking or intended to fill in the position of a token Sephardic candidate.

“There is a whole world whose ethos Eli Ohana embodies, a man who grew up in the slums of Kiryat Hayovel [a Jerusalem neighborhood], and by age 16 already fed his family.

“We are not lacking Sephardic candidates in the party,” Bennett says, dismissing a question on Ohana’s ethnic background. “But I knew every big change brings some resistance. When I brought Ayelet Shaked people said ‘she’s a secular woman’, now we cannot do without her.”

Bennett is asked about recent reports that his party also courted former MTV anchor Eden Harel: is his party run like a reality show?

“To say about Eli Ohana that what he expresses is a reality show… I have seen his life story and I admire it. Do you know that he was a kid he had one pair of pants, and he actually worked in the Knesset canteen clearing plates so that he could buy another pair of pants?”

Bennett was careful not to attack Likud too strongly and also dismissed reports that Jewish Home and Likud were going to run on one ticket. But, he added, “I am pragmatic. If they unite in the Left – we will have to have an answer to that.”

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