Ex-chief rabbi of army tapped as new Jewish Home leader

Former army chief rabbi Rafi Peretz is selected to be the new leader of the national-religious Jewish Home party.

Having won the support of Jewish Home members, Peretz’s appointment will be brought before the party’s central committee tomorrow, when it will also choose its candidates ahead of Knesset elections on April 9.

The pro-settlement party is facing the prospect that it will fail to enter the Knesset, as it hovers around the minimum electoral threshold in polls, following ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked’s decision to jump ship and set up the New Right.

Bennett praises Jewish Home’s selection of Peretz and wishes the party good luck in the elections, as does Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu calls for the Jewish Home to work to unite with the National Union and Otzma Leyisrael in order to prevent a loss of votes for the right-wing bloc, which could bring about the establishment of a left-wing government,” he says in a statement, referring to a pair of far-right parties.

National Union head Bezalel Smotrich calls on Peretz to agree to run on a joint electoral list, as the parties did in the 2015 elections.

Chief Rabbi of the IDF Rabbi Rafi Peretz, February 23, 2012. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90/File)

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