Zionist Camp, Jewish Home challenge each others’ names

Activists trade accusations of parties misrepresenting their ideologies

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Jewish Home celebrates the end of its primaries on January 15, 2015. (Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
Jewish Home celebrates the end of its primaries on January 15, 2015. (Ben Kelmer/Flash90)

Young activists from the Zionist Camp faction submitted a petition Sunday to the Central Elections Committee asking it to force the Jewish Home party to change its name.

The move counters last week’s petition by the Jewish Home’s Ronen Shoval, who argued that the Zionist Camp was in fact post-Zionist and that its name thus was deceitful to voters.

The Zionist Camp petition, submitted by six individuals who define themselves as national-religious, said that the party acts in violation of Jewish values, and should be forced to scrap the word “Jewish” from its name, Channel 10 reported.

“We see in Jewish Home a party that acts in complete opposition to the Jewish values as we were educated in religious Zionism,” wrote the petitioners. “The name of the Jewish Home party deceives the public, and causes naive citizens to think that the Jewish Home represents Jewish values, and is a home for those who believe in the values of our religion, and it is not so.”

The Zionist Camp members listed several examples to bolster their claim.They said that Housing Minister Uri Ariel had sold thousands of apartments meant for public housing to various groups, violating the prophet Isaiah’s exhortation, “Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?”

They also accused the Jewish Home party of not paying its workers fairly.

An Israel Radio poll published Friday found that the Zionist Camp, led by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, would each win 25 seats in the upcoming elections and would be tied as the two largest factions in the Knesset.

Elections for the 20th Knesset are scheduled for March 17, but parties must submit their final campaign lists by the end of January.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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