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Israel’s national-religious party allies with racist right

By entering the next election in a joint list with the students of Rabbi Meir Kahane, chairman of HaBayit HaYehudi Rabbi Rafi Peretz has betrayed the Jewish people and turning his party into a home of racism.
Israeli extreme right-wing activist Dr. Micael Ben-Ari, leader of Otzma Yehudit party speaks at the party's election campaign event in Bat Yam on April 06, 2019.  (Photo by Gili Yaari/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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In preparation for the upcoming election on March 2, the chairman of HaBayit HaYehudi, Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz, decided that his party would run as part of a joint list with Otzma Yehudit, a party that failed to pass the electoral threshold in last September’s election. Much has been written over the last year about the racist Otzma Yehudit party. Due to pressure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it ran as part of the Union of Right-Wing Parties last April (together with the HaBayit HaYehudi and the National Union parties), as part of a concerted effort to save the right's votes from factional splintering.

Netanyahu’s jockeying on behalf of Otzma Yehudit before April’s election reeked of political bribery. The prime minister meddled in the affairs of other parties, promising their members rewards if they ran as a single list, to get Peretz to run together with Otzma Yehudit. He even gave Eliyahu Ben Dahan of HaBayit HaYehudi the 28th slot on the Likud list, with an agreement that right after the election, he could switch back to his own party. The state attorney general, already busy with all the other cases facing Netanyahu, did not intervene in this particularly flawed agreement.

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