MK Moti Yogev will not be leaving Jewish Home, after all. After announcing last week that he was quitting the party over the violation of Jewish Home’s agreement with Itamar Ben-Gvir, who was knocked off the list after the party joined up with the New Right to run on the united Yemina list, Yogev said in an interview Wednesday that he had reconsidered his decision, and was remaining with the party.
Yogev framed his decision over the decision by party leader Rafi Peretz to trash his agreement with Otzma Yehudit and its leader Ben-Gvir, when it became clear that New Right head Naftali Bennett would not agree to a unity deal if Ben-Gvir remained on the Jewish Home list. Peretz then informed Ben-Gvir that the deal to include him on the Jewish Home list was off, leading to sharp and angry reactions by Ben-Gvir.
Ben-Gvir was not the only politician upset at Peretz’s abrogation of the agreement. Yogev announced he was leaving the party. “Earlier Wednesday night, Rafi Peretz wrote in a social media message that he couldn’t break his deal with Ben-Gvir because ‘a promise is a promise,’ but he erased that message a few minutes later because he knew that his promise was no promise. Throughout his term he has acted unfaithfully, has been unable to show leadership, and has acted against the wishes of the public. He is not worthy to be a public servant. I will not run in the coming elections, instead with the help of others I will work to rehabilitate Jewish Home.”
However, a report by the Serugim news site revealed what it said was the real reason for Yogev’s announcement: When he discovered that he had been pushed down to the eleventh slot on Jewish Home, making it unlikely that he would win a Knesset seat, Yogev tried to make an eleventh-hour deal with Bennett – and thus made the announcement to show that he was serious about leaving Jewish Home. But that deal fell through, and Yogev was unable to list himself in a better position in the New Right. With that, Yogev is still on the joint list – because he has so far not filed a resignation notice with the Central Elections Commission.
Speaking to Reshet Bet Wednesday, Yogev said that he had made the resignation announcement “at a very emotional moment. I felt that the desire of Jewish Home voters was overridden because of narrow interests and I declared I would not run for the Knesset with the party. But afterwards, and after hundreds of appeals that I change my mind – and due to the fact that I am the only Jewish Home MK legitimately elected by party members – I reconsidered. I feel a strong responsibility to those who voted for me, and this responsibility requires me to do everything I can to repair the situation from within the party. Thus I decided not to remove my name from the candidate list,” he added.