Ben-Gvir to Split from Religious Zionism and Run Separately

By Yisrael Price

Religious Zionism MK Itamar Ben Gvir in a Knesset committee meeting. (Olivier FItoussi/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM – Itamar Ben-Gvir has decided to take his Otzma Yehudit faction out of the Religious Zionism party in a bid to increase the overall vote for the right wing, The Times of Israel said.

Recent polls show that the two parties will win more seats in the Knesset if they run separately.

MK Ben-Gvir submitted a request with the Central Election Committee to split his extremist Otzma Yehudit faction from the umbrella party.

If approved, it will also make more campaign funding available for the two parties.

Meanwhile, Yamina MK Matan Kahana said that he will stick with the party even though its chairman Naftali Bennett announced last week that he’s leaving politics and turned over the leadership of Yamina to Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Kahana, the deputy religious services minister, met on Sunday with Shaked, and stated that he does not intend to break away from the party in the coming days, according to a statement from his office.

However, he stipulated that he reserves the right to split away from Yamina by himself and receive election funds up to the deadline for submitting party candidate lists to run in the election, which is September 15, according to a political source.

The Yamina party would not confirm such a deal, saying only that discussions are ongoing.

Also on Sunday, former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin declared his intention to run for a place on the party’s electoral slate.

In a statement, Feiglin said he’ll be running in the Likud primaries — expected in mid-August — to ensure Israel remains “a Jewish majority state.”

“A year ago, when the biggest election fraud in our history robbed the Jewish state of the Jewish majority and established a government of all its citizens, Israel actually became an all-Arab state and entered a deep crisis in all areas of our lives,” he said, referring to the Bennett-Lapid coalition’s inclusion of the Islamist Ra’am party.

“When the extent of the disaster became clear, I decided that the time had come to unite forces, and, precisely in this difficult time, return to Likud, strengthen the Jewish majority and return our Jewish state to us,” Feiglin said.

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