Tensions surfaced in Jewish Home Monday, as a loud shouting match broke out between party chairman Naftali Bennett and party members and representatives from Beit El, where the government is poised to demolish several homes.
The Beit El contingent demanded that Bennett and the party take a strong stance against the plan – but instead, Bennett took a strong stance against them, after they set up a protest tent outside his home in Ra'anana.
An angry Bennett told the Beit El group that his son had been extremely upset to see protesters castigating his father. “This is what my son has to see when he leaves his house? You should be attacking Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, not me,” he said.
Agricultural Minister Uri Ariel, who heads the National Union faction of Jewish Home, sought to calm down both sides, and told Bennett that he, too, had been a “victim” of the protesters. After things calmed down somewhat, Beit El representatives said that their intention had been to “strengthen” Bennett to better deal with the situation.
Members of the National Union faction met in Beit El Sunday to discuss the impending demolition of homes in the community. Speaking to Arutz Sheva Sunday, Ofir Sofer, chairman of the National Union, said that the group planned to demand much more of the government that it has in the past, considering the apparent “creeping construction freeze” that has been implemented by the government.
According to Sofer, many voters of the Likud who consider themselves rightwing are very disappointed with the government. “We expected certain things to happen,” he said. “This is supposed to be a rightwing government. We did everything possible to elect this government, but now we hear voices in the Likud that are calling for a building freeze.”
If things don't change, said Sofer, the group – a part of Jewish Home, currently serving in the Knesset – would have to take action. “I do not mean to say we are going to quit the government immediately,” he said. “But we are beginning to solidify our position on construction issues, throughout the country. I do not believe it is proper to threaten with something that would he impossible to follow through on – but that applies only currently. I am not sure this will be the case in two months, however, because the developing policy does not appear positive.”