In a stormy election panel at the Zeitlin School in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Jewish Home MK Nissim Slomiansky leveled unusually harsh criticism on his party chairman Naftali Bennett.
Aside from Slomiansky other MKs taking part in the panel, which was organized by the Bnei Akiva movement and attended by hundreds of educators and alumni of the movement, included Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid), Rachel Azaria (Kulanu) and Ayelet Nahimas Verbin (the "Zionist camp").
During the panel, Slomiansky aired his grudges against Bennett for the last-minute appointment of secular and politically inexperienced former soccer player Eli Ohana to number eight on the party list. Eventually the appointment ended with Ohana stepping down and Bennett admitting he "went too fast"; since the incident, Jewish Home has seen a gradual decrease in polling results, from a previous 15 up to 17 seats down to 11 to 13 since.
Until the backlash from his party over the Ohana placement, Slomiansky said Bennett "acted as if everyone was invisible and he decides, he doesn't inform, doesn't tell anyone, no one knew, and suddenly it lands on you."
"It won't happen again, also (for) the chairperson (Bennett) – more modesty, more humility, there are no more invisible people," said Slomiansky, who added the widespread opposition to Ohana from the party was due to the way his appointment was handled, and was not a personal issue.
"After the primaries ended and there were 40 candidates and each one invested (efforts), and people chose the list already – suddenly in a surprise he (Bennett) comes to put someone in (the list), it doesn't matter who it was – in this case it fell on him (Ohana), if it was someone else it would be the same thing," opined the MK.
In the panel, MK Stern also spoke and focused on the State Comptroller's report critical of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's expenses, which detailed how he had a private electrician fix his private home on Shabbat and Yom Kippur on state funds.
"Did we ever criticize this Jewish management?" Stern asked sarcastically.
The Yesh Atid MK who recently abandoned Tzipi Livni's Hatnua also discussed his party's plans regarding concessions to the Palestinian Authority (PA), saying "whoever thinks that you can have Palestinians, it doesn't matter how, without giving them full rights, in my mind they aren't Jewish and didn't learn the lessons of Auschwitz."