MK Zevulun Kalfa has announced his resignation from the Jewish Home Knesset list, in an act of protest at the decision by party head Naftali Bennett to place former soccer star Eli Ohana in its number 10 spot.
Kalfa, who is a member of the National Union/Tekuma faction which recently merged with Jewish Home, announced his withdrawal in a letter to Tekuma faction head Uri Ariel, who holds the number 2 spot on the Jewish Home's list for the 20th Knesset.
Kalfa called on Ariel to undo Tekuma's union with Jewish Home and run independently in response to Ohana's inclusion, which bumped down Kalfa – already in borderline-realistic 18th place on the list – to the almost certainly unrealistic 19th spot.
"I think somebody has lost his compass and I am calling for some soul-searching," Kalfa wrote in the stinging letter, accusing Jewish Home of betraying the spirit of "cooperation and friendship" between the two factions.
"Leaders are tested by their ability to say 'we were wrong.' It is better to divorce before having children," he said in urging the split.
"If Tekuma runs alone in my estimation it will receive seats (in the Knesset). This is not just rain falling on us but spit," he added angrily.
Kalfa rejected the claim that Ohana was included in order to increase the number of Mizrahim (Sephardic Jews) in realistic spots on the party's list as "cynical" and a "spit in the face" for working-class Sephardic Jews who live outside affluent regions in central Israel.
He further called on the Tekuma Central Committee to convene tonight (Tuesday), saying would be "impossible" for there not to be any response.
"My feeling is that this was cynical, cold, cruel (decision). Not far from wickedness," he fired, insisting the Central Committee – which only recently ratified the Jewish Home-Tekuma merger – should decide immediately on whether to annul.
"Under these conditions we have no reason to stay there even for one (more) second," Kalfa stated.