With Eli Ohana off the Jewish Home list, key figures in the Religious Zionist community, who were planning on withdrawing their support of the party led by Naftali Bennett, say they will now return to its fold.
Among the rabbis who planned to withdraw support in the wake of Ohana's presence on the list is Rabbi Yisrael Rosen of the Tzomet Institute for Halachic Technology Solutions.
But speaking to Arutz Sheva Thursday, Rosen said that with Ohana gone, he felt he could once again support Jewish Home.
“I applaud Bennett” for accepting Ohana's resignation, said Rosen.
“At first, Bennett was acting like Winston Churchill," the leader of the UK during the World War II era, who was known for making independent decisions that were unpopular with British parliamentarians.
With all due respect, Rosen said, Bennett is no Churchill, and the party head has apparently realized this.
“I am glad that he retreated from this decision, although I am unhappy at the way this entire issue played out,” Rosen said, adding that his biggest problem with including Ohana was that Bennett made the decision on his own, without consulting with anyone else.
“I do not believe the chairman can or should be the single authority on such an important issue. He is not Churchill. This kind of leadership is untenable.”
Had Ohana stayed, Rosen predicted, many of the votes of the Religious Zionist community would have been siphoned off to the party headed by Eli Yishai.
Ohana, too, made the right decision. “If he had been elected, I am sure he would have been ignored or worse by other Jewish Home MKs, and he would not have been able to accomplish anything,” said Rosen.
“We would have lost a lot of votes to the Likud or Eli Yishai. I am glad the decision was made, but I regret that we had to deal with this in the first place.”
For his part, Bennett said that he regretted Ohana's decision. The decision to recruit and promote Ohana was “the right one that I am proud of. Possibly it took place a little too early,” the Jewish Home chairman wrote in a Facebook post.
Ohana, he wrote, “is a wonderful Israeli whose life story shows discipline and national pride. The more he was attacked, the more I appreciated him.”