(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Despite dropping from 12 Knesset seats to eight seats in Tuesday’s Israeli election, the religious Zionist party Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) took solace in the fact that the right-wing bloc maintained its strength and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would likely lead the next government.
After Tuesday’s exit polls were made public, Netanyahu called Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, and the two leaders agreed to immediately begin forming a nationalist coalition. Bennett said, “We’re in it for the long haul. I was asked if I am disappointed. No, on the contrary, I am proud of religious Zionism. It was called on to act and answered the call in a big way.”
“It is hard on the personal level, but joyous on the national one,” said MK Ayelet Shaked, the third-ranked candidate on Habayit Hayehudi’s Knesset list. “Religious Zionism rallied to save Netanyahu.”
Habayit Hayehudi MK Uri Ariel said, “The nationalist camp won and it’s because our friends gave their votes to the Likud.”