A senior Israeli cabinet minister on Tuesday night admitted to Channel 10 News that behind the move to revive the construction process in the E1 zone near Ma’ale Adumim, just outside East Jerusalem, was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s concern about the growing power of Naftali Bennett, chairman of “Jewish Home,” the modern heir of the National Religious Party, whose Knesset list continues to “bite off” eats from Likud-Beiteinu in the polls.
The Senior minister told Channel 10 that the date of the decision was not coincidental, and that “Netanyahu thinks about the elections and has decided to build because of his fear of Naftali Bennett.”
“Netanyahu’s goal was to create noise and fight Naftali Bennett, to prevent leakage of votes to the right,” the minister, whose name remains undisclosed, continued.
Allaying the fears of the left over the same move, the minister explained: “Planning such a neighborhood takes five years, not a few minutes. When a new government is sworn in, and new American pressure is applied, this plan will be shelved as happened in the past. This government not build anything.”
The “Jewish Home” has been growing stronger in recent polls, which this week are predicting from 10 to 13 seats going its way. On Monday, journalist Amit Segal wrote on his Twitter account that internal polls are showing the “Jewish home” getting as much as 15 seats, thus becoming the third largest party, ahead of the Sephardi-Haredi Shas.