Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Religious Zionism Chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich holds a press conference at the Knesset, March 2, 2022.

The Religious Zionism Party has conducted in the last two weeks a concerted operation to increase its membership, and on Tuesday at 9 PM announced that 15,437 Israelis have joined its ranks. The party emphasizes that this number does not represent its total membership, only those who have joined over the past two weeks.

Religious Zionism (full name: Religious Zionism led by Bezalel Smotrich) is affiliated with the national religious movement. In the Knesset, it comprises a technical block that includes three parties. It is headed by the chairman of the National Union, Bezalel Smotrich. The chairman of Otzma Yehudit, Itamar Ben Gvir, is in third place, and the chairman of Noam, Avi Maoz, is in sixth place. The party gained 6 seats in the last election, as well as a seventh mandate from the transfer of Ofir Sofer––who had been added to the Likud slate by its chairman, Benjamin Netanyahu.

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The Religious Zionist Party is opposed to any territorial concessions. Some of its members support the annexation of all of Judea and Samaria, although the official party line, a remnant of its days in the HaBayit HaYehudi coalition, may support, at least for the time being, only annexing Area C, where most of the Jewish settlements are located. The party follows a conservative ideology on most political issues, including a principled objection to recognizing same-sex couples.

The chairman of Religious Zionism MK Bezalel Smotrich said in a statement Tuesday night: “When everyone is seeing how this divided, conflicted, and faltering government is coming to an end, we are preparing the alternative. A large, united, strong, and influential Religious Zionist party, one that provides a place to all the different shades, and will be, with God’s help, a Pillar of Fire before the national camp that will return to lead the State of Israel in a good Jewish, Zionist, and national government for Israel.

“I am very grateful to all the new members who have already joined and trusted us, and I call on them to harness their family, friends, and neighbors as well, and build a great political force that will make the voice of the people of Israel, the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel heard.”

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.