Voting on the internet
Photo: Index Open
Following hardliner Moshe Feiglin's great victory in the Likud primary elections, sources in the right-wing Habayit Hayehudi ("Jewish Home") party fear external elements will try and interfere in the new party's election procedure as well.
In less than a week, a public council is expected to decide on the composition of the party's Knesset list. In the meantime, the party has published the 80 names the council will be choosing from.
In order to get a feel of the public's opinion, the council invited internet surfers to vote and exert their influence in favor of their preferred candidate on Habayit Hayehudi's website.
In first press conference of new party and following Likud primary elections, Chairman Rabbi Daniel Hershkowitz says Habayit Hayehudi not religious party, has place for all Jews whose 'souls are linked to land of Israel'. Meanwhile, party members express concerns over battle with Likud over voters
Party officials fear that ultra-Orthodox surfers, who are not among the new party's potential voters, are taking part in the internet vote. According to estimates, the haredi voters seek to prevent the entry of "as many pluralists as possible" into the Knesset.
In recent days, a post on haredi internet forums and on email mailing lists has been calling on surfers to influence the new party's composition from the outside.
Under the banner "Great scholars, this is not the time to whisper! Help the haredi public through other parties", the ultra-Orthodox ladaat.net website wrote, "We all know the meaning of Knesset members who don't like the haredi public, and unfortunately it happens more than once, and perhaps just to spite, from the religious parties. We now have the power to vote and influence.
"As you know, there's a new party called Habayit Hayehudi. They want to have as much pluralism as possible. We have the power to influence the identity of the candidates. They have to elect 15 members who will compete on the Knesset list.
"Our goal, great scholars, is to help the entire haredi public, and with the entry of people close to the haredi public, this will help with laws which will benefit our sector. It doesn't cost money, and it only takes a short while. Take a few minutes to help us, the haredi public."
The post included a list of 15 recommended candidates identified with the religious and more rightist stream in Religious Zionism.
A Habayit Hayehudi official told Ynet in response, "The council members have heard of this plan and regret the fact that there are those who are trying to abuse the decision to take the public's desire into account when forming the list.
"The council warns that it will be able to identify and neutralize these votes in order to prevent manipulations."