Jewish Home party sets sights on former senior Netanyahu adviser

A former Netanyahu adviser is the leading contender for a top spot in the Jewish Home party list. 

By World Israel News Staff

Perach Lerner, who served as senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, is a leading candidate for the No. 3 spot reserved for women on the list of the Jewish Home party, Maariv reports.

The Jewish Home party was left in tatters after being abandoned by its central leaders, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, who served as education and justice ministers respectively in Netanyahu’s government.

Since then, the party has been working feverishly to reassemble its party’s list ahead of the April 9 Knesset elections. The party recently appointed Rabbi Rafi Peretz as party chairman. MKs Moti Yogev and Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan were given seats No. 2 and No. 4 on the list. Slot No. 3 is reserved for a woman.

Maariv reports that Lerner is the favorite for the position and a final decision is expected soon.

Reserving spots for women on party lists is a common practice in Israel in order to broaden support and show inclusiveness.

Lerner served as a senior adviser to Netanyahu for six years, until she was forced out as part of an arrangement with the State Attorney’s Office, accused of exploiting her position to advance her husband’s public relations business, the newspaper says.

“A criminal investigation into her case prevented her appointment as director-general of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption in 2000,” Maariv reports.

At the time, Israel’s State Attorney’s Office said that after “reviewing of the investigation file, the State Prosecutor’s Office reached the conclusion that Lerner’s actions ostensibly amounted to an offense of fraud and breach of trust.”

“But the State Attorney and the Deputy State Attorney for special assignments decided that in all the circumstances of the case and in the nature of its actions, the public will be satisfied if Lerner agrees to admit to her actions immediately at the start of the process and agree to a significant punishment agreed upon in a disciplinary proceeding – including dismissal and dismissal for many years from the civil service – along with additional accompanying punishments,” the State Attorney’s Office said.