A leading religious-Zionist rabbi said Ayelet Shaked should not be given the top spot in the Jewish Home party because she is female.
By World Israel News Staff
Even though former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was recently chosen by a poll of religious-Zionists as the most popular candidate to lead an alliance of religious right-wing parties, a leading rabbi of the movement said she shouldn’t be given the leadership role due to her being female.
“It’s better to lose seats even if Ayelet Shaked brings more. Women do not have to be in politics,” Rabbi Shlomo Aviner said in an interview with Israel’s public broadcaster on Thursday.
Aviner signed a memorandum together with other rabbis expressing their opposition to Shaked leading the Jewish Home party. Their opposition also seems to stem from the fact that Shaked is not religiously observant.
“She is very good, but everyone in his place,” Aviner told Kan radio. “We think we need a religious party, we need people whose whole life is the Torah.”
However, the main reason appeared to be Shaked’s gender. When asked by the interviewers if he would support a religious woman to the top spot, Rabbi Aviner said “It’s not OK. The complicated whirlpool of politics is not an arena for the female role.”
Former Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who has had a fruitful political partnership with Shaked, condemned the rabbi’s remarks.
“These statements represent a tiny percentage of religious Zionism and cause a desecration of God’s name,” Bennett said. “The place of women in politics and in all areas of society is undeniable.”
Bennett and Shaked left the Jewish Home party to form the New Right party, which didn’t succeed in making it into the Knesset in April’s election.
Bennett will run again as leader of the New Right ahead of the September election. Shaked has decided to branch off on her own and is looking for a political home.