“Ayelet, in my worst dreams I did not believe that one day I would have to stand and demonstrate in front of your house. Please stop,” Ortal Tamam, who lost an uncle to terror, said.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Yemina’s Ayelet Shaked had warned in a recently leaked recording that the party would suffer with its base if it joined with the Left and Arab parties. The truth of that statement was brought home forcefully on Saturday night when some of the party’s former top supporters protested in front of her Tel Aviv home.
About 100 ex-Yemina supporters participated in the protest, chanting “Stop the disaster government.” The protest was organized by the forum of bereaved families, “Choosing Life.”
Herzl Hajaj, father of Shir, an IDF lieutenant who was killed in a terror attack in the heart of Jerusalem in 2017, is a member of the group. Hajaj not only supported Bennett but worked to convince others to vote for the Yemina party in his hometown of Maale Adumim.
Hajaj told World Israel News that he never imagined Bennett was capable of working with Arab parties that supported terror. “Under no circumstances,” he said, pointing out that as Defense Minister, Bennett had done a number of good things from the forum’s perspective, including pushing for the closing of Palestinian bank accounts belonging to terrorists.
“We saw a true friend who wasn’t afraid to do things and change things. But to our sorrow, he switched completely in the other direction,” Hajaj told WIN. “He didn’t just go to the center. He went Left – extreme Left.”
During the campaign, Bennett had promised he wouldn’t participate in a government that relied on anti-Zionist Arab parties. On March 21, Bennett even signed a document on Channel 20 promising not to establish a government that rested on the votes of Mansour Abbas of the Islamist Ra’am party.
Now, Bennett is on the cusp of forming a unity government with left-wing and Arab parties.
“To reach 61 mandates, our politicians are trampling on the bodies of our children. That’s how I see it,” Hajaj said.
“We trusted that he would take Netanyahu rightward. Netanyahu did things that weren’t right-wing enough for us,” Hajaj said.
Hajaj and the “Choosing Life” forum is still in touch with Yemina members, meeting several, including Bennett at the Knesset last Monday. “He tried to explain to us that the direction of a unity government will be good for the country,” Hajaj said.
After the demonstration, Hajaj met with Shaked. The group chose to protest before Shaked’s home and not Bennett’s because they have a feeling Shaked is still on the fence. Also, as the party’s No. 2, she has more influence.
“If Shaked will suddenly get up and say, ‘I won’t go along with this,’ it carries more weight than if someone else” in the party did it, Hajaj said.
Joining Herzl Hajaj was his wife Meirav. Also protesting were Boaz Kukiya, father of the late soldier Ron Yitzchak Kukiya, was was murdered by two Arab Bedouin in 2017; Shai Odser, the son of Mordechai Odser, killed in 2002 in an ambush in Samaria; and, Ortal Tamam, niece of the late soldier Moshe Tamam, killed by terrorists in 1984.
Boaz Kukiya said, “We have acted with all our might and we pledge to attack any minority government that relies on terrorist supporters. We call on Ayelet and Naftali to stop now, before it is too late.”
Merav Hajaj, mother of the late Shir, said: “Ayelet, we believed in you with all our hearts, we asked everyone we could to vote for you and now we cannot look our friends in the eye.”
Ortal Tamam said, “Ayelet, in my worst dreams I did not believe that one day I would have to stand and demonstrate in front of your house. Please stop!”