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Porat’s Resignation from Knesset Expected to Result in Reshuffling of Three-member Tehiya Faction

The resignation of Hanan Porat, a Gush Emunim militant, from his Tehiya Party Knesset seat last week, is expected to produce a reshuffling of Tehiya’s three-member Knesset faction and a lurch toward the far rightwing by the seriously troubled National Religious Party.

Parat quit the Knesset after rumors that he was negotiating with Interior Minister Yosef Burg to return to the NRP, his original political base, were confirmed and reported in the media. Burg seemed surprised by the sudden move, noting that his talks with Porat were far from over. Some observers attributed Porat’s defection from Tehiya in the midst of bargaining with the NRP to political naivete.

Burg himself has come under heavy fire by the media and from some elements within his own party for cynically selling out to the far right in an attempt to improve the NRP’s political fortunes. The 74-year-old minister has long been a spokesman for moderation in the NRP and the government.