JERUSALEM (JTA) — The far-right Noam Party announced that it would pull out of Israel’s national elections after polls showed that it would not pass the electoral threshold.
The party, which has been polling well below the 3.25 percent needed to enter the Knesset, made the announcement on Sunday ahead of Tuesday’s elections. It did not endorse another party or candidate.
Noam had been under pressure by Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud Party, and by right-wing religious parties to drop out amid accusations that votes cast for the party would be wasted.
The main area of focus for the party was against the LGBTQ movement, using the slogan “A Normal Nation in Our Own Land.” The party also opposes egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall. It has compared secular life and pluralistic Judaism to Nazi Germany, and has said that the Israel Defense Forces is weakened by having female soldiers.
The party’s votes could go to other religious parties, most notably the Jewish Power party or Otzma Yehudit, which is hovering near the electoral threshold and which also has been under pressure to quit the race.
The party reportedly will remain a movement and work to spread its message outside of government.