Haredi rabbis, politicians and media unleashed a torrent of invective against the incoming government on Thursday, roundly denouncing the new coalition as evil and hateful.

According to haredi news website B’hadrei Haredim, spiritual leader of the haredi world Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman described Yair Lapid as “an evil [man], who grew up with an evil father,” referring to the Yesh Atid leader’s secularist father, Yosef (Tommy) Lapid.

In a meeting with Degel Hatorah MKs, Shteinman said that haredim were being persecuted, asking, “what do they care if a haredi person wants to remain haredi?” adding that it is impossible for an ultra-Orthodox man to maintain his religious identity in the army.

Senior United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni said that one of the worst governments in Israel was being assembled both in spiritual and material terms.

He continued, saying that Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett had had a chance to bring about the creation of a right-wing religious government but had preferred to be partners with a party “whose members are, in the majority, on the Israeli Left and anti-religious.”

Gafni also slammed incoming Education Minister MK Shai Piron of Yesh Atid, saying that he was less interested in the failing state school system than “in harming the successful haredi education system.”

UTJ MK Uri Maklev was quoted by best-selling haredi daily newspaper Yated Ne’eman as describing the new government as one based on “an axis of hatred and persecution.”

“This axis is itself based on a campaign of systematic and foundational hostility and harassment to the Torah world, the haredi education system, the holy things of Israel and everything beloved of Judaism,” he said. “Its partners established a covenant betraying God and His Torah.”

And Yated Ne’eman itself did not hold back, with the headline “Government of Evil” splashed across its front page.

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