MK Faina Kirschenbaum on Tuesday became the third Likud-Beytenu lawmaker to say
the parties would prefer a coalition without haredim after the January 22
Earlier this month, coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) and
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) made similar statements.
Yisrael Beytenu secretary-general and a close ally of Foreign Minister Avigdor
Liberman, said the party hopes to form a coalition with larger, center-left
“If blocs are created on the Right and Left, then we will not be
dependent on small parties and haredi parties, and we can bring a big change,”
Kirschenbaum said at a political event at Shenkar College of Engineering and
Design in Ramat Gan.
“We will not have to deal with those parties’
political extortion and make changes that are better for the State of Israel,”
One of the major changes, Kirschenbaum said, will be to
the system of government.
Last week, Elkin said there is no right-wing
bloc in the current election, because haredi parties are willing to join any
coalition that will help them avoid having to serve in the army.
coalition chairman spoke in an event closed to press, but a tape of his speech
reached Ma’ariv reporter Ze’ev Kam.
Hotovely told high school students in
Ness Ziona that the only way to bring equality in the burden of IDF service is
to form a coalition without haredi parties.
Shas MK Nissim Ze’ev poured
cold water on Elkin’s comments, telling The Jerusalem Post
that that the Likud
man had got his numbers wrong regarding the possibility of forming a government
without the haredi parties.
“He who takes up his sword should not boast
like someone who has successfully used it,” quipped Ze’ev, quoting from the
biblical Book of Kings and questioning Likud-Beytenu’s ability to increase its
share of the vote in the coming election.
“Without the haredi parties
they’ll need the leftists, but this new [Likud-Beytenu joint list] has become
right-wing plus, and their diplomatic policies are too different from that of
Labor and Lapid for them to join together in a coalition,” Ze’ev
Addressing the issue of ultra- Orthodox enlistment in national
service – likely one of the first issues a new government will tackle – Ze’ev
claimed that many of the recent declarations made by politicians on the issue
were “mere populism” during an election season and that the only way to solve
the issue will be through “moderation and compromise.”
“We can increase
the numbers of haredim going to the army, into the reserves and civilian
service,” he said. “It’s achievable but it has to be done responsibly and with