Haredim vent anger in Knesset over their exclusion
In a fit of pique, all 7 UTJ MKs leave plenum when Netanyahu reads out Bennett's name as Minister for Economy and Trade.
PM Binyamin Netanyahu addressing 33rd Knesset Photo: Marc Israel Sellem
Haredi MKs on Monday continued to vent their outrage at the exclusion of their
parties from the coalition during a debate in the Knesset plenum preceding the
vote to confirm the new government.
In a fit of anger, all seven of the
United Torah Judaism MKs left the plenum when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
read out the name of Bayit Yehudi party leader Naftali Bennett as economy and
Despite the demonstration, the UTJ lawmakers did reenter
the plenum in order to deliver withering speeches from the podium denouncing the
“racism” and “discrimination” of the incoming government for preventing the
haredi parties from joining the coalition.
MK Moshe Gafni, the former
Knesset Finance Committee chair, symbolically ripped apart the coalition
agreement, saying, “Terrorists are not harmed the way Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid
want to harm the Torah students.”
MK Ya’acov Litzman, the outgoing deputy
health minister, started his speech by sarcastically thanking the Knesset for
allowing someone who wears a kipa and has a beard and long sideburns to speak,
saying that it would not be long before a haredi person would not be able to be
elected to the Knesset.
He continued by saying that he hoped Israel’s
citizens from all sectors would survive “the iniquitous deeds of this evil
government, which, unfortunately, is based on hatred and
“The representatives of UTJ will be here for you as a
voice and as faithful servants in order to prevent this racist government, which
hates the religion of [the nation of] Israel from carrying out what it intends,”
Litzman informed the audience and his public.
Addressing the agreement in
the coalition deal to increase haredi enlistment in military or national
service, Litzman said ominously that “the hand” of anyone harming the ability of
yeshiva students to study would wither, calling the plan
“The result of it will be like that of all those who lifted
up their hand against the Torah of Moses, and tried to hurt the world of
your plots won’t work, it won’t happen,” he said, adding, “We
won’t agree to any compromise.”
Litzman continued his harangue by
attacking Yair Lapid for saying earlier in the day that his party and the
government would represent haredim in the absence of UTJ and Shas from the
“I heard Lapid say he’ll take care of the haredi
This sounds exactly as if Ahmed Tibi would say, ‘I’ll take care
of the settlers,’” Litzman said in reference to the fiercely anti-settler pro-
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.