Litzman: Lapid is antisemitic, a contagious disease that Gantz caught

UTJ avoided attacking Gantz, focusing only on Blue and White co-chairman Yair Lapid, a longtime opponent, but that the situation changed after Gantz said he wants a "secular unity government."

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September 6, 2019 01:30
1 minute read.
Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman at the Knesset August 8, 2018

Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman at the Knesset August 8, 2018. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

United Torah Judaism leader Ya’acov Litzman slammed Blue and White head Benny Gantz for saying he seeks to form a government that does not include religious parties.

Litzman pointed out that UTJ had previously avoided attacking Gantz, focusing only on its longtime opponent, Blue and White co-chairman Yair Lapid, but said that the situation changed after Gantz said earlier this week that he wants a “secular unity government.”

“Apparently Lapid is a contagious disease that Gantz has caught,” Litzman said on Thursday morning. “We said clearly that if Netanyahu takes Gantz without Lapid, we would go with him.”

However, the deputy minister said he intends to recommend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to remain premier because “with all due respect, Gantz is a new tourist in the neighborhood... Netanyahu fulfilled his promises to us; therefore, we have no reason to replace him.”

As for Lapid, Litzman said that “whoever hates the religion, I believe, has antisemitism. I won’t take it back.”

Lapid tweeted in response that the haredim (ultra-Orthodox) “do not have a monopoly on Judaism, and they cannot preach to me about antisemitism. Litzman thinks that over a million Blue and White voters are a disease – the response will come in the voting booth.”

Litzman’s comments came shortly after Gantz told Kan Bet: “It’s time to let the majority be the majority. [Haredim] have two respectable parties, but they’re the minority. Most of Israel is made up of a sane majority that wants to sit down with one another. [Decisions are made] here according to the majority, and it has to give a response to the haredi minority in that context.”

Gantz also said that he values Jewish tradition, and that he has a Tanakh and the Israeli Declaration of Independence on the same shelf in his home.

“Gantz is making excuses for saying he wanted a secular government,” Litzman said. “He must have panicked because of the attacks on him, and now he’s trying to stop the wave.”

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman said that “there is no difference between Gantz and Netanyahu. The time has come to separate politics and religion, and therefore we must have a secular, liberal government that allows everyone freedom to choose.”


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