UTJ MK Asher: Liberman’s campaign will motivate ultra-Orthodox voters

In response to a request for comment, a spokesman for Yisrael Beytenu said, “We do not respond to nonsense.”

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September 8, 2019 21:46
2 minute read.
UTJ MK Yaakov Asher, 2019.

UTJ MK Yaakov Asher, 2019.. (photo credit: JEREMY SHARON)

United Torah Judaism MK Yakov Asher said that Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman’s campaign against the ultra-Orthodox community is the best possible get-out-the-vote campaign the ultra-Orthodox parties could wish for.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Asher said Liberman’s ongoing attacks against the policies of the UTJ and Shas parties was bolstering voter motivation within the sector, and called the Yisrael Beytenu leader “a hypocrite” after he sat in several coalitions with the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties. Despite a perceived apathy in the general population toward the second election in just over five months, Asher said that Liberman’s focus on the ultra-Orthodox community was making it impossible for them to ignore the election.

“The ultra-Orthodox community won’t be apathetic because unfortunately, this election campaign is not dealing with big issues, such as security or the economy,” the MK told the Post on Sunday. “It’s just a competition between a few parties who need a few more seats, and all their fire is being directed toward the ultra-Orthodox community in its entirety.

“From our point of view, they are doing the best campaign possible for us, because you can’t be apathetic when you see parties using motifs of hatred against you. It seems like this will get everyone out to vote.”

Asher said that Blue and White co-chair Yair Lapid was chiefly responsible for the assaults against the ultra-Orthodox community, and that Liberman and lately Benny Gantz, Lapid’s co-chair, had taken up this baton.

“Gantz has now woken up and seen that Liberman is stealing these seats, and so they’re trying to steal those seats back by using this incitement against the haredi community,” said Asher.

Asher also alleged that Liberman had never intended to enter a coalition with Likud after the April election, regardless of whether his bill for ultra-Orthodox military service was passed in its original form.

“More than one of Yisrael Beytenu’s MKs told me their problem was with how [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu was disparaging Liberman, and that Liberman had decided to take him down, full stop,” Asher said. “They said ‘You [the ultra-Orthodox] are not the issue here, you’re just part of the game. Wait and you’ll see after the election everything will be OK.’”

Asher said he would even take a polygraph test to confirm the veracity of his claim.

In response to a request for comment, a spokesman for Yisrael Beytenu said, “We do not respond to nonsense.”

Asher repeated the frequent promise of UTJ MKs that the party would only recommend Netanyahu to form the next government, saying that the partnership between the haredi parties and the prime minister had been mutually beneficial over the years.

“We have a partnership with Likud and the prime minister,” he said. “We worked together during the last Knesset term. We had various issues, but in general this partnership is good for the Jewish people in general. The haredi community does not sit all day and try and topple the prime minister. It gives him operational quiet to allow him to work. The partnership has been good for him and good for us.”


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