UTJ MKs to ask top rabbi if they can join govt with Lapid

The Jerusalem Post independently confirmed the report.

By
September 19, 2019 22:41
1 minute read.
Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz speaking with Blue and White Party supporters, 2019.

Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz speaking with Blue and White Party supporters, 2019.. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)

Ultra-Orthodox MKs from United Torah Judaism will ask the leading rabbi in the community this evening whether or not they can join a government with long-time persona non grata and Blue and White co-chairman Yair Lapid.

The MKs from the ultra-Orthodox party have for a long time publicly stated that they will never join a government with Lapid, given the policies he enacted in the 33rd government including a law to increase ultra-Orthodox enlistment to the IDF, swingeing cuts to the yeshiva budget, efforts to include core curriculum studies in ultra-Orthodox schools, and more.

MKs from Degel Hatorah, the non-hassidic half of UTJ, will ask Rabbi Haim Kanievsky, the leading rabbi of the ultra-Orthodox world, for permission to join a government with Lapid, Channel 12 News reported Thursday night.

The Jerusalem Post independently confirmed the report.

A source in Agudat Yisrael, the hassidic half of UTJ, said that its Council of Torah Sages would likely convene next week to discuss the same question.

It is understood that Shas too could reconsider its refusal to sit with Lapid.

The request to sit with Lapid is reportedly not intended by the ultra-Orthodox party as a move away from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud, but rather to allow the possibility of sitting with Blue and White, along with the rest of the right-wing religious parties, as Netanyahu proposed on Thursday.

Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz and Lapid insisted today they wanted a “liberal, national unity government” which would seemingly exclude the ultra-Orthodox parties anyway.


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