Haredi party United Torah Judaism split over enlistment law, budget crisis

“The demand to pass the bill in its three readings remains as it was, until now there is no other proposal on the table.”

March 8, 2018 12:49
1 minute read.
Yaacov Litzman

Yaacov Litzman. (photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/POOL)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The haredi United Torah Judaism faction in the Knesset could split in the upcoming votes on the 2019 state budget, due to serious divisions that have opened up between the two constituent parties of the faction over how to advance new legislation to exempt haredi men from military service.

Degel Hatorah, the non-hassidic “Lithuanian” haredi party led by MK Moshe Gafni, favors passing a bill in its preliminary reading and then approving the budget, whereas the hassidic Agudat Yisrael party led by Deputy Health Minister MK Yaakov Litzman demands that the bill pass into law before approving the budget.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

A well placed source in UTJ told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that Gafni believes the crisis can be resolved, and that Degel Hatorah could well vote in favor of the budget even if Agudat Yisrael opposes it, if a bill for haredi military service exemptions passes only a preliminary reading.

In the meantime, Litzman told Israel Army Radio that his demand for the bill to complete the legislative process and pass into law before the budget remains in place.

“The demand to pass [the bill] in [its] three readings remains as it was. Until now there is no [other] proposal on the table,” said Litzman.

“There is a decision of the Council of Torah Sages and there are clear instructions what to do down to the last comma,” continued the deputy minister, in reference to instructions from Agudat Yisrael’s rabbinical council two weeks ago, telling him and the party not to vote for the budget before the enlistment exemption law is passed.

Litzman also said that he has not spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a week and a half, adding he had “no idea” what the prime minister wants in regard to the current crisis.

Related Content

American Flag
August 19, 2018
US consulate in Haifa to close down