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 credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
PM Binyamin Netanyahu addressing 33rd Knesset
(photo credit: 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 trade minister.
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 polarization.”
“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 “irrelevant.”
“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 Torah...
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 coalition.
“I heard Lapid say he’ll take care of the haredi public.
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- Palestinian MK.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.