Litzman has no plans to leave politics

Deputy health minister plans to stay in politics till next elections.

YA’ACOV LITZMAN (photo credit: (Ariel Jerozolimski)
(photo credit: (Ariel Jerozolimski)
Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman is not considering leaving politics ahead of the next election, sources close to him said Tuesday, denying a report in the Ma’ariv newspaper.
Litzman asked his mentor, the Gerrer Rebbe, to allow him to quit politics ahead of the last election, but the rabbi refused.
Since then, Litzman has suffered two major political setbacks.
He lost the chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee to his United Torah Judaism colleague MK Moshe Gafni. He later lost a dispute over the building of an emergency room over graves at Ashkelon’s Barzilay Hospital.
“After many long years of public service, the time has come for me to leave politics and focus on learning Torah,” Litzman was quoted as saying.
But his spokesman told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that he had made the statement in jest, and that unless his rabbi told him otherwise, he would run for the next Knesset.
Litzman was the subject of a very negative investigative report on Channel 10 last week, which accused him of trying to funnel public funds to help his haredi constituents.
A native of Germany who lived much of his life in the United States, Litzman has been in the Knesset since 1999. He chaired the Finance Committee in the 15th, 16th and 17th Knessets.
Another UTJ MK, Meir Porush, is set to leave the Knesset next summer due to a rotation agreement inside the party’s Agudat Yisrael faction. He would be replaced in the Knesset by former MK Israel Eichler, who is a Belz Hassid.