While the Lapid-Bennett alliance is still holding strong, much to Netanyahu’s consternation, recriminations are flying between the religious parties as to why no religious political bloc formed instead, which would have given the religious parties more power in negotiations with the Likud.
According to a report in the online Hareidi paper, Kikar Shabbat, MK Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) claimed that the Hareidi parties refused to join together with them to create a religious alliance.
MK Meir Porush (UTJ) responded and said that they sat with the Jewish Home, both before and after the election to discuss the idea, but never got an answer.
Porush said they offered to work in strengthening the settlements, and to look out for the needs of the National-Religious, and in exchange, Jewish Home would work to protect Yeshiva students [from the draft].
Porush claims that Bennett promised to think it over and give them an answer, but he never received a response.
Porush left a door open and said that perhaps Bennett requires more time to think over the offer, and not that he is refusing their offer completely.
Porush also dismissed the claims that it was Rav Shteinman that “ripped up” the cards, after he refused to support the idea of a religious bloc with Jewish Home, and even going so far as refusing to meet with National-Religious rabbis in his home to discuss the idea. Porush said that the Degel HaTorah faction inside the UTJ gave a “green light” to protect Torah learning and the offer is still there.
On Monday, the Hareidi Hebrew Mishpacha newspaper ran an article entitled, “Migron [settlement] in Exchange for Ponovitch [yeshiva]” and “Haredi Price Tag”.
Mishpacha claimed in the article that senior members of UTJ said they would work to destroy the settlements if the Bennett-Lapid alliance isn’t broken, as it endangers Torah learning, and that “Torah learning is more important than the Land of Israel”.
The article didn’t discuss how their “retaliatory” price tag attack would affect their own Hareidi constituents in all-Hareidi settlements such as Beitar Ilit, Modiin Ilit and Tel Tzion.