Rabbis who advise the Hareidi Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism – UTJ) party have rejected a proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to expand the government with the inclusion of Yesh Atid, chaired by Yair Lapid.
UTJ Minister Yaakov Litzman confirmed the report that was published Monday afternoon by the Hedrei Haderim website.
The coalition has survived for half a year with the narrowest of majorities, a single vote, and it has had to scramble several times to bring in Knesset Members to prevent an embarrassing defeat of a government bill or stop passage of an unwanted Opposition bill.
The Opposition also has not grabbed at opportunities to topple the government, and Opposition MKs often have left the Knesset forum in the same numbers that coalition MKs are absent.
Prime Minister Netanyahu would like to have a more comfortable majority, and Lapid’s chameleon-like positions have made it possible for him to sit with any government.
However, the Hareidi rabbis have drawn a giant X on Lapid, whose Holy Grail is to draft Hareidim, regardless of how much they learn in yeshivas or at least are listed as learning.
Hedrei Haderim reported that Litzman said:
I confirm that I received the request from the Prime Minister and that according to the advice of the Torah Sages Council, the answer is negative.
Lapid is a red line.
The office of the Prime Minister has not commented on the report, and Shas Hareidi party chairman Aryeh Deri told the website he knows nothing about it.
As for relations between Litzman and Lapid, the Yesh Atid leader recently approached the Knesset podium as Litzman stepped down.
Lapid reportedly patted Litzman’s shoulder, and the minister coolly brushed off his clothes, as if to clean off the dirt.