Avigdor Lieberman, the outspoken head of Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home) drew criticism from the hareidi-religious United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party and the nationalist camp on Monday.
MK Rabbi Meir Porush of UTJ attacked the Yisrael Beiteinu slogan, “No citizenship without loyalty,” accusing Lieberman of attempting to impose a worldview heavily influenced by totalitarianism. He added, “If the state completely ceases to be Jewish; if the state abolishes the Sabbath as a day of holiness and rest; if the state declares itself a neutral democracy and an entity cut off from Jewish tradition – will we need to remain loyal to such a mutation?”
Prominent nationalist activist Itamar Ben-Gvir called Lieberman “a poor imitation” of Rabbi Meir Kahane, the deceased leader of the now-banned Kach party. Ben-Gvir insisted that journalist Chaim Yavin apologize for comparing Lieberman and Kahane, saying, “Rabbi Kahane would never agree to split Jerusalem as Lieberman does, Rabbi Kahane would not have agreed to turn Arab cities over to terrorist rule, and Rabbi Kahane would not have sat in [Acting Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert's government.”