Member of Knesset Ya'akov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) met former prime minister Ehud Olmert for 90 minutes, Sunday afternoon, after Olmert returned from the Shikim (Sycamore) Ranch to mark the end of the Shiv'ah seven-day initial period of mourning for former prime minister Ariel Sharon. The 90-minute meeting talked about political matters of interest to the hareidi-religious party, especially the way the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is relating to it.
The meeting came three weeks after a meeting between Netanyahu and fellow UTJ Knesset member Moshe Gafni. Sources in hareidi parties say it was supposed to send a hint to Gafni that any agreement he reaches with the prime minister will not have the entire faction's seal of approval. While declining to join the coalition, Gafni emerged from his meeting with Netnyahu more optimistic than when he entered. While declaring it had not thrown up its hands on yeshiva funding and the drafting of yeshiva students, the Lithuanian hasidic faction backed out of a protest meeting of hareidi leaders in the United States that was scheduled to take place then, causing its cancellation.