MK Nissim Ze'ev (Shas) was the only hareidi MK to attend Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's address at the Knesset on Tuesday, during British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit.
The absence of Ze'ev's compatriots was due to a boycott by the Opposition to a set of three controversial laws that passed in the Knesset this week: the Governance Law raising the threshhold for entering the Knesset, the Enlistment Law legislating hareidi IDF enlistment, and the Referendum Law calling for a national referendum on land withdrawals, which Ze'ev warned will actually ease withdrawals.
Ze'ev told Arutz Sheva that he "went in during the middle of the prime minister's speech, they didn't ask me to leave, they only told me that the Opposition parties chose to boycott the speech."
Speaking about the Enlistment Law, which Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett praised and was a key proponent of along with Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Ze'ev charged that the Jewish Home had a lot to answer for.
"When we were in the coalition and the Jewish Home party was in the Opposition we protected them from the government," remarked Ze'ev. "Unfortunately Bennett is dragging the party against the majority of his party members."
MK Yoni Chetboun of Bennett's party was the only one to vote against the law he warned was splitting Israeli society, a move he was punished for. MK Motti Yogev similarly voiced opposition, saying the party needed systemic reorganization following the law.
"It's true that Jewish Home has only 12 mandates, but...this law wouldn't have passed without the votes of the Jewish Home MKs, they could have held up the laws and not been pulled along after the prime minister and Lapid," argued Ze'ev.
Opposition boycott is "minimum required"
When asked if the Opposition boycott of the laws wasn't extreme, Ze'ev retorted "it's the minimum required from the Opposition as protest. There are three laws here, and each one is fundamental. They bind the laws together like the matzah, maror and haroset that you eat all together on Passover night, but we didn't think they'd do it on Purim night."
"We need to say clearly that we aren't ready to take part in this dictatorship," argued Ze'ev, adding his opinion that the hareidi criticism of religious Zionism in context of the laws is not incitement.
As to the Opposition unity against the government, Ze'ev remarked "the Opposition will continue to act like the weather, every day we'll test and see based on the day whether or not to cooperate with the Opposition to make joint decisions in a positive atmosphere."