'Haredi - Jewish Home alliance a great boon for the settlements'

Health minister lauds work between haredi factions and Jewish Home party, says both sides benefit from cooperation.

David Rosenberg,

Naftali Bennett, Yaakov Litzman
Naftali Bennett, Yaakov Litzman

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) praised Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) for his cooperation with the coalition’s haredi partners, saying the alliance between the predominantly Religious Zionist Jewish Home and the haredi factions was mutually beneficial.

“My alliance with Minister Naftali Bennett is one my greatest accomplishments this year, benefiting both the haredi community and the ,settlements,,” Litzman said in a Besheva interview on Tuesday.

“[Bennett] is a great education minister who knows the job and helps us whenever we need it. His place is with us. I think that the next haredi coalition will have to include the Jewish Home,” Litzman continued.

While Bennett allied himself with Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid during the 2013 election, and enabled Lapid to press his demand that Netanyahu’s coalition government exclude the haredi factions and present the second Draft Law targeting haredi yeshiva students, Lapid wanted to add criminal punishments for haredi draft evaders to the law, leading Bennett to distance himself from the Yesh Atid leader in favor of closer ties with the UTJ party.

Litzman also noted Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel’s (Jewish Home) involvement with haredi leaders to combat Shabbat desecration by the Infrastructure Ministry and efforts by the Reform Movement to expand the mixed-prayer space at the Western Wall.

“Minister Uri Ariel is present at every meeting [of UTJ’s religious council] regarding Shabbat and the Western Wall.”