'Lapid has to tone down anti-haredi rhetoric'

Blue & White party's strategic adviser urges Lapid to soften anti-haredi rhetoric, warns he could imperil party's chances of forming gov't.

Haim Lev ,

Blue and White party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid
Blue and White party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid
Flash 90

A senior Blue and White official spoke out Monday against MK Yair Lapid (Blue and White) over his “anti-haredi messages”, which the official warned could sink the party’s chances of forming the next government.

Speaking on Army Radio – Galei Tzahal, Ronen Tzur, Blue and White party chairman MK Benny Gantz’s strategic adviser, urged Lapid to tone down his “anti-haredi” rhetoric, calling Lapid’s comments a threat to the party’s ability to ever form a functioning government.

“The anti-haredi messages are a barrier preventing the Blue and White party from the ever having the ability to form a government,” said Tzur. “If Lapid doesn’t moderate his comments against the haredi public…then the opposition is saying in advance that it has no plans to ever form a government.”

While haredi criticism of the Blue and White party during the previous election cycle was focused on the party’s plan for chairman Benny Gantz to share the premiership with Lapid – rotating after two years – if the party formed a government, Tzur said Lapid’s criticism of the haredi community had become an issue in and of itself.

“It isn’t just a matter of the rotating [premiership], but the campaign as well. It’s also about the agenda, which for all intents and purposes excludes the haredi community from being part of the government. That means were automatically pushing away 16 to 17 mandates and giving them to the Right. Why are we doing that? It is beyond me.”

Tzur went on to suggest that Lapid was the only stumbling block to Blue and White potentially forming an alliance with haredi lawmakers – a necessary step towards forming a government.

“At the end of the day it hurts Gantz, [MK Gabi] Ashkenazi, and [MK Moshe] Yaalon, who aren’t considered beyond the pale by the haredi parties’ leadership.”