Lapid Warns Against Herzog-Haredi Alliance

Lapid slams 'corrupt political interest groups' behind haredi parties, claims only a strong Yesh Atid can prevent Herzog-haredi government.

Tova Dvorin, | updated: 11:32

Yair Lapid voting
Yair Lapid voting
Ben Kelmer/Flash90

Former Finance Minister and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid is determined to prevent a coalition that includes haredi parties, he stated shortly after voting in the 20th Knesset elections Tuesday. 

"We're here to fight for our country," he stated. "There is a chance that instead of ending today with a government of hope for Israel, we'll end up with Buji [Labor-Hatnua leader Yitzhak Herzog - ed.] and the haredim."

"They will cancel the Equal Burden of Service law [haredi draft - ed.], return the money to the yeshivot [Torah academies] and take public money meant for day care, single mothers and reducing crowding in classrooms and give it to corrupt political interest groups," he continued. "That's why Yesh Atid was founded, that's why we're here, that's why we're voting."

Lapid's shot at Herzog surfaces amid reports that Lapid would be a prime candidate for a leftist coalition, in the event Herzog is given the responsibility by President Reuven Rivlin after the elections to form the next government. 

Herzog has never ruled out running with the haredi parties, but the haredi parties have expressed explicitly that they would not sit with Yesh Atid - in retaliation for Lapid pushing the Equal Burden of Service law through the political system during the 19th Knesset. 

Just last week, United Torah Judaism (UTJ) chairman MK Yaakov Litzman stated that he would even sit with the far-left Meretz party over Lapid. 

"I sat in a coalition with Meretz, Yossi Sarid was Minister of Education and an excellent one at that. It was in 1999 with [Ehud] Barak," he stated to Haaretz

As for Lapid’s party, Litzman declared, "I will not sit with Lapid. Plain and simple."

He dismissed Lapid’s softened positions on the issue of criminal sanctions against haredi draft dodgers, saying, “Lapid is signaling that he wants to sit in the coalition, not with me, but in the coalition. If he claims now that it was not him who demanded the criminal sanctions two years ago but the Attorney General, why he did not say it back then?”

“Take out his quotes from the past two years - how many times did he say he’s demanding [criminal sanctions]? Please, Mr. Lapid, tell the truth,” he continued.

Lapid, for his part, has recently said that his party will not be part of a government that will make changes to the draft law.




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