Haredi MK: I hate the Religious Zionist leadership

Chairman of Finance Committee Moshe Gafni blasts National Religious movement's leaders.

David Rosenberg ,

Moshe Gafni
Moshe Gafni
Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash 90

A senior haredi MK slammed the leadership of the Religious Zionist sector on Tuesday in the Knesset.

According to Shirit Avitan Cohen of Makor Rishon, MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), chairman of the powerful Knesset Finance Committee, told her and a second journalist, Or Izraeli, that he “hates” the leaders of the Religious Zionist community.

“I hate the Religious Zionist leadership,” Gafni is quoted as saying. “It’s not personal. It is just that they’re like the haredim of 50 years ago – they only see themselves.”

The two haredi parties – Shas and Gafni’s own United Torah Judaism – have largely avoided publicly criticizing the Religious Zionist movement since they joined the coalition in 2015, along with the Jewish Home party, a successor to the National Religious Party (NRP).

Both haredi factions hit the Jewish Home party and its chairman, Naftali Bennett, during the previous Netanyahu government from 2013 to 2015, when the Jewish Home joined in forming a coalition with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid faction. The coalition did not include either Shas or UTJ.

Gafni’s comments on Tuesday, which were apparently intended to be off the record, contrast with recent public statements regarding the Religious Zionist movement and the Jewish Home party.