'We won't join coalition with Lapid - absolutely no way'

'We're backing Bibi.' Senior haredi lawmakers rule out joining coalition led by Blue and White party of Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yaakov Litzman
Yaakov Litzman
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

The United Torah Judaism party will not sit in a government with Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, a senior partner of the Blue and White joint list, a senior haredi lawmaker said Sunday afternoon.

Speaking at an event kicking off UTJ’s election campaign, Deputy Health Minister and UTJ chairman Yaakov Litzman ruled out the possibility of joining any governing coalition which includes Yair Lapid.

“We won’t join any government which has Lapid in it, absolutely not,” Litzman said. “A person who smears us, who was Finance Minister for two years, who took our money and gave nothing to the healthcare system.”

MK Moshe Gafni, who chairs the powerful Knesset finance committee, said the UTJ would only back a government led by Netanyahu.

“We’re going with Bibi Netanyahu. I suggest you stop asking us these kinds of questions.”

While some haredi lawmakers had previously expressed a willingness to consider supporting a coalition led by Israel Resilience chief Benny Gantz, Gantz’s alliance with Lapid appears to have effectively removed the possibility of haredi support for a Gantz-led coalition.

Last Thursday morning, Gantz’s Israel Resilience party and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid formed an alliance, dubbed the Blue and White party. The new list is currently polling in the mid-30s – several seats higher than the Likud.

It is unclear, however, if the new party will be able to form a governing majority in the new Knesset without the backing of haredi lawmakers.