What did Tzipi Hotovely say to draw the ire of haredi lawmakers?

Deputy Foreign Minister and Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely rebuked by haredi political leaders after offering political advice to haredi women.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely
Flash 90

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) called on haredi women to vote for the Likud in next month’s Knesset election, arguing that the major haredi factions were ignoring their interests.

Speaking at the We Women conference Sunday in Tel Aviv, Hotovely accused the two major haredi factions – Shas and United Torah Judaism – of ignoring the political positions of female haredi voters, and suggested that the Likud could serve as the home for a new generation of more politically active haredi women.

“The Likud is also the [political] home for the haredi community. There are masses of highly educated [haredi] women. It is unacceptable for their [political] positions to be ignored. You [haredi women] must have representation when it comes to the ballot box.”

“You need to build a political power base which will enable you to enter the major parties. I’m in favor of having that start from the bottom up. Don’t wait for them to open the door for you.”

Hotovely argued that the Likud was the ideal choice for haredi women looking for a political voice, saying that the Likud would protect traditional Jewish values, while its primary competitors, the Blue and White party, would “wage war” on them.

“This coming election is between two options: one which will protect the Jewish character [of the state], and the other which is waging war on the Jewish character. The Status Quo,” on matters of religion and state, “has been eroded over time. We want a state which protects the public sphere, but Yair Lapid and Gantz have said clearly what they want – to bring back the agenda of unraveling the Status Quo.”

“Our coalition talks about Jewish identity. In the Likud, two-thirds identify as traditional, and there are lots of religious people as well – we are a party which has a great deal of respect for Jewish identity. So long as we are behind the wheel, the [state’s] Jewish identity will be preserved.”

Hotovely’s comments drew the ire of the United Torah Judaism party, which claimed the Likud itself was responsible for numerous bills undermining Jewish traditional values.

“We don’t need the Likud to teach us how to respect haredi women, especially when they shut the door on the [religious] women,” the Degel Hatorah faction of UTJ said in a statement. “And how can Hotovely herself, who did positive work, stand by while members of the Likud every week try to pass legislation which stands in contradiction to Jewish tradition?”

MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) echoed his party’s official statement, saying “Every week, Likud MKs were themselves joining efforts to pass legislation undermining the sanctity of the Sabbath or Jewish tradition. How can you say that this is the political home for haredi women, when [Likud MKs] join every attempt to harm [haredi] women, for instance by cutting alimony rates for women or [eliminating] the Tender Years law which gives women [automatic] custody of their children.”