Haredi female MK: I'm not defecting to the Likud

Omer Yankelevich, a haredi Blue and White MK says that she does not represent the haredi sector.

Haim Lev ,

Omer Yankelevich
Omer Yankelevich
Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Haredi MK Omer Yankelevich (Blue and White) clarified on Friday that she never met with Natan Eshel and has no intention of deserting Blue and White to join the Likud.

"I won't talk to him, I don't know him, I never spoke to him," Yankelowitz said in an interview with Yediot Ahronot. "Eshel's creative efforts to convince me to defect to the Likud have no chance of happening."

Yankelevich said she hasn't been promised that she would be able to vote on matters of religion and state according to her conscience. "We've had deep discussions about values, religion and faith and the basis of our connection is our respect for the faith and values ​​of each other. Obviously, no one expects me to vote contrary to my beliefs, values, principles and conscience. At the same time, if a problem arises, everything will be discussed internally until we reach an agreement."

She later clarified that she doesn't represent the haredi sector, which she said did not elect her. "I come from the haredi public and I respect its representatives but I wasn't elected by this public and my aspiration is to work for all citizens of the State of Israel. I feel the weight on my shoulders of serving every citizen since the swearing-in."

"I'm not a representative of the haredim. I wasn't sent on their behalf, I didn't pretend to represent them and I have no mandate to do so from the rabbis. I'm a social activist who works for marginalized populations among all the citizens of the country. As a carrier of this flag, a general party is actually a more appropriate platform than a sectorial party."

Asked about the solution to the draft crisis, she said that "In my opinion, Torah study is a supreme value that has protected us as a people for thousands of years. Haredi recruitment is a solvable issue but it's important to resolve this discourse by agreement, not by coercion that creates backlash and damage."

On joining politics, she said that she did so in consultation with rabbis. "There are rabbis who supported me along the way and I continue to consult with them, but I won't name them in order to preserve their privacy. I prefer not to expose them to pressure."

Yankelevich concluded by saying, "I believe in Gantz's way, which creates a unifying discourse rather than a polarizing one. I trust Gantz's judgment and I respect his choices."