UTJ: Partnership with Netanyahu will continue

United Torah Judaism makes clear that contrary to reports, its political partnership with the Likud will continue even after the elections.

Ben Ariel, Canada ,

Members of United Torah Judaism
Members of United Torah Judaism
Hezki Baruch

In light of reports about contacts between senior members of the United Torah Judaism party and the chairman of the Blue and White party, Benny Gantz, UTJ officially announced on Friday that its political partnership with the Likud will continue even after the elections.

"Contrary to the various reports, the partnership with the Likud and Netanyahu will continue even after the upcoming elections," said the short message, which sought to put an end to the various speculations on the issue.

On Thursday, journalist Ben Caspit reported in the Maariv newspaper that prior to the dissolution of the Knesset two weeks ago, UTJ officials were in contact with Blue and White leaders in an attempt to prevent new elections from being called.

The person behind the idea, according to the report, is very close to the leadership of one of the leading Hasidic sects of United Torah Judaism, though not the Gur Hasidim. The person in question is not haredi, Caspit wrote, but received permission from the Rebbe of that Hasidic sect to make the appeal to Blue and White.

"The idea was that Benny Gantz would send a letter in which he adopted the 'Netanyahu compromise' as to the Draft Law. The letter would be a guarantee that Blue and White is willing to go with the haredim on this issue and they will oppose the dissolution of the Knesset,” wrote Caspit.

"The haredim wanted to receive a letter or an open statement from Gantz. The letter was supposed to be a ‘deposit’ that would ensure that Blue and White would not change its mind after the Knesset vote. Another insistence on their part was that Yair Lapid would also sign this letter. ‘You will never get a signature from Yair,’ one person told the mediator,” continued Caspit.

The contacts reportedly exploded because of the refusal of Blue and White, which feared the move was a spin and was afraid of losing votes to Avigor Liberman and damaging Lapid's close relationship with the Yisrael Beytenu leader.

The weekly news magazine Mishpacha also reported that the haredi factions are conducting talks with Benny Gantz and asking him to break the partnership with Yair Lapid.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)