Gantz trying to woo the haredim?

Blue and White chairman tells haredim that MK Lapid 'doesn't hate haredim,' urges not ruling anyone out, says leadership should stay haredi.

Michal Levi ,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Flash 90

Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz held a meeting last week in Bnei Brak, trying to convince the haredim not to rule out forming a coalition with his party, the Kav Ha'itonot newspaper reported Wednesday morning.

"I'm telling you, [Blue and White leader MK] Yair Lapid is not anti-haredi, he's not anti-Jewish, he doesn't make generalizations or depict haredim as parasites. His worldview is secular, straight, and deep - in his opinion. He doesn't hate you, everyone has his shades. I suggest we all avoid ruling anyone out."

According to the report, Gantz added that "just like the haredim want me to accept them, and I accept them, I want them to accept other people's liberal values. You cannot say, 'I'm not problematic' while at the same time saying that someone else is. When I was in the army, I encouraged haredi enlistment, I wanted them to come in haredim and leave haredim, I didn't want them to change. I look at the person."

"I tell Yair that everyone who boxes knows that the boxers come close to each other and do two things: 1. They rest a bit from the boxing. 2. The distance is smaller so the boxing hurts less. I think that if we hugged each other as we are today, sitting here, getting to know each other, talking - everything will hurt less."

Regarding the issue of separating religion and state, Gatnz said: "In the past few days, I've busied myself with the question of whether we need to separate religion and state or regulate religion and state. As time passes, I'm starting to think that more and more, the issue is one of regulating religion and state, because at the end of the day we are a Jewish country with Jewish values and a Jewish tradition."

"I believe that the leadership should remain Orthodox. I think that is what will preserve the nation of Israel throughout the years. Do I think that they have exclusivity and there is none other than them? No."