New UTJ chief downplays haredi alliance with Netanyahu

Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni offers tepid support for Netanyahu, says rabbis must decide who UTJ will back as premier.

Tags: Moshe Gafni
David Rosenberg ,

Moshe Gafni
Moshe Gafni
Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The United Torah Judaism party’s new chairman appeared to downplay support for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ahead of the elections to the 24th Knesset, saying that the party’s rabbis would have to decide on which candidate to endorse for the premiership.

Speaking with Channel 12 Sunday evening, MK Moshe Gafni, who serves as chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee and recently replaced Yaakov Litzman as chief of the UTJ, expressed lukewarm support for Netanyahu, refusing to give an unequivocal endorsement of the prime minister.

“It looks like we’re going to go with Netanyahu, it looks like – I say that with reservations. With us, we need to bring the facts to our rabbis. In any event, things are different from how they were in the previous elections.”

Gafni refused to rule out the possibility of sitting in a government with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, but said that UTJ would not serve in a government alongside Avidgor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu.