MK Litzman: 'Bennett is Reform, I won't shake his hand'

MK Yakov Litzman says coalition is 'embarrassment,' 'shameful,' says he doesn't regret calling PM Naftali Bennett a 'Reform' Jew.

Ben Shaul ,

Yakov Litzman
Yakov Litzman
Flash 90

Two weeks after he called Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett a "Reform Jew," MK Yakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) does not regret his words.

"I made a mistake," Litzman told Kikar Hashabbat. "I made a mistake in that when Bennett gave me his hand, when once again he would make this mistake of going with [Yesh Atid Chairman MK Yair] Lapid, like he told me, 'I'm the first one to work with him, at a time when others didn't.' I think that it's an embarrassment and shameful to sit in a coalition such as this."

Litzman added that he does not plan to cooperate with the coalition behind the scenes.

"I don't think that what's forbidden to do in public is permissible to do in secret," he said. "What's not allowed is not allowed - not in public and not quietly. I say out loud what I have to say about other people - for better or for worse."

Explaining that Bennett and Lapid are the same, Litzman said: "Lapid wants public transportation on Shabbat (the Sabbath) - so do you. Lapid wants Reform conversions? So do you. Lapid wants civil marriage? So do you. What's the difference between you? The fact that you wear a small kippah (skullcap)? So take it off. That's what I said, and I stand by every word that I said. It's a fact that even now, he hides his small kippah."

When asked if he believes Bennett is truly Reform, he said, "Yes, I said that."

When asked if he would greet MK Gilad Kariv (Labor), a Reform "rabbi," in the halls of the Knesset, Litzman said: "Greet him? Greet him? You've gone completely mad."

Later, he was asked if his policy of ignoring people extended to Bennett as well. To this Litzman said, "Definitely yes. Yes. It's simple. I don't understand the question at all."



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