MK Moshe Gafni
MK Moshe Gafni Israel news photo: Flash 90

Member of Knesset Moshe Gafni of the hareidi-religious Yahadut Hatorah (Gimmel) party responded Tuesday to Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s criticism Monday of hareidi-religious politicians.

In a speech from the Knesset podium, Lapid argued that hareidi MKs had played a part in running up the deficit, and said, “The state is sick of taking orders from you… You aren’t registered as the rightful owners of the government.”

“Lapid came up with a media spin that unfortunately worked for him,” Gafni said, speaking to Arutz Sheva.

“Lapid was in Knesset [Monday] to talk for the first time about the financial cuts and cuts to social welfare that his ministry is going to impose on the citizens of Israel. He understood that both the Knesset and the media are very critical of him, so he decided to attack me and the hareidi community, and instead of talking about budget cuts he talked about hareidi Jews,” he continued.

“I had a personal conversation with Lapid,” Gafni revealed. “I told him that we will not allow him to dodge the problems posed by the budget cuts.”

“Lapid committed to a different kind of politics and a different economic approach,” he added. “We will hold the discussion and will not let Lapid make it personal.”

Gafni noted that he has no problem with the Lapid’s party, Yesh Atid. “The hatred of hareidi Jews does not come from Yesh Atid, but from Lapid himself,” he said.

“Those who heard the tone and the words yesterday were reminded of a different man, who was once the Justice Minister, and who spoke the same way,” he added, referring to Lapid’s father, the late Tommy Lapid, a journalist-turned-politician who led the secular Shinui party. Tommy Lapid strongly opposed the hareidi-religious Knesset factions.

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