UTJ MKsFlash90

Days before the deadline to submit party lists ahead of the 2021 elections, the Ashkenazic-haredi United Torah Judaism party is threatening to split apart, with its Lithuanian-haredi Degel Hatorah faction warning of a split from the hasidic Agudat Yisrael faction.

A source in Degel Hatorah spoke with Arutz Sheva, explaining the source of the conflict between the two groups.

At the root of the disagreements is the task of Finance Committee chairman, and who the first MK in the party will be.

"[Housing Minister Yakov] Litzman wants the Finance Committee, which right now is in the hands of Moshe Gafni," he explained.

"He is concerned that an indictment may be filed against him, which would prevent him from serving as minister. In addition, Agudat Yisrael's Council of Torah Sages may not allow party members to take positions as ministers again. Therefore, Litzman is trying to muscle his way into the Finance Committee - but we will not allow that."

The source added that according to the agreement, the first place on the joint list this time should go to Degel Hatorah.

"Despite the agreement, in Agudat Yisrael there are internal conflicts with [MKs] Meir Porush and Yisrael Eichler, so this demand has not yet been incorporated into the agreement just yet," he explained.

Degel Hatorah, he said, is worth 170,000 votes, while Agudat Yisrael on its own is not worth more than 80,000 votes. "In addition, due to the internal conflicts within Agudat Yisrael, there is no guarantee that their natural voters will actually vote for them."

"If we don't reach understandings with them in the coming hours, we may end up running alone," he warned.