United Torah Judaism is planning a mass meeting at the Binyanei HaUma convention center in Yerushalayim this Thursday, postponed from last Thursday due to the massive storm. With drafting of yeshivah students still on the national agenda, and heavy budget cuts anticipated after the announcement of a 39 billion shekel deficit, UTJ leaders are working all-out to mobilize support, lest chareidi representation in the Knesset be weakened.
UTJ MK Rabbi Yisrael Eichler wrote in an op-ed in Monday’s Hamodia (Hebrew edition) that whereas previous election battles were conducted over the Jewish character of the state, everything has changed.
“The battle is for our home…If we don’t defeat the government decrees, chareidim will have nowhere to live, and nowhere in the country to educate our children according to the Torah,” he warned.
“Nor will the struggle cease on the day after the elections. But the elections will determine whether the struggle will continue with parliamentary weapons in the Knesset and coalition politics, or in the streets…If we fail in the elections, the government will be made up of our enemies who seek to close the yeshivos and kollelim, not with padlocks but with financial and personal sanctions.”
Rabbi Eichler noted that some on both sides would welcome confrontations in the streets, but that Gedolei Yisrael seek to preserve the peace and stability which will allow Torah study in Israel to continue undisturbed.