Should Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid form the next government, both United Torah Judaism and Shas have announced that they will not be part of it. The announcements came in the wake of the agreement early Thursday that will see the two parties run together.
“Under no conditions will I be part of a Gantz-Lapid government,” said Shas leader Rabbi Aryeh Deri. “Gantz began his campaign with declarations that he would support civil marriages and public transportation on Shabbos, and he has joined with Lapid, who has based his political image on hatred for chareidim. He is in essence a danger to Judaism. We will do everything we can to prevent them from forming a government.”
In a statement, United Torah Judaism also ruled out joining a Gantz-Lapid government. “Lapid has been a failure from all perspectives, including his efforts to decimate the Torah world and strip Israel of its Jewish character. Any connection with him increases the danger to Judaism and to the chareidi public.” MK Rabbi Uri Maklev told Yediot Acharonot Thursday that while Gantz might get more votes overall with his inclusion of Lapid, he was likely to find it much more difficult to form a government, as the chareidi parties would never join a government that included Lapid.
“Gantz has taken a giant step backwards if he had hoped to include the chareidi parties in his government. He has weakened his chances of forming a government,” he said, adding that the move would strengthen the chareidi parties. “No chareidi voter can remain oblivious to all this,” and the union of Gantz and Lapid would be a major incentive to bring chareidi voters out to the polls, Rabbi Maklev added.