Rabbi Litzman: Lapid Has Infected Gantz With His Anti-Semitism

Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz may have been a decent individual at one time, but hanging around with Yair Lapid has ruined him, United Torah Judaism faction leader Rabbi Yaakov Litzman said Thursday. Rabbi Litzman made the remarks on Reshet Bet, after Gantz had said in an interview just a few minutes earlier that he was determined to form a government without the help of chareidim.

Gantz, in his remarks to Reshet Bet, outlined who would and would not be members of his government. “Balad [the United Arab List] is certainly out, as are extremists like Betzalel Smotrich [Yemina]. Using racism as a policy position is unacceptable to me as a Jew.” As far as chareidim are concerned, Gantz said he had nothing against them personally, but they did not fit his aspirations for good government. “It’s time to let the [secular] majority be the majority,” he said. “They have two very respectable parties, but they are a minority.”

Comments like that show the true face of the Blue and White leader, Rabbi Litzman said. “Until yesterday,” after he had said at an election rally that he would ban chareidim from his government, “I restrained myself from criticizing Gantz altogether, saying that we could not sit in a government with Yair Lapid, who hates religion,” thus implying that if Gantz were to dump Lapid, his party could work with Blue and White.

“I take it back,” Rabbi Litzman said. “His actions and statements are too extremist. Lapid is apparently a communicable disease, and he has infected Gantz” with his hatred of chareidim. “Criticism is fine, but anti-Semitism is something else, and someone who hates religion is anti-Semitic. I will not retract that statement,” he added.