‘Time for a joint haredi list’ – Arutz Sheva

Posted By on August 23, 2017

Haredi unity? Ministers Litzman and Deri

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Debates within the United Torah Judaism party over the division of power and mutual recriminations over the poor performance of haredi factions in the 2015 election continued last week, as representatives of Shas and UTJ discussed the future of haredi politics at a gathering in Yeshivat Ohr Yisrael in Netanya.

The UTJ, which is a joint list of the two Ashkenazi haredi factions including the non-Hasidic Degel Hatorah and Hasidic Agudat Yisrael, has been wracked by internal strife since its establishment ahead of the 1992 election over the division of Knesset seats.

The 2015 election, which brought the haredi parties to their lowest point since 1992, with just 13 seats between UTJ and Shas, has only increased the turmoil within the two parties.

While the two parties held a combined 18 seats in the previous Knesset, Shas lost four seats in 2015 mostly to the Yahad party, led by ex-Shas chief Eli Yishai. An internal split with UTJ also cost the party a seat, attributed primarily to the refusal of the new Bnei Torah faction within Degel to back UTJ.

With the 2015 election in mind, one senior UTJ MK from the Agudat Yisrael faction has proposed a grand union a single, united haredi party combining Shas, Degel Hatorah, and Agudat Yisrael.

Modeled after the Joint List party, which unified the three Arab parties into a single list ahead of the 2015 election, Eichler suggested a united haredi party would maximize the communitys Knesset representation, and ease disputes over the allocation of seats.

At last weeks panel discussion at Ohr Yisrael, Eichler broached the idea of a joint haredi list.

People have asked me Why are there so many disputes between the haredi MKs; Degel and Aguda why are you dividing the haredi public? I said that the good thing about the haredi parties is that theyre like kindergarten students, who fight and argue and bicker, but the moment the rabbi steps into the room, theyre quiet. We have a council of Torah sages, and they wont let Degel Hatorah and Agudat Yisrael split up again.

Ive been hoping for many years now, that just like the Joint Arab List bearing in mind all the differences between them and us, and they are many knew how to unite despite their [ideological] differences and the Arabs fight amongst themselves so too Shas and the UTJ need to unite.

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'Time for a joint haredi list' - Arutz Sheva

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