Gafni criticizes Likud MKs for boycotting Knesset committee meetings

UTJ MK Moshe Gafni at a Degel HaTorah party conference in Bnei Brak, July 26, 2022. (Courtesy)
UTJ MK Moshe Gafni at a Degel HaTorah party conference in Bnei Brak, July 26, 2022. (Courtesy)

United Torah Judaism leader MK Moshe Gafni offers implicit criticism of many in the allied Likud party for boycotting Knesset committee hearings.

“If we would have been present in all the committees and embarrassed them the way we did successfully in the Knesset plenum, we would already be after an election with a stable right-wing government,” Gafni says at a faction meeting in Bnei Brak of his Degel HaTorah party — one of two groups that make up UTJ.

UTJ has been loyal to opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu who urged his MKs to boycott committee meetings led by the outgoing coalition.

Degel HaTorah and Agudat Yisrael are currently in negotiations to continue running together as UTJ, as they have done for the past 30 years, amid reports of sharp disputes.

Gafni says that the disagreements between the factions are “fundamental” and based on opposition to some in the Hasidic Agudat Yisrael agreeing to expand secular subjects taught in their schools — something Degel HaTorah spiritual leader Rabbi Gershon Edelstein fiercely opposes.

“It can’t be that we will get a direct order from our rebbe, Rabbi Edelstein, on fundamental issues like education, enlistment and others, and then come to the faction meeting and hear that someone decided otherwise — and I don’t even know where it came from,” Gafni says. “It won’t happen anymore.”

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