A Chareidi Coalition May be a Far Off Dream


Following the general elections, party leaders are abuzz with meetings and discussing backroom deals as they are about to embark on coalition talks with representatives of the Likud/Beitenu list. While President Shimon Peres must meet with the party representatives and assign the presidential mandate to attempt to form a coalition, it is all but certain that the mandate will be given to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Shortly after the election results were known, Shas’ Eli Yishai praised the victory and exclaimed “There will be no coalition without Shas”. While Yishai’s statement is a noble gesture, such a scenario is highly unlikely based on current realities.

The major players; Yesh Atid and Bayit HaYehudi have already stated the ‘share the burden’ issue is a deal-breaker for them, and unless Mr. Netanyahu commits to drafting chareidim into the IDF or a national service, they will not enter a coalition.

Nevertheless, there are the optimists who feel that while for Lapid there is no hope of negotiating this precious value, Bayit HaYehudi might be persuaded to enter such an agreement, and that would lay the groundwork for a right-wing chareidi coalition. Likud (31), Bayit HaYehudi (11), Shas (11), Yahadut Hatorah (7), totally exactly 60, which is almost but not quite a majority. Therefore, a coalition that flies the flag of the Bnei Torah tzibur remaining in yeshivos is appearing unlikely, even bleak according to many. Therefore the challenge facing the chareidi tzibur will prove a formidable one even for the most seasoned chareidi politician, including Yahadut Hatorah veteran MKs Gafne, Litzman, Moses, Maklev and Eichler.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. The important issue is that all the remaining parties (except for the Arab parties) will insist on conscription of all 18-21 haredim, as well as in defunding the hareidim.

    They might compromise, for example, in expanding hareidi-only units and creating hareidi-hesder programs, agreeing to fund hareidi veterans learning in yeshiva, and in exempting (but not funding) those who refuse to serve on any “religious” reason (including those who feel the medinah is treff).

    The danger is that the hilonim will run conscription in a manner that will lead to widespread acts of civil disobience, refusals of individual soldiers to obey order that are contrary to halacha, and a willingness by anti-zionist hareidi (i.e. those who feel that zionism is against Torah) to appeal to international human rights groups for protection from religious persecution, and possibly to seek asylum in other countries as refugees (including in some Muslim countries would who see this as a great propaganda victory – imagine the impact of a group of anti-zionist Jews living and learning peacefully in Gaza or Hevron implying that the was is the fault of the zionists since afterall, frummies have no issues being friends with goyim).

    This is probably the most serious crisis in Israeli history. The whole zionist enterprise is more threatened now than it ever was, even in 1948 or 1967 (where the worst that would have happened would have been the need for outsiders to rescue them and set up UN trust territory).

  2. anti-zionist hareidi (i.e. those who feel that zionism is against Torah) to appeal to international human rights groups for protection from religious persecution

    The same guys who met with the Iranian PM and who burn flags in every venue (even on Shabbos kodesh) or who own “authentic kanoisi” behavior. These types who destroyed property of Yad Vshem, or threw over ballot boxes or harass those who don’t follow me and my way…will always be the fifth column and destroyers of Toras hashem.

  3. The article smacks of scare mongering, is this an opinion piece? Why isn’t it marked as such?

    I disagree with all of the points raised in the article for reasons I’ve posted on other articles. There’s no reason to suggest that Lapid will not compromise on the draft issue any more than he will compromise on the issue of talks with the PA (another condition he has set for entering a coalition).

    There’s also no reason to suggest at present that a non-hareidi government will be formed when;
    1. Bibi is against it.
    2. Sharon did it in 2003 with Shinui and it failed to deliver.
    3. There’s little evidence Likud wants Bennett in a coalition, especially given international pressure.

    Could YWN kindly try providing something a little more open-minded, or positive? These sorts of articles only help people like Akuperma who look for fault in the medinah and blow it completely out of proportion. Riots? Jail time? International courts? Nonsense.

  4. Akuperma writes: “This is probably the most serious crisis in Israeli history. The whole zionist enterprise is more threatened now than it ever was….” In his haste to tackle the issues constructively, he erroneously referred to hareidi history as “Israeli history” and the hareidi enterprise as the “zionist enterprise.”
    Just tryin’ to be helpful…

  5. Remember that if a rav or yeshiva is pro-zionist, it would consider it an honor and privilege to serve in the IDF. Those yeshivos have been sending their talmidim to the army for generations. Many have chose to be Rodfei Shalom – they accept zionist money (unlike the fanatical anti-zionists) and tell their students to claim an exemption from the army based on learning full time. Many have become quite addicted to zionist money (as is true in all societies – government welfare breeds dependancy).

    When the goverment starts rounding up yeshiva students and telling them to eat food of questionable kashruth (or will they allow hareidi control of army kitchens?), following questionable heterim on halachic matters (or will they allow hareidi conscripts to follow their own rabbanim rather than the civil service rabbis) there will be problems. And these are only ones who think that zionism is a good thing to being with, and are happy to get money from the medinah.

    If the Eidas hareidos is only 10% of the “hareidi” world, that means they will be trying to draft thousands or perhaps even tens of thousands of people who will not trust any hecksher from a rabbi in the pay of the zionist state, will trust any a heter from any rabbi in the pay of the government, and who only demand to be let alone.

    Neturei Karta has a chance to grow from a few dozen self-proclaimed fanatics whose major effort is to prove they really exist, to a major protest movement. Over the last 65 years the zionists have managed to largely assimilate the hareidim into the zionist world – money does that. Unless they exempt anyone willing to live without zionist money, they will end up un-doing their work of the 65 years.

  6. To #1:

    “Learning & living piecefully in Gaza”

    Reb Asher Aaron, I think that is a bit of a stretch. You don’t really believe that. Come on.

  7. “joe Yeshivish” – the Palestinian’s line is that they were living peacfully with the Jews (a bit of a fib, but not a total lie) until the zionists came along and picked a fight. What better way to undermine Israel’s claim to being a refuge for Jews than to grant asylum to Jewish refugees? What better way to “prove” their argument that they are opposed only to zionism, not Judaism.

    The Israelis best hope is Arab stupidity, for without it, they are in big trouble.

  8. don’t worry, the IDF hates the charadim and is more against having them in than the charadim are frightened that perhaps they will be forced to serve.

  9. Akuperma – I don’t think you quite understand how things work in Eretz Yisrael.

    First of all a history lesson: In 2003 Tommy Lapid’s Shinui won 15 seats and joined an all secular coalition led by Ariel Sharon. Their platforms were: end Yeshiva payments, enlist hareidim and enforce things like civil marriages, transport on Shabbos etc. None of these things actually happened and not long after, Sharon was forced to bring in the hareidim.

    Fast forward to today and you have Bibi who openly admits he does not want a situation similar to Sharon (no hareidi m in government). He wants as broad a coalition as possible, so the 18 seats the hareidim have are invaluable. Keep in mind that Livni has stated she will not join a coalition that has Bennett, so there’s one of the two of them gone. For a healthy majority Bibi needs the hareidim. Lapid for his part, knows his 4 year progressive recruitment plan is unworkable (as has been stated many times by Likud) and a compromise will be worked out.

    Even more strange is how you seem to have missed the essence of hareidi life in Israel. Who are these people who accept money from the medinah, and why do they do it? Because Gedolei Yisrael have willed it so.
    The hareidi attachment to Eretz Yisrael and yes, even Medinas Yisrael, is all but unbreakable. Shas is an official Zionist party (!) and Yahadut Hatorah isn’t that far away. You can say support for these parties will drop, but not as long as Maran Ovadia Yosef and Rav Shteinman/Gerrer Rebbe etc are supporting them.

    There will be very little disobedience. I highly doubt your doomsday prophecy will bear fruit because ein od milvado, but even if it does, hareidim in Eretz Yisrael will do what they always do: Live with it.

  10. from the dawn of history until today, it’s been the goyim who have been pushing us against the wall, until we do teshuva
    today a new era has been ushered in, as our own brethren (chiloni, but still yidden) are pushing us