Chareidim Fear Bennett May Betray Them


Perhaps it is paranoia or a fear based on Israeli political realities but the chareidi parties, mainly Yahadut Hatorah, fear that Naftali Bennett will enter into a coalition with Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid, and leave the chareidim out in the cold, a member of the opposition.

At the polls indicate Bennett’s party will be the third or even possibly the second largest party, it is increasingly likely that he will find himself in a position of power following the elections. While Bennett says the right thing, talking about a right-wing/chareidi coalition, there is an interview with Kol Chai Radio from about two weeks ago in which he refused to commit to not entering into a coalition with Lapid. It is that interview and the general sense that Bennett may be more comfortable with Lapid than with chareidim that adds to Yahadut Hatorah leaders’ concerns.

Bennett’s response was sane and logical, stating “I don’t rule out anyone or any party for as long as they can live with my principles.”

Interestingly, the chareidim have in the past gone with the left and the right, and the Yahadut Hatorah leaders have stated in this election that they will go with whatever party is willing to do more for its constituents. This may be a responsible approach but while Yahadut Hatorah and Shas refuse to show loyalty to either the left or the right-wing, they expect the Bennetts of the world to declare their loyalty to the chareidim.

So they question remains is how Bennett can betray a partner who is unwilling to commit to Bennett and his party.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. “Betray” implies that Bennett is the leader of the hareidim. He’s from the “Modern Orthodox” with whom the Hareidim have many disagreement ( the modern orthodox prefer Hesder or other army servive, not learning full time – and the Hareidi gadolim tend to be doves who consider peace more important than territory, whereas the Modern Orthodox rabbis tend to be super-hawks).

  2. You make a good point here about the charedi double standard. It should be remembered that Shas voted for the Oslo accords, and Aryeh Deri is presently being sued for this by Geula Hershkowitz. And these 2 headlines recently appeared in the news:
    MK Ben-Ari Warns: Shas will Help Left Form Coalition
    Deri: Shas Joining Left is a ‘Bad Joke’

    B’kitzur, there’s lots of “posturing” going on..I wouldn’t take anything too seriously!

  3. hmmmmmmmmm… The Charadim voted for the expulsion of Aza at the expense of the Datim just for a few extra Kollel Shekels. Have the Charadim done anything to help the Datim when it didn’t benefit the Charadim? Who betrayed who?

    Personally, I would like to see a right-wing/chareidi coalition and labor, Yesh Atid, livni and Kadima as part of the opposition.

    The more likely scenario is Bibi will try to build a left wing coalition without Bennett and the charadim.

    My suggestion is not to vote for Bibi and to vote for Bayit Yehudi, Otzma LeYisrael, or one of the charadi parties. Avoid voting for Shas because Deri will do anything for personal power and money.

  4. “Yahadut Hatorah and Shas refuse to show loyalty to either the left or the right-wing, they expect the Bennetts of the world to declare their loyalty to the chareidim”
    Wouldn’t you agree that TRUST needs to be earned from both sides? Many charedim are right-wing in attitudes towards security, Arab issues and are unhappy with their Charedi parties joining a left-wing coalition. That is another reason that Bayit Yehudi is gaining in numbers!!

  5. A better heading might have been “Chareidim fear that Bennett will undermine them.” Many if not most Hareidi baal ha-battim disagree with the rabbanim’s often stated positions on the importance of peace, or that control over the land of Eretz Yisrael is not a halachic or political priority. If Bennett can find a way to oppose drafting yeshiva students, enable those who want to serve in the IDF to do so without having to give up frumkeit, and can get the hilonim to go along with the deal – Bennett might be in a very strong position to capture much of the hareidi voting population. While a certain percentage of hareidi are loyal followers of their rabbanim, many if not most are baal ha-battim who aren’t willing to compromise Torah for being part of zionist society, but wouldn’t mine being part of the mainstream of Israeli society if that mainstream became frum. Bennett wants to move that mainstream far enough to the right that it will attract hareidim.

  6. @2 Akuperma – Since when were Gedolei Yisrael dovish? Maran Ovadia Yosef is pretty hawkish and last I checked so was Rav Shteinman.

    The issue has nothing to do with land or even left/right. The hareidi parties are right wing and are ALWAYS counted in the right in pre-election tallies etc. The issue is the universal IDF draft and prominence of MO Rabbonim over hareidi Rabbonim in issues such as marriage etc.

    The fear is that Bennett will “betray” the hareidi parties in favor of these things. The fear is certainly not ungrounded either as at the very least you can expect Lapid to be fully on board with that and even quite content to put aside the palestinian issue to do so. Also it suits Leiberman perfectly too.

  7. If the Rabbanim were hawkish, they would insist on commanding the army. The demands would be for hareidi hesder yeshivos, and for having all IDF units structured so that hareidim could serve without restriction or discrimination. While those who prefer an Islamic state to a secular zionist one are clearly a small minority, the hareidi rabbanim have made a point of showing non-support for the zionist dream of conquering and expelling the Muslims from Eretz Yisrael.

    The hareidi gadolim have always made it clear that peace is more important than land. They have supported warfare only if it was a matter of pikuach nefesh and/or self-defense, never for the sake on conquest. By way of contrast the “modern” rabbanimn believe there is a duty to conquer all of Eretz Yisrael and are willing compromise halacha for this.

  8. Bennett and Yair Lapid? Come now, you must be detached from reality. And if Lapid would join Bibi’s government, it would only be for ‘social issues’ because otherwise Bennett would leave if Lapid were to force Bibi to give up land.
    As for gelt for yeshivas, there is nothing to worry about, the government will pay the religious plenty to join them and as for the draft, Bibi is against drafting 20,000 yeshiva boys, he knows the IDF is not ready to handle such a large number of religious people.

  9. #7 Breslever:
    Either you are a newcomer to Israeli politics or really not in the know.
    Check out the positions of the Charedei parties, particularly Yahadut Hatorah and you will see a pacifist attitude towards (Eastern) Yerushalayim and Yehuda and Shomron. Shas has shown somewhat of a hawkish view under ELI YISHEI (even though one of Rav Yosef’s sons is completely right wing). Deri does not share that viewpoint at all. The Charedi parties have & will join with a Left Coalition if it benefits their coffeers. This pacifist attitude puts many Charedim at odds with their own party of Yahadut Hatorah. Lapid and Leiberman share a hawkish attitude towards Arabs also.

  10. #8 Akuperma – I think it’s just our definitions of hawkish that are at odds. Maran Yosef for example was vehemently opposed to the disengagement and has spoken out many times against removing Jews from their homes anywhere, even the hilltop youth. IMO that’s pretty hawkish, but I can see your point, certainly the primary issue is halacha.

    I also agree somewhat re; the IDF. The Lubavitcher Rebbe ruled that defending Israel’s borders was pikuach nefesh and as the shulchan aruch says it is the b’nei Torah who should be the first to fulfill this mitzvah. Of course, Torah study itself helps defend Israel’s borders, so there should be a balance.

    #10 Zionflag – It’s all relative, however keep in mind that Shas isn’t actually under Deri (or Yishai for that matter) but Maran Yosef. Same too with Yahadut Hatorah, they will follow the Gedolim first and foremost.

    The problem is that the hareidi tzibur have several difficulties to face that monopolize other issues. There’s an on-going anti-Torah war being waged by Lapid and Leiberman, backed to the hilt by the reform. Speaking of the reform, they seem determined to torpedo any opportunities to solve the housing shortages for hareidim too, so there’s that. There’s also the draft plans, which will only strengthen the hand of our anti-medinah minority because the IDF simply doesn’t have the infrastructure to accommodate a mehadrin life.

    If not for these things, you would be hearing a lot more noise from Yahadut Hatorah and Shas on Yehuda/Shomron I think.

  11. “If not for these things, you would be hearing a lot more noise from Yahadut Hatorah and Shas on Yehuda/Shomron I think”.

    You are a positive person which is always an asset.
    The Charedi parties NEVER spoke for Yehuda/Shomron/Gaza ever. Not even for the Emanuel Kehilla. When the draft and housing was less of a problem, there was never a positive statement from UTJ about living beyond the Green Line. When Betar and Kiryat Sefer became a reality a little more leeway was given. The only three Gedolim who ventured out of the mold were the Bostoner Rebbe zt”l, the Sagidura Rebbe zt”l and the Belzer Rebbe shlita, when it came to embracing residents of Yehuda,Shomron and Gaza. Facts are facts (even if we dont like them)

    Regarding SHAS, when Yishai brings the facts to Chacham Ovadia’s table they sound, smell and look different than when Deri does…