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)