Report: UTJ Party Discussed Supporting Other PM Candidates

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin consults with the United Torah Judaism delegation, (left to right) MKs Rabbi Moshe Gafni, Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, Uri Maklev and Rabbi Meir Porush. (Mark Neyman/GPO)

United Torah Judaism (UTJ) chairman Moshe Gafni planned on informing President Reuven Rivlin on Monday that he will support other candidates to form a government if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is unable to form a coalition, UTJ sources told Kan News.

Ultimately, Netanyahu associates convinced Gafni to recommend Netanyahu without any further statements.

A Kan News report earlier this week said that the UTJ party members rejected a proposal offered to them to join a government headed by Yamina leader Naftali Bennett, without Yisrael Beiteinu or Meretz, and supported on the outside by the Arab parties.

The coalition would have been comprised of Yamina, the New Hope party, Yesh Atid, Blue and White, Labor, UTJ and Shas.

The Charedi parties refused, saying that they cannot sit with Lapid in the same government, even if he does not head it, due to the fact that his presence would render it impossible for them to finalize agreements on army recruitment, conversion and other issues.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)