Not just that he was recorded saying things he would prefer the tzibur not hear, but Degel Hatorah chairman, MK Moshe Gafne, was aired on the KAN News nightly news, in which millions heard him lash out against the Moetzas Gedolei Torah of Agudas Yisrael and Deputy Minister Yaakov Litzman. He blames them both for sabotaging the new draft law.
The report begins with Gafne’s words in which he quotes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s anger towards Litzman, stating, “What did Netanyahu say to Litzman? He said, ‘In the beginning your brought me the decision’ – I was there, and this was the question. ‘There was a decision by the Torah Council [of Agudas Yisrael] that if the [draft] law was not passed by the end of the Knesset summer session, you are leaving [the coalition]. Then there was a decision of the [Agudas Yisrael] Torah Council that if the law is passed by the end of the session, you are leaving. So tell me what to do’”.
Gafne then explained Degel’s position was to have the bill passed as quickly as possible to keep the coalition viable, and then to amend it. He then continued with an assault against the Agudas Yisrael Torah Council, as the admorim were in no hurry for the bill to pass into law.
“That Council (Agudas Yisrael) come and what did you say, that we must amend the [daft] law. What do you want amended? We amended it. It there still something to change and if so, it will be changed. We have a partner [in the coalition] and we don’t look to argue with them too much, certainly when they have the awareness this (the draft law) is the most important thing to us (chareidi tzibur). If not, its impossible and then Litzman says there is no forum (Agudah Council) now who can make the required decisions.
“The very same forum which decided who will be the candidate in the Jerusalem mayoral race. The same forum can make a decision regarding many other maters. If there is no forum, then there is no law.”
Gafne then explains that as a result, they are in the hands of the High Court of Justice, which will decide the fate of bnei yeshivos vis-à-vis the IDF draft. He adds that the rabbonim of Degel will not permit them to argue with the rabbonim of Agudas Yisrael.
“We now sit and wait to see what will be. Aleph, what will the High Court say. Now, with our own hands we have placed ourselves before a decision of the High Court. We could have completed this. There is still what to fix and we would fix (amend) it. If we could not change it, then we too would have opposed [the daft law]. So now we wait and wait. Don’t know: Either there will be elections and I do not know what type of government there will be. Or yes or no. The High Court will extend – then the date [for legislating a new law] will be extended. If it is not extended, there will not be an extension and we will be in September, and then [we will be classified as being] criminal [as the current draft law will have expired]. It is not in our hands because the Gedolim (Degel rabbonim) would not permit us to make a machlokes, so what do we do?”
At present, the chareidi parties sit and wait for the High Court, hoping for an extension to the date a new law must be legislated. If this does not occur, we can count on accusations and counter accusations between Gafne and Litzman.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)