As Usual, Porush & Litzman, Old Political Nemesis, Exchange Blows Before Elections


It’s really old news repeating itself, that ahead of national or municipal elections, Deputy Ministers Meir Porush of the Shlomei Emunim faction of Agudas Yisrael, and Yaakov Litzman, representing the Gerrer Chassidus in Agudas Yisrael, are exchanging blows. This time in the context up the upcoming municipal elections, efforts to strike deals with the litvish Degel Hatorah faction and the Beit Shemesh race.

During a meeting of Agudas Yisrael’s Committee of Eight, with both of the above-mentioned individuals serving on it, they began the exchange of accusations and cross-accusations surrounding the Beit Shemesh elections.

The unfriendly exchange was in Yiddish, as it was stated in the agreement between Degel Hatorah and Shlomei Emunim; the incumbent, Shas Mayor Moshe Abutbul will be backed by Degel in his reelection bid and in the next elections, in 5784, the slot will go to Shlomei Emunim.

Litzman began, and is quoted having said, “I object to the agreement. You lied to me saying there was no agreement with Degel Hatorah. You lied to me eight months ago regarding an agreement with Degel Hatorah [back in 2013], and later on it became clear that you went with Degel in the Beit Shemesh elections.

You closed with Abutbul without consulting with us and without convening the Committee of Eight.

I only closed [a deal] with Abutbul after it became clear you closed [a deal] with Degel.

At the end of their exchange of accusations, Litzman asked that he, and not Porush, finalize the deal with Degel Hatorah. In his words, after the decision to go united, with Agudas Yisrael, there is no reason that Litzman will not back the agreement.

Porush calmed his colleague down, clarifying that the mayoral slot in the 5784 elections will not be given to ‘Shlomei Emunim’ but it will be given to ‘Agudas Yisrael’, and at the moment of truth, the identity of the candidate will be decided upon.

The committee is composed of Deputy Ministers Yaakov Litzman (Gur) and Meir Porush (Shlomei Emunim), Agudas CEO Yosel Kopparberg, Bnei Brak Mayor Chanoch Zeibert (Gerre), Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Yossi Deutsch (Shlomei Emunim), MK Yisrael Eichler (Belz), Shmelka Halpert (Vishnitz), Yaakov Tessler (Vishnitz) and askan Reuven Breish (Belz).

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)