Shas chief Aryeh Deri (l), UTJ chief Yaakov Litzman (r)
Shas chief Aryeh Deri (l), UTJ chief Yaakov Litzman (r) Flash 90

Haredi lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and are quietly shifting their support to his coalition partner and erstwhile rival, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, Israel Hayom reported.

Citing haredi MKs who spoke off the record, the report claimed that haredi lawmakers vented their frustrations regarding Netanyahu’s recent behavior. In addition, over the past two weeks, haredi lawmakers have begun to shift their support to senior Blue and White officials include Alternate PM Benny Gantz, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn.

“There is a new relationship with Benny Gantz, and it is good,” United Torah Judaism officials said. “Business is ticking along. It started with meetings on the budget, and continued on with agreements on issues like yeshivas and synagogues during the coronavirus crisis.”

Haredi lawmakers “bills were passed by Nissenkorn’s committee [the Minister Committee for Legislation].”

The tensions have increased, according to the report, after haredi lawmaker accused Netanyahu of not acting transparently with his coalition partner, Blue and White, threatening the stability of the coalition government.

These frustrations boiled over earlier this week, when the Likud backed a controversial bill pushed by the Opposition party Yamina which would launch a parliamentary probe into judges’ alleged conflicts of interest.

The move was strongly opposed by the Blue and White party, and failed in a Knesset vote.

“People who heard [UTJ MK Moshe] Gafni and [Shas chief Aryeh] Deri talking over the last two days never heard them speak this way about Netanyahu in the past 10 years,” UTJ officials said. “Now, all of the sudden, we hear them using expressions like ‘he’s lost it’.”

“The haredi pubic is in dire straits. While everyone is suffering from the coronavirus pandemic, the haredim are suffering even more. The feeling is that Netanyahu’s governance hasn’t kept the government stable, actually it’s done the opposite.”

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