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UTJ MK Yakov Litzman
Photo: Moti Kimchi
Haredi press: Boycott settlement produce
As ultra-Orthodox parties prepare for life in opposition, sector's journalists launch all-out war against Religious Zionism

As Shas and United Torah Judaism are coming to terms with the fact that they will be left out of the new government, the haredi street is planning its revenge on national-religious Jews.

 

After ultra-Orthodox politicians threatened to support the evacuation of West Bank settlements, the sector's senior journalists have joined the battle with a suggestion of their own: A boycott on settlement products.

 

Political commentator Yaakov Rivlin slammed Habayit Hayehudi 's cooperation with Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party, and even more so – the support party Chairman Naftali Bennett received from religious Zionist rabbis on the matter.

 

In an interview to the Kol Barama radio station, Rivlin said that the money the haredim are left with after the expected cuts in yeshiva budgets should be used to purchase products from within the Green Line only.

 

Rivlin called on the haredi public to "think twice whether we should support those who hate us beyond that line" – and he was not referring to the Palestinians.

 

He expressed his disregard for the settlers, saying that the haredi public must break its alliance with who he referred to as "the territories' real estate dealers" – as a punishment over Habayit Hayehudi's conduct.

 

"There has never been such an act of treason," he said in reference to Bennett's decision to enter the government without the haredi parties.

 

Rabbis accused of 'ulterior motives'

Another senior commentator, Avi Bloom, called on Shas and UTJ representatives to serve as an aggressive social opposition to the government together with the Labor Party, search for inequality in the share of the economic and security-related burden enjoyed by national-religious Jews, and seek to terminate it.

 

As an example, he argued that settlements received budgets and military forces in a disproportional manner considering their size and importance. "It's time for us to stop being suckers," he said.

 

Haredi commentator Yossi Elituv joined the battle with a harsh article against the national-religious public's spiritual leadership, published in the Mishpacha weekly. He wrote that he had no expectations from Bennett, who was not educated "as a person whose life focuses on yeshiva life," but that the rabbis were to blame for the situation.

 

"Most of the frustration and anger is directed at the Religious Zionism leaders… The leaders' silence will not be forgiven," he wrote.

 

Elituv said Habayit Hayehudi rabbis were acting out of ulterior motives in turning their back on the haredi public, such as revenge for their exclusion from the religious services' centers of power or their desire for budgets and senior roles.

 

 

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