After Likud-Beiteinu claimed Yesh Atid is refusing to join a coalition that includes ultra-Orthodox parties, Rabbi Shay Piron, placed second on the Yesh Atid Knesset roster, tried to explain why.
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"We do not hate haredim; we do not boycott haredim and do not oppose any sort of partnership with the haredim," the MK wrote on His Facebook page.
"The haredim have contributed greatly to Israel's uniqueness in many fields, but now there is a debate on Israel's character. I argue only with people I like. The opinion of those that I don't like does not interest me. I like haredim. Very much. And we have a major dispute, not only over equal share of the burden, but mainly over sovereignty and priorities in our country."
Addressing the universal draft issue, which is the main bone of contention between Yair Lapid's party and Likud-Beiteinu during the coalition negotiations, Piron said, "We are in disagreement not only because the haredim do not go to the army, but because they do not even pray for the soldiers' well-being." The rabbi was referring to the prayer for peace in the country, which is recited in religious Zionist synagogues on Shabbat.
"We are in disagreement because we want different priorities in the housing and interior ministries," the Yesh Atid lawmaker continued to say. "We are in disagreement because the relationship between religion and state should be different. We are in disagreement because we want everyone to study the core subjects."
United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni called on Lapid and Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett to "tell the public that elected them the truth.
"They do not want haredim in the government under any circumstance. The equal share of the burden issue is just an excuse," he argued.
"The huge rift that will be created between the haredim and religious Zionism will be difficult to mend."