Report: Ultra-Orthodox lawmaker working to bring Gantz into Netanyahu government

United Torah Judaism’s Moshe Gafni reportedly trying to bring in former Defense Minister Benny Gantz to ‘balance’ right-wing parties in the government.

By World Israel News Staff

An Ultra-Orthodox lawmaker from the Coalition is working to bring former Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his National Unity party into the government, according to a report by Kan Thursday.

The report claimed that MK Moshe Gafni, the second highest member of the United Torah Judaism party and leader of the UTJ’s Degel HaTorah faction, is actively courting Gantz in a bid to “balance” the government’s right-wing allies.

Officials who spoke on condition of anonymity were cited by the report, claiming that Gafni began making overtures to Gantz during the first meeting between Opposition and Coalition officials aimed at reaching a compromise on the government’s judicial reform plan.

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he has frozen the judicial overhaul, following massive nation-wide protests, an unsanctioned general strike, and the illegal closure of Israel’s largest airport.

A day later, delegations from the Coalition and Opposition met at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem for an hour-long meeting to kick off the negotiations.

Gafni reportedly used Tuesday’s meeting as an opportunity to reach out to Gantz, telling him that he hopes the centrist National Unity party can be brought into the government to “balance” the influence of the right-wing parties Otzma Yehudit and the Religious Zionist Party.

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The report added that Gantz has received similar messages from other Coalition members interested in expanding the government’s support.

Gantz has thus far rejected the offers, however, the report said.