Gafni Speaks About Netanyahu

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Twenty years since Netanyahu served as prime minister for the first time, Moshe Gafni spoke to the Israeli Yated Neeman about his relationship with the chareidim during a premiership that extended over fifteen percent of Israel’s existence.

“First of all, we are Netanyahu’s partners,” he began. “This started with Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach, who told us to support Netanyahu twenty years ago. This statement still stands. Rav Shach saw great importance in going along with a representative of the right, Netanyahu in this case.”

Can you point to the lowest point of the relationship with the prime minister?

“Without doubt, Netanyahu’s partnership with Lapid and Bennett in the previous candidacy. We were greatly harmed in every area. The Torah world suffered much harm during that government, but not only [the Torah world]. The damage was widespread and painful.”

Did you speak to Netanyahu during the previous government? How did he explain the damage done to his chareidi supporters?

He constantly tried to tell me when I spoke to him that he didn’t like it. His statements in the coalition agreement [with Lapid and Bennett] basically supported the Torah world. One way or another, it was a dark time for us. You can’t mistreat partners this way. At the same time, the man people portray as a politician who puts his survival before everything else and who’ll do anything to survive at any cost bought down that government. And we were part of the game.”

Was there correlation or cooperation between you and Netanyahu in this process [of bringing down the last government]?”

There are things that I don’t want to say and don’t think are good to say. In summation, when I look at all the years we worked with the prime minister, our relationship had various ups and downs. We feel like his associates and partners… Netanyahu never once went against us in matters that were integrally important to us, unlike another Likud prime minister, Ariel Sharon, who voted against us regarding the draft law when he was in the opposition. Still, we don’t forget the low point, the partnership with Lapid and Bennett in the previous government which ignored our needs.”

Gafni added in the interview that he considers Netanyahu a good economist even though his capitalist views dictate a view that the more wealthy people there are, the more work there’ll be for everyone else.

“I think we should help everyone and give less preference to the wealthy,” Gafni said.

Gafni considers Netanyahu as middle of the road in political views and reluctant to get drawn into belligerent or unnecessary actions, and Gafni hopes he’ll stay that way. His governance is generally good except for his attacks against Obama, which Gafni feels should have been avoided where possible in order to avoid conflict with the United States.


David Steger – Israel


  1. “His governance is generally good except for his attacks against Obama”

    What attacks? Did Netanyahu openly attack Obama?

  2. This proves what I’ve said all along. Obama loves Israel and the strained relationship is all Netanyahu’s fault.

  3. With respect to R’ Gafni, to truly understand Netanyahu’s relationship with religious Jews, one must truly understand Likud and it’s roots as well as Netanyahu’s personal roots.

    Likud was, of course, founded by Menachem Begin who had previously formed the Herut party. As we all know, Begin had been a leader of Irgun which was founded by Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky. Not coincidently, Netanyahu’s parents were Jabotinsky-ites, both devout acolytes, his father serving as Jabotinsky’s personal secretary. So to understand the core worldview of Likud and the heart of Netanyahu one must therefore know who Jabotinsky was and what he believed.

    Jabotinsky, it is well known, was an admirer of, of all things, FASCISM. After the state was founded and the Herut party was formed, Albert Einstein famously opined that Herut was “a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties.” Further evidence of Jabotinsky’s link to fascism is found it his own statements supporting ethnic cleansing; comments such as “The Islamic soul must be broomed out of Eretz-Yisrael. . . . [Muslims are] yelling rabble dressed up in gaudy, savage rags,” and “There is no choice: the Arabs must make room for the Jews of Eretz Israel. If it was possible to transfer the Baltic peoples, it is also possible to move the Palestinian Arabs.” Lastly he said “There is no justice, no law, and no God in heaven, only a single law which decides and supersedes all-[Jewish] settlement [of the land].”

    So we see that not only Jabotinsky was a fascist who advocated ethnic cleansing, he was also an atheist who FIERCELY opposed and DESPISED Judaism and religious Jews. ” Judaism,” he wrote, “is a nation and not a religious community.” He opined that religion was a substitute for a homeland and that once that homeland was established, the religion would disappear. Religious Jews, in his view, suffered from “cultural retardation” and were “mere (biological) offspring of Adam and Eve, rather than civilized human beings.” He also said, referring to the religious “The Jewish people are a very nasty people. Its neighbors hate it and they’re right.” Lastly he famously advocated the denial of full and equal rights to “ultra-orthodox” Jews.

    So Jabotinsky was a racist and fascist who dreamed of the day that Judaism as a religion, along with it’s repugnant adherents, would disappear. Likud is his spawn and Netanyahu is his heir. He is our enemy, not our friend or ally, and must be dealt with accordingly.

    • You are kick walking.

      Torah will permeate more culture if all minds can be ready for the feelings of Israel. That means anti-zionist hate must cease.

    • Jabotinsky began to change and evolve his opinions, especially from the beginning of the ’30s till his death in 1940.

      You’re still stuck in 1920

    • It sounds more like you decided to separate yourself from the jewish people. You might want to reevaluate your positions. You don’t have many Rabbonim backing your ideology. Maybe you should join a neturah karta shul?? they share your misguided opinions!

      • He is a popularist online and uses a propietary network called paltalk to profess deep antizionist sentiment week in and week out at night to a small group of cultists online against jewish values. This man is a very agitated soul. Sad.

  4. Gafni is pretty caustic,as he always is & it is okay,

    but if he’ll give off some positive vibes he might have a bigger in influence on the hamon am


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