Afraid Your Child Will Learn Math? Vote United Torah Judaism

Israeli ultra-Orthodox party uses scare tactics to get out the vote a week before the election

Yair Ettinger
Yair Ettinger
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Yair Ettinger
Yair Ettinger

Less than a week before the election, United Torah Judaism's campaign "We're all ultra-Orthodox Jews" plays on its traditional voters' fears they might have to work, serve in the army and see their children studying math.

The party, which won five seats in the last Knesset, is running these ads alongside others describing laws supported by UTJ that have benefited all Israelis, the party says.

"Euclid; no, that's not the name of some medication. It's a Greek mathematician your child will study instead of learning the Mishna" – a written version of oral traditions. "A government without Judaism will obligate your son to learn secular studies. You must protect the next generation; we all must."

Another leaflet proclaims in large letters "No. 7 bus," then explains, "that's the bus from Bnei Brak to the draft induction center," referring to the heavily ultra-Orthodox city near Tel Aviv.

Another leaflet reads "earning power = high mortgage payment!" It continues, "Yes, you probably haven't heard about this, but it exists. In the last Knesset they wanted to pass a bill that says one simple thing: Anyone who can't present a pay slip showing that both spouses work full-time won't receive mortgage assistance from the Bank of Israel.

"What does this mean? Congratulations! You've established a faithful Jewish home without having a home. We've put a stop to this. For how long? You decide." It then tells the reader to vote for his self-interest; to vote for UTJ.

Ultra-Orthodox Israelis. Will they vote to remain a secluded community? Credit: Gil Cohen Magen

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