Ultra-Orthodox Lawmaker: Lapid Is Contagious Disease, Infected With anti-Semitism

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman responded to Gantz saying he would seek to form a secular government: 'it seems that Lapid is a contagious disease that also infected Gantz'

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Litzman in a cabinet meeting, Jerusalem, August 2019.
Litzman in a cabinet meeting, Jerusalem, August 2019.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman on Thursday attacked the leaders of Kahol Lavan, Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, calling Lapid a "contagious disease," after Gantz said he would prefer to form a secular government. (For the latest election polls - click here)

Haaretz Weekly Episode 38Credit: Haaretz

"We think he made a tragic mistake when [Benny Gantz] took Lapid into his list," Litzman, who heads the United Torah Judaism party, told Israel Radio. "We said that we would not join Gantz with Lapid… I don't go with someone who joined Lapid."

Litzman said that, until Wednesday, he never attacked Gantz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu's rival in the premiership race, but that Gantz had "changed the game."

"I was good to him, I said 'I can go with Gantz as long as Lapid isn't with him.' But… it seems that Lapid is a contagious disease that also infected Gantz, so in my eyes they are the same," Litzman said.

Leaders of Kahol Lavan, Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz, at the Knesset, May 27, 2019.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Litzman said Lapid was "infected with anti-Semitism."

When asked whether accusing a fellow lawmaker of anti-Semitism and referring to him as a "contagious disease" was too harsh, Litzman said he stands by his accusations.

Lapid responded to Litzman's attack, saying, "The Israeli public will not surrender to Litzman's incitement and the Haredi politicos. They don't have a monopoly on Judaism and they won't preach to us about anti-Semitism."

"Litzman thinks that over a million Kahol Lavan voters are a 'disease' - the answer will come at the polls," Lapid added.

Litzman was responding to an earlier interview with Gantz, in which he said that after the September 17 vote he would seek to form a broad secular government, based on Likud and his Kahol Lavan party, and only later would ask the ultra-Orthodox and other parties if they are interested in also joining the government.

Litzman, who police recommended indicting for helping an accused pedophile evade extradition, told Israel Radio he doesn't know Malka Leifer, who could face charges for 74 incidents of sexual assault and rape in Australia.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can