Bit by bit, the ultra-Orthodox politicians are beginning to come to terms with the realization that they will be serving their constituents from the opposition this coming term. As the coalition negotiations near their conclusion and the establishment of a new coalition without haredi parties is in sight, they are sharing their newfound insights.
"Until now, we aligned ourselves in the coalition only with the Right, but that is over," MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) told Israel Hayom on Wednesday. "It is all about to change. Now we are supporting [Labor Chairwoman] Shelly Yachimovich, and in all honesty, our views are much closer to hers than to Orit Struck [of Habayit Hayehudi]."
Former Shas MK Shlomo Benizri also came out against Habayit Hayehudi on Wednesday, telling haredi radio station Kol Barama, "They [Habayit Hayehudi] are simply pushing the haredim directly into the arms of the Left. I hope they understand the implications of what they are doing right now."
The ultra-Orthodox parties view Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett as responsible for their likely exclusion from the coalition. It is Bennett's alliance with Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid that is pressuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cater to Lapid's demand that the haredim remain in the opposition.
Throughout the week, ultra-Orthodox journalists have been writing that the haredi political parties will exact their revenge on the national religious camp when it comes to voting on settlement freezes and outpost removals.