Far more successful than UTJ
has been Shas, the overtly Zionist party of the Sephardi ultra-Orthodox.
MK says planned cut to yeshivas was 30% of their budget while total cut to education budget was only 1%.
With 6 seats, representing Israel's Ashkenazi Ultra-Orthodox communities, the UTJ
faction has predictably roughly maintained its previous level of support (the faction had 5 seats in the 16th Knesset.
The five MKs of UTJ
, however, are divided into two factions, and it is not clear how they would all vote in the Knesset next week.
However, Rabbi Shalom Eliashev, 94-year-old spiritual leader of the Lithuanian tradition of Orthodox Judaism, has so far failed to give his blessing to UTJ
In light of the Likud vote, negotiations with Labor, UTJ
and Shas are expected to begin Sunday, after Labor Chairman Shimon Peres convenes his party bureau Saturday night to obtain its formal consent to the talks.
and, after it seemed to be finalized, UTJ
also came on board.
includes the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox Degel HaTorah party
, Israeli Beiteinu, and NU-NRP abstained after the government pledged to support organizations they champion.