United Torah Judaism

Leader: Moshe Gafni (Degel Hatorah) and Yaakov Litzman (Agudat Yisrael)
Current Seats: 8
Recommended candidate for prime minister in the Twenty-First Knesset: Benjamin Netanyahu
Supports/Opposes Two-State Solution: Unclear


United Torah Judaism is the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox list, a union of two parties: the “Lithuanian” non-Hasidic Degel Hatorah and the Hasidic Agudat Yisrael. Moshe Gafni leads Degel Hatorah and Yaakov Litzman leads Agudat Yisrael, while each party’s respective political infrastructure is subordinate to separate rabbinical leaderships.

UTJ is a union of two ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi parties.

UTJ is a non-Zionist faction which does not endorse the creation of a secular Jewish state. Accordingly, the party maintains no political commitment to Israeli sovereignty over specific territories and the party has been open to concessions in the past. This peculiarity also means that UTJ MKs tend only to be awarded minor portfolios in the cabinet in order to distance themselves as much as possible from the institutions of the State of Israel, and officially serve as deputy ministers rather than as full cabinet ministers.

MK Yaakov Litzman heads Agudat Yisrael, one of UTJ’s constituent factions.

UTJ secured eight seats in the April elections, and is aiming to repeat the same performance in September. Avigdor Liberman, who refused to join a coalition over issues of ultra-Orthodox conscription, is aiming to take the health ministry for his Yisrael Beiteinu party after elections. Notably, this portfolio was previously held by UTJ/Agudat Yisrael leader Yaakov Litzman.