United Torah Judaism

United Torah Judaism
Leader: Moshe Gafni (Degel Hatorah) and Yaakov Litzman (Agudat Yisrael)
Current Seats: 6
Government/Opposition in Last Knesset: Government
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.

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

Ultra-Orthodox voters typically took cues from their respective rabbis around elections. However, during the 2018 Jerusalem municipal elections, the rabbinic authorities were unable to come to an agreement on supporting one candidate. This allowed 30,000 ultra-Orthodox Israelis to vote without clerical direction for the first time. It is unclear whether these voters will surrender this newfound autonomy in the national elections.