The event that took place in the halls of the Zionist Organization of America House in Tel Aviv about a month ago, on July 21, may have looked strange to an onlooker. The place was packed with dozens of [leftist] Meretz party members, while on the stage in front of them sat Knesset member Moshe Gafni, chairman of the ultra-Orthodox Yahadut HaTorah party, laying out his socioeconomic worldview. With giant signs sporting Meretz’s green logo behind him, Gafni, a prominent representative of Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox politics, felt at home.
The occasional applause signaled that he was, indeed, a welcomed and esteemed guest in these quarters. The sympathy of the audience was based on two things the ultra-Orthodox politician and the members of the left-wing party have in common: a socioeconomic worldview and abhorrence of Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett.