Joint Shas leader
Arye Deri said on Army Radio this morning that his party wants Binyamin
Netanyahu to be the next prime minister and that Shas will join him in
government, but claimed that only his party would fight with Netanyahu
to protect the weaker sectors of society.
Tensions between Shas
and Likud have risen in recent days over Netanyahu’s comments that he
intends to wrest the Housing Ministry away from Shas and give it over to
the Likud-Beyteynu party in the next government.
reiterated Shas’s message that they would not condition entry into the
government on receiving any particular ministry
He did however attack the prime minister over budget cuts which he said were detrimental to the poor, and charged that Likud had abandoned its religiously traditional supporters, daring Netanyahu to publicly oppose civil unions (as an alternative to religious marriages) to prove him wrong.
The Shas triumvirate leadership of Deri, Housing Minister Ariel Atias and Interior Minister Eli Yishai also issued a joint-statement on Wednesday morning defending Shas’s record in control of the Housing and Construction Ministry, claiming that it has worked towards benefiting the poor without distinction between ethnic background and religious affiliation.
“The Netanyahu of 2013 is the Netanyahu of 2003, of cuts and [economic] decrees,” the Shas leadership stated.
“Since the unification with Liberman, the Likud is no longer ‘our home,’ Shas is ‘our home.’ Only a strong Shas will be able to prevent Netanyahu harming the weak sectors of society and ensure that their voices are heard.”