Deri: Netanyahu to blame for exclusion of haredim

Shas leader says history will judge PM harshly for excluding two million people from gov't, abandoning weaker sectors of society.

March 10, 2013 20:30
3 minute read.
Arye Deri at the President's residence, January 31, 2013.

Arye Deri at the President's residence 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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For a second day running, one of the three joint Shas leaders issued a lengthy and angry statement denouncing the exclusion of haredi parties from the government in the process of being formed.

Haredi politicians and spiritual leaders have reacted furiously in recent days to what they claim is a deliberate campaign to deny the haredi community political representation in the coalition.

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Writing on his Facebook page, Arye Deri laid the blame for what he described as the exclusion of the haredi community and the abandonment of the weaker sectors of society squarely at the feet of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

“In front of our eyes, a bourgeois government is being established which consists entirely of the upper class, a government that from among its leaders no-one knows what it’s like to live in difficulty,” wrote Deri, addressing the issue of coalition negotiations publicly for the first time.

“If that were not bad enough, these [leaders] are also the ones who will cut into the living flesh, who will enact fierce budget cuts and the ones who will immediately suffer from this are the weaker sectors of society.”

The Shas leader continued, saying that “an absurd situation has arisen in which legitimate political movements in Israel can openly declare that two million people should be excluded from government just because that’s what makes them comfortable.”

“The result is that 2,000,000 people, all of whom are citizens of the Second Israel, the Israel of the weak sectors, the Israel of those who can’t start the month [financially] and those who can’t finish the month, all remain without representation in the coming government.”

Addressing the prime minister directly, Deri said that history would judge Netanyahu harshly and that he would not be able to wash his hands of the results, despite his excuses that he fought against the exclusion of the haredi parties from the government.

“The blame lies and will lie solely with you,” Deri charged. “You will not be able to evade responsibility.”

Alongside Deri’s polemic, several other haredi politicians and rabbis continued to blame the Bayit Yehudi for the likely absence of haredi parties from the new government.

Chairman of United Torah Judaism MK Yisrael Eichler said that even if the haredi parties would have agreed to all of the demands made of them during coalition talks, they would still not have been accepted into government.

“It’s not because of differences of opinion on issues that we have been excluded,” he told The Jerusalem Post, “because they never asked us our opinion and never approached us to enter into dialogue,” Eichler claimed.

“Israel is the only country in the world which boycotts Jews just because of what they believe in, which is what this country is doing to haredim because they have a different way of life,” he added.

“There’s no cure for this problem, it’s an emotional issue for people who want to exclude haredim, not a logical or intellectual one.”

Meanwhile, the grand rabbi of the Slonim hassidic dynasty, Rabbi Shmuel Berezovsky said that over Shabbat that the leaders of Bayit Yehudi were being controlled by the devil.

“There are those from the national-religious community who chose to unite and cooperate with those who do evil to the covenant,” the rebbe said as reported by the Kikar Hashabbat haredi news website.

“It’s important to know that they are not doing this by themselves, Satan has taken control of them, because otherwise it’s impossible to explain this,” the rabbi said.

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