(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Arye Deri left the Knesset in anger early this week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to take credit for the Shas leader’s effort to lower the price of public transportation.
Deri, in Shas’s election campaign, promised steps to lower the cost of living for the weakest sectors of the population, who he called “the invisible people.” He then fought the Treasury for months to obtain a budget to implement the promises.
A significant decrease in the price of public transportation took effect Monday, and Deri celebrated it with fanfare by boarding a bus in Jerusalem.
But then Netanyahu took credit for the move in a post on his official Facebook account.
“From today, we lowered the prices of riding buses and trains by 14 percent,” Netanyahu boasted. “This is yet another important step among many steps we are taking to lower the cost of living.”
The matter was raised in Shas’s faction meeting Monday, where MKs complained that Netanyahu took credit for a proposal funded by money allocated to Shas in coalition talks. Deri left the Knesset early, declining to present another Shas-sponsored proposal to lower household water prices.
A source close to Netanyahu said afterward that he did not intend to harm Shas.
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It was not the first time Netanyahu upset his ministers by taking credit for their efforts. Other notable instances included then communications minister Moshe Kahlon’s successful initiative to lower cell phone service charges and the reforms of Transportation Minister Israel Katz.
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