Speaking to Channel 2 News on Monday night, the eve of 27 Kislev 5773, Shas’ Aryeh Deri was asked to comment on the lawsuit filed by Yesh Atid with the Supreme Court challenging the cabinet decision to permit 1,300 chareidim to serve in civilian service in place of entering the IDF.
Deri explained that “we must keep things in proportion”, attributing the Yesh Atid Party’s decision to its electioneering, seeking to gain votes in the upcoming national election. Deri points out that if one reads the statement of purpose of Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid, one can see that it expects many of the draft-eligible chareidim to serve in national service program as an alternative – so it is clear that the party is simply seeking to gain election momentum with the court petition.
Deri continued, explaining that the persons in the 18th and 19th spots in Tzipi Livni’s The Movement Party were leaders in the Sucker’s Tent, seeking to compel the draft of all chareidim. He explained that “they took a most painful and sensitive issue and instead of trying to reach a solution mutual understanding, they turn it into an election issue.”
Deri states “I understand Yair Lapid”, explaining the polls show he is down and will only receive 5-6 seats, and this is what has prompted the court petition, not the issue at hand. “He is a rookie. I don’t want him to fall but on Election Day, report the expense of filing with the High Court for this petition to the State Comptroller” he added.
When asked to comment on the statement released by Shas secretary Rabbi Rafael Pinchasi, that he prefers to see Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich assemble the next government instead of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Deri stated “I hope he is not davening for this. I will speak to him about it.” Deri, the seasoned politician ended by explaining it is clear and the next coalition will be assembled by Netanyahu and his running partner, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Recent polls show the joint Likud/Yisrael Beitenu list will receive close to 40 seats.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)