Shas party leader Aryeh Deri spoke to Mordechai Lavi of Kol Berama Radio on Tuesday morning, 11 Cheshvan 5774. The interview lasted for about 30 minutes, during which time Deri commented on many current event issues. Below we will discuss Deri’s comments surrounding the Jerusalem mayor race and his effort to have candidate Moshe Leon unseat Mayor Nir Barkat, the favored candidate of the dati leumi and non-religious residents.
Deri stressed that Yerushalayim is very important to all, not just the chareidim. “I have been working during the last year to create chareidi unity and perhaps we can succeed and this will lay the groundwork to break the heinous coalition. This [national government] coalition seeks to destroy the world of Torah and getting Moshe Leon in as the next mayor of Jerusalem is the first step towards accomplishing this. Three months ago, all of the chareidi parties promised Lieberman they will support Leon and I know this for a fact. Hence, if they do not make good on that promise, Lieberman will not lift a finger to assist the chareidim as we try to break the current coalition, to break his connection with Lapid and Bennett.”
“We all told him (Lieberman) that there is no reason not to support the shomer Shabbos candidate who is backed by gedolei yisrael Shlita and he expects the chareidim to vote for Leon and keep this promise.”
Why go with the losing candidate and then Barkat will look to get the chareidim back whenever he can in the next term?
Please, everyone can look at it as one wishes but I promise you if the chareidim keep the promise, Leon will unseat Barkat and that is what we need.
Has Lieberman promised if Leon is elected he will work to break the national government coalition as you say? He will work to bring the chareidim into the coalition
We are building a partnership with Lieberman and the chareidim and we mustn’t harm this effort.
I heard you visited HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Auerbach Shlita.
This is not true, I did not try to visit however while I respect all the camps and all the gedolei yisrael shlita, I know one thing for certain that we must put all of the considerations aside for achdus and with total achdus we have a fair chance…I know Lieberman has placed a great deal on Leon’s success, so what do we have to lose, and he is shomer Shabbos and Sephardi. He is the logical choice for us.
If this succeeds it will not be ideal [regarding the deal with Lieberman] but necessary. I add that Nir Barkat is not Yair Lapid and but at the end of the day we need Leon. When I see him [Barkat] I shake his hand and speak with him. He is not bad but we have a zechus to select a shomer Shabbos candidate, one who studied Torah as a child in Tel Aviv with Maran. He is one of ours.
Is it true that Barkat turned to you months ago to make a deal in exchange for any position in City Hall?
Let’s keep things in proportion. He spoke with me about an election agreement and to work with him not against him, but he did not offer anything I wanted.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)