Addressing the Maariv & Jerusalem Post Conference on Wednesday, dealing with the political situation, Yisrael Beitenu party chairman, MK Avigdor Lieberman expressed certainty that a government will be formed after the March 2nd Knesset election, but he did not care to speculate as to what that government will look like.
Speaking with Maariv’s correspondent Ben Caspit, Lieberman addressed a number of issues.
Shaked wants the Religious Services portfolio.
First of all, I applaud the New Right for which is adopting the platform of Yisrael Beitenu. It’s time but the original always better than the imitation. I can remember that Naftali Bennet was the Minister of Religious Services, and it was precisely during this period; who was appointed as Chief Rabbi, Shas’ candidate, Yitzchak Yosef, and not David Stav. Look, there are spins and statements. What matters is the essence. Regarding religion and state, without dramatic decisions, we cannot return to normalcy.
The State of Israel must stop funding the ignorance, the draft dodgers and unemployment. We are the only nation in the world; not Iran, not N. Korea and not Cuba, none funding to the tune of hundreds of millions for education which prevents children from learning math and computers.
In Ramat Gan 87% of students earn a matriculation exam – Bnei Brak 9.7%. He who wishes to study Torah, fine, but do it on your own dime. Budgeting has to be justified too. A person at working age who wishes to continue learning, we must cut at least 50% of the funding received. I call to cut at least 50% from the budget for bnei yeshivos.
Why are you obsessed with the chareidim? It is beginning to work against you.
I am simply stating the facts. As you noticed, I am not going crazy and not calling anyone a derogatory name. When you see calls daily like “go back to Russia” or “on the BeChadrei Chareidim website that the contribution to Israel by the Russian immigrants is vodka and pork,” then people get burst out.
We are compelled to argue the facts. What is taking place in the chareidi establishment has nothing to do with Judaism. The Great Men of Israel worked fulltime, both the Rambam and Rashi, so they can too!
I am fighting so that civil service city rabbis are permitted to perform giyur. From my perspective, anyone coming here on the merit of the Law of Return and serves in the IDF is more Jewish that all the talmidei yeshivos. We must legislate anew. The law must compel everyone to serve in the IDF or a civilian service to the state. Muslims too. We must impose the most severe sanction.
The two large parties are guilty here. They do not need anyone. They can establish a coalition alone. They have 65 seats together. However, they both prefer not to do this for their own personal reasons.
It is not like they did not have a sufficient number of mandates, but it was about who would serve as prime minister first and second. With Gantz and Netanyahu, the end justifies the means and there are no red lines. Blue & White wishes to establish a government with the fifth column, the very same people who supported the Islamic Jihad in the last round of warfare. You wish to establish a coalition with them? These are the same people who boycotted the levaya of Shimon Peres and during the very same week, they visited Arafat’s kever. There is a fifth column sitting in Knesset.
We have no issue with the Arab population which is largely loyal. We have a problem with the supporters of terrorists. Both Ofer Kasif, Ayman Odeh and Ahmed Tibi are supporters of terror. They are representatives of the political arm of the terrorist organizations in the Knesset. Period!
They say you have a personal vendetta to oust Netanyahu.
If this was the case, I would have established a government with Blue & White. However, I will not cooperate in anyway with the fifth column. The end does not justify the means. Not with me at least. I could have backed the law of Yair Lapid that a MK facing an indictment cannot be a candidate for prime minister.
So, what do you want?
We wish to establish a Zionist coalition. What I see now is cooperation between the anti-Zionist parties; the Joint Arab List and the chareidim. A coalition that includes them endangers the Zionist enterprise. Each Zionist party must be a coalition partner.
We all learned lessons, and from my perspective, after the coming election, a government will be formed. I do not care to guess what type, but a government must be formed.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)