Hours after announcing he will push for a national unity government that does not include the chareidi parties, Shas party Chairman Aryeh Deri attacked Avigdor Lieberman, telling the public “he will not be in the next government. He is done with the right-wing and as is his norm, he is lying”.
Lieberman, who chairs the Yisrael Beitenu party, is predicted to receive between 8 and 10 seats in the upcoming Knesset election according to recent polls. Lieberman only has five seats in the current Knesset and appears to feel the formula to his success is his uncompromising stand on the draft law and his anti-chareidi rhetoric, which has increased of late.
In the message released by Deri’s office, Shas refers to Lieberman as “irrelevant”, and “hysterical”, telling supporters that Shas remains confident that Lieberman will not be a member of the next cabinet.
The message adds that Lieberman was lying “as is his norm” when he stated the chareidi parties asked for a budgetary increase for yeshivos, stating there is no basis for the statement, which is untrue. Deri’s statement adds that in the coalition talks that were taking place, the matter of budgets for yeshivos was not raised as the talks only focused on religion and state.
“Lieberman on the other hand asked for additional funding for pensions for immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU). He asked for NIS 400 million for each MK in Yisrael Beitenu, the placement of ambassadors in strange places, increasing the number of employees in the Ministry of Immigration & Absorption, and a large amount of funding for entire body of the FSU sector”.
Deri’s statement explains that at the height of chutzpah, Lieberman demanded enormous increases in budgetary allocations for matters pertaining to his party, yet he tries to besmirch the chareidim by telling the public it was the chareidi who made unreasonable budgetary demands.
The statements continue, explaining “Lieberman is in trouble as he is totally cut off from the right-wing and he received a ‘get kritut’ after right-wing parties were selected to establish a government and he lied as he promised he would recommend Netanyahu for prime minister”.
“Last week he announced that Benny Gantz will form a government with polar bears and closed the door on the left-wing. What remains for his last trick is his declaration that he will compel the formation of a national unity government. Another joke from Lieberman”.
“In the circumstances that have arisen – the catastrophe that the public is not yet so aware of in the state budget, and the anticipated security challenges – our task is to force the Likud and Blue and White to form a liberal national emergency government: Yisrael Beiteinu, Likud and Blue and White”.
Lieberman did not rule out the possibility that his faction would support Benny Gantz as prime minister and wrote he will back: “A government that will reflect the will of the vast majority of the citizens of the State of Israel. The party that receives the most mandates, its representative will be the candidate to form the government without the chareidim and without Itamar Ben-Gvir.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)