HaGaon Harav Meir Mazuz, Rosh Yeshivas Kisei Rachamim, announced on Monday night that he is supporting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the Likud leadership primaries on Thursday over Gideon Sa’ar.
On Tuesday, Harav Mazuz sent a letter to his close talmid, Likud MK Shlomo Karai, stating: “In answer to your question, it’s difficult for me to decide between Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Mr. Gideon Sa’ar. They’re both beloved…”
“But according to the known rule: ‘There’s no wise person like someone experienced’ I prefer Bibi. Because in the past ten years, he’s done so much for Eretz Yisrael, and put up with Obama for eight years until he left his position, and investigates, seeks and publicizes all the schemes of our enemies and their ruses.”
“He has a close friendship with the United States and Russia and India and others. There’s no doubt that this is a bracha from Shamayim for someone who loves Eretz Yisrael. But the time will come for Mr. Gideon Sa’ar as well to rise in position ‘because there’s a time for everything’ (Koheles 3).”
Karai wrote on Facebook on Tuesday: “Moreinu Hagaon Harav Meir Mazuz, shlita, decided to vote for Netanyahu in the primaries. His affection for the prime minister is known to all and was seen in the warm bracha he gave him on Motzei Shabbos. The Rav made the decision after much serious consideration and out of respect to everyone involved.”
Netanyahu and Sa’ar were both vying for the Rosh Yeshivah’s support and both of them met with the Rav in the past few days. The Rosh Yeshivah has spoken out against the investigations against the prime minister and some believed that he would support Netanyahu for this reason. On the other hand, Harav Mazuz also has a good relationship with Sa’ar, who has grown closer to religion in recent years.
Former Shas leader Eli Yishai, who is close to the Rav and depends on him for all his political decisions, informed Netanyahu of the Rav’s decision.
Netanyahu met with Harav Mazuz on on Sunday in the Rav’s Bnei Brak home together with Karai.
Sa’ar met with the Rav the next day, on Sunday. Yishai participated in the meeting as well.
Many of the Rosh Yeshivah’s talmidim became members of Likud in order to assist the Rav’s talmid, Shlomo Karai, in the Likud list primaries for the April 2019 elections. Karai was placed 25th on the list, a spot reserved for candidates from the Negev (Karai is a resident of Sderot) and the Likud won 36 seats.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)