Minister of the Interior and Shas Party chairman MK Aryeh Deri stated today on the Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) and Reshet Bet radio stations that he was loyal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his bloc of 55 MKs, and would continue working only through that bloc. "We have wasted 28 very precious days, and we have no more to waste. A strategic leadership decision is needed here," he remarked.
Deri blamed Blue and White Party chairman MK Benny Gantz for wasting time, because Netanyahu had agreed to the plan proposed by President Reuven Rivlin, while Gantz had rejected it. "Netanyahu realized that this was the only way to form a government, and they refused and did not come to the meetings. Days have been lost because of ego and pride," Deri asserted.
Deri added that there was no reason for Netanyahu not to be the first in the prime minister rotation. "He is an experienced prime minister. I believe that in the coming year, Israel will need Netanyahu at the steering wheel. There is no reason whatsoever why Netanyahu should not continue, and Gantz will only profit from it. He'll learn why it's important to be at Netanyahu's side."
Asked about the efforts of Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai to introduce public transport on the Sabbath, Deri said that he would use legislations to counter such efforts by the local authorities who favored it, such as in Tel Aviv. "Israel has lived under the status quo for 70 years. Is there religious coercion in Israel? We're a Jewish country, and we're obligated to observe the Sabbath. All of the private bus initiatives closed down after a short time," Deri stated.
Deri also said that the status quo was in any case being undermined, and that he would put an end to new measures. "The status quo is in retreat, and that's bad for haredim. 20 years ago, there were no stores open on the Sabbath. There were disputes about showing movies on the Sabbath in Petah Tikvah. There are laws in Israel, and they are the democratic framework. With all due respect, mayors don't make the laws. I will definitely use legislation to stop them. Who will work on these buses? Will they be simple laborers, and will they be slaves seven days a week? Then the supermarket owners will work, and finally the accountants and lawyers, and industry will also work on the Sabbath," Deri complained. When the interviewers pointed out to Deri that he had no majority for passing legislation, he answered, "All right, we'll see what happens."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 24, 2019
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