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Shas Minister Atias: About Iran, 'We Need to Pray'

In the framework of a discussion on Iran, Housing Minister Ariel Atias (Shas) told Radio Kol Chai listeners on Thursday, “We need to pray.”
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 9/6/2012, 2:00 PM

Ariel Atias
Ariel Atias
Flash 90

In the framework of a discussion on Iran, Housing Minister Ariel Atias (Shas) told Radio Kol Chai listeners on Thursday, “We need to pray.”

The hareidi-religious Sephardic Shas party lawmaker, a member of the Security Cabinet, made the remark one day after a meeting summarily ended by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over leaks to the media.

"As a believing Jew, on the eve of Rosh HaShana, I can tell you that in regard to the nations about which it is said, 'these by the  sword and these by peace,' we need to pray,” Atias told radio show host and interviewer Noam Sigman.

There was little else the minister was able to add in connection with the Security Cabinet meeting, due to its brevity as well as the tight seal placed on any further discussions with media.

"I have no idea who leaked the information to media,” Atias told Sigman. “I don't pretend to know, and I don't pretend to be a judge. The prime minister sent a clear and incisive message that he does not want and cannot conduct Cabinet meetings if there are leaks, regards of their size or magnitude.”

Netanyahu, angry over a leak to the media a day earlier that intelligence agencies were differing over how to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, and over the possibility of an attack, stunned ministers by summarily canceling Wednesday's Security Cabinet meeting.

Atias added that he believed that none of the members of the ministerial cabinet would object to taking a polygraph test to determine who had leaked the information, a suggestion proposed by Minister Uzi Landau.

It's something that if you want to take it a step further, and you want to drive the message home, then the prime minister has a right to receive it. He can decide as the prime minister what he wants and how he wants it,” Atias said.

Channel 2 television news reported Wednesday that Netanyahu might order an Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) investigation of leaks from the Cabinet session on the Iran situation that took place on Tuesday. The investigation may include polygraph tests to be administered to all 19 ministers who are members of the Cabinet, as well as the security officials who took part in the session.