Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has the ultimate responsibility for keeping hareidi political parties out of the government, Shas MK Aryeh Deri wrote on his Facebook page Sunday night. In his first public reference to the expected formation of a government without Shas or United Torah Jewry, Deri wrote that Netanyahu “will not be able to claim that his hands are clean in this matter.”
For Deri, the fact that Shas will not be included in the government Netanyahu is forming with Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi is not a matter of politics, but a matter of “values. I returned to politics for one purpose,” Deri wrote. “I believe that I must take up the fight for the 'other Israel,' those who don't have someone to speak up for them.”
It is they, Deri wrote, that he is worried about, and it is to help them that he believes Shas must be in the government. “I believed, and still believe, that with unity anything can be achieved.” Instead of unity, he added, the new government will be one of “the bourgeoisie, made up of members of the upper class, a government whose leaders have never known suffering. And as if this wasn't enough, they tell us we must cut out vital programs, with the immediate victims the lower socio-economic groups.”
Deri attacked Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid for their efforts to “ban parties that represent 2 million Israelis. Such bans have no place in Israeli politics and we cannot allow it to take place. Today they ban hareidim, tomorrow they will ban Arabs, settlers, immigrants from the former Soviet Union. This, they call the 'new politics.'”
But in the final analysis, it's Netanyahu who is responsible, and it is he whom history will “judge.” Netanyahu, Deri wrote, “once said that, as the son of a historian, that you see things differently. I have no doubt that history will judge you harshly for allowing this situation to develop. You will say they twisted your arm, and that you protested and condemned, but these excuses will not survive the harsh judgement of history,” Deri wrote.