The current government’s policies will mean “disaster” for Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria (Shomron), MK Yitzchak Vakhnin of Shas warned in an interview Thursday with Arutz Sheva.
“Note who carried out all the evacuations to this point. It was the right. [Former PM] Arik (Ariel) Sharon, who said the fate of Netzarim [in Gush Katif] was that of Tel Aviv, was the one who evacuated Gush Katif,” he said.
“Binyamin Netanyahu gave the Bar Ilan speech after opposing a Palestinian state for years, and believe me, that’s just the beginning,” Vakhnin warned.
The political right is not what it used to be, he continued. “Today there’s no such thing as ‘right wing.’ Effie Eitam and [Avigdor] Liberman stayed in the government up until the Disengagement, and that’s what’s happening today with the Jewish Home,” he said. “Mark my words.”
The Shas party’s critics have accused the party of allowing the Oslo process to proceed by supporting then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin’s government. Vakhnin accused them of hypocrisy.
“You slashed our tires and spray-painted our doors, but you didn’t do that to Eitam and you won’t do it to the Jewish Home, because you live a lie,” he charged.
“And I’m glad that we’re not in this government,” he added, “because this government will finish the [diplomatic] process vis-à-vis the Palestinians.”
The government’s policies put Judea and Samaria at risk on a spiritual level, as well, he warned. “It is written that the land of Israel will suffer if they hurt the Torah world,” he argued.
The government is harming Torah study in Israel by slashing yeshiva budgets, he said. “I never hurt budgets for the settlements… Ask the heads of the settlements how much I gave them. The damage they’re doing to the Torah world today – from 800 shekels per student to 200 – it’s damage that will take decades to fix,” he said.
“I regret to say that the more they hurt Torah, the more the land of Israel will be hurt,” he continued. “The Torah world will remain forever, but the land of Israel will suffer.”
“It took us ten years to fix the damage Tommy Lapid did to the Ministry of Religious Services, and today they want to undermine the Rabbinate, marriage, conversion, they’re ruining everything,” he accused.
Vakhnin called for the Jewish Home party to leave the government.