Deri: 'Shas will continue to back Netanyahu - period'

'It wasn't us that tried to eliminate any trace of Judaism. We'll do everything in order to preserve the Jewish character of the state.'

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri
Credit: Hezki Baruch

Shas chairman Aryeh Deri met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday afternoon prior to the meetings of party leaders with President Reuven Rivlin. Following the meeting, Deri stated that "we are going only with Netanyahu."

"I've heard since the elections - probably wishful thinking from the left and Blue and White - that Shas will leave Netanyahu and move to the left," Deri said. "I also heard compliments about me, that I'm a smart guy, etc. They even brought proof - that I didn't participate in the right-wing meeting [with Netanyahu]. It's not true. I initiated the [right-wing] bloc. I'm sorry to disappoint you. Shas will continue to be by Netanyahu's side. Period."

"We won't concede on our principles - on Shabbat, tradition, Judaism, settlements and more. It wasn't us that tried to eliminate any trace of Judaism. We'll do everything in order to preserve the Jewish character of the state."

Deri also appealed to Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz to establish a national unity government headed by Netanyahu. "I call to Benny Gantz - the prime minister called to meet with you face to face. It's unfortunate that you didn't agree, it's not too late. He represents us. You still can do it. The people want it."

Deri added that "there are still many possibilities apart from a third election. Wait and see. We signed an agreement with Netanyahu and he'll lead negotiations based on the status quo and the enlistment law according to what was agreed upon."

"Unfortunately Gantz refuses to speak with Netanyahu. Apparently, terror supporters in the Arab parties are more valid than us," Deri concluded.




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