Aryeh Deri
Aryeh DeriYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The Minister of the Interior and Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri attacked the chairman of Yisrael Beytenu, Avigdor Liberman, at the 18th Jerusalem Conference of the Besheva newspaper.

Deri said: "The biggest mistake in my life was friendship with Liberman, and I regret it wholeheartedly. Liberman has shown his true nature, and though I am furious at what he has said, I cannot give in to slander. That would play right into his hands. Our answer to hatred is love, and we have campaigned positively for a tradition that unites us all and for the care of the weak regardless of sector or belief one way or another," Deri added.

Regarding the COVID-19 crisis, Deri said: "This has been a challenging year for the haredi population. Most haredi centers are overcrowded, which has contributed to the high morbidity statistics, but we are part of the Israeli people and want to beat the virus as well. I personally made sure that Rabbis of the community issued firm instructions that no one was to go about without a mask, or leave their home at all if it could be avoided.”

Minister Deri says that the struggle against the virus is divided into two parts: "The government has done well with curbing the spread of the virus - we’ve worked hard and seen results. The other half, of keeping everyone within the guidelines, worked well with a transitional government, but has since fallen apart. The fines have become a political tool against the Arab and haredi sectors.”

Deri took some time to consider possible candidates for Prime Minister: "Bennett, of course, would love to be prime minister, but you can’t get that position with only ten seats. Lapid has joined the boycott of the haredim; he will never be our prime minister.”

Deri remains hopeful despite what the polls seem to say: ''Polls are notoriously inaccurate. I believe that Shas will see enough seats to equal Bennett or Sa’ar.”