Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deriצילום: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

A senior member of the haredi UTJ party claimed in a conversation with Arutz Sheva, that Shas chairman Aryeh Deri's demand for the Finance portfolio is only an act to get Smotrich to compromise and take a different ministry.

According to the member "After a year and a half of haredi attacks on the cost of living and on (outgoing Finance Minister Avigdor) Liberman personally, the public wants to see results and it doesn't care about excuses about inflation and the world cost of living."

The senior member explained that Deri, who is bright and has experience in Israeli politics, "Doesn't see a reason or an interest to take the finance portfolio."

Smotrich does not seem to be too bothered by Deri's games and is already planning his steps to take the Defense portfolio, which Netanyahu wishes to keep in Likud hands. The Religious Zionism chairman met with senior rabbis on Sunday evening, at the home of senior Religious Zionist rabbi and Or Etzion Yeshiva head Rabbi Chaim Druckman.

During the meeting, Smotrich presented the rabbis with an overview of the proceedings of the coalition negotiations with the Likud so far and will request their support in demanding the Defense, Education, and Religious Affairs portfolios.