Deri 'appalled at the inhumanity'

Shas Chairman blasts opponents of Shabbat law over refusal to allow bereaved MK Glick and hospitalized minister Azoulay to skip vote.

Hezki Baruch - Mordechai Sones ,

Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri
Arutz Sheva

Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri blasted opponents of a bill restricting the ability of municipalities to permit local business to operate during the Sabbath, slamming their refusal to grant a common parliamentary courtesy to two coalition MKs.

Deri opened today's Shas faction meeting by expressing his condolences to MK Yehuda Glick (Likud): "At the outset, I would like to express my condolences to MK Yehuda Glick over the passing of his wife after a serious illness," he said.

"I would also like to send my best wishes for a speedy recovery to our friend, Religious Affairs Minister Rabbi David Azoulay, and hope to see him back here with us, healthy and sound, with the typical nobility and gentleness that characterize him," Deri added.

"It's important to emphasize that in the previous vote on the Supermarket Law, Minister Azoulay wanted to arrive and vote for the sake of the Sabbath, and I tried to arrange him a pairing. In the end, only one of the opposition agreed, MK Ilan Gilon, who showed humanity and granted him a pairing."

In parliamentary practice, "pairing" is an informal arrangement between government and opposition parties whereby a parliament member agrees or is designated to abstain from voting while a member of the opposing party needs to be absent due to pressing commitments, illness, travel problems, etc. The member abstaining from voting is referred to as a "pair". In Israel, the Hebrew term used is kizuz, which literally means "reduction" or "offset".

"It should be clear that even today, if necessary, Minister Azoulay will vote in spite of his situation. I hear about the opposition's unprecedented behavior, and I also mean Yisrael Beytenu, and I'm appalled at the inhumanity of the members here, to be deaf to people in their most difficult moments. Is this the message we want to convey to the public?" Deri wondered.

"I call upon opposition heads to regain their composure and to return to being human beings. The vote will pass anyway with God's help. Don't turn the political debate into a spectacle of inhumanity," Deri said.

Regarding the law itself Deri said, "It's important for the public to understand: The Supermarket Law is not a new law; it adds nothing to what has been the case until now. It should be remembered that since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Interior Minister has been empowered to repeal a municipal bylaw, and this law only sharpens that. The law gives me tools to preserve the character of the Sabbath in Israel that distinguishes us as a people.

"I'm convinced that most of the Israeli public wants to continue to experience Shabbat as a day of rest, and not as another weekday," he said, adding that "those who oppose the law are trying to force change. They are the ones who are trying to whitewash the ongoing erosion in the Day of Rest and the large supermarket chain's bludgeoning small business owners."