Rabbi Peretz: Let's unite, everyone will have to compromise

United Right leader says right-wing bloc will have 70 seats if no votes are lost.

103FM ,

Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Flash 90

United Right Chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz, who heads the party's Jewish Home faction, spoke with 103 FM Radio for the first time since his appointment as Education Minister.

Does Rabbi Peretz intend to remain Education Minister after September's elections? And what does he think about Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Liberman's intention to elbow the religious parties out of the next coalition?

You received the steering wheel of a huge system, but it has an expiration date. You're going to be starting the school year, and then leaving your position. Are you treating it as if it's permanent?

"I can't stand off to the side when I know that we're going to start a school year with two and a half million students, all of whom will start school without a 'father' to care for them. I want everyone to know that we're going to make sure that everything works okay. That's my public responsibility. We have also made a pact with the Prime Minister before the elections, in the hopes that it will continue after the elections."

Liberman once said that [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu treats the right-wing parties as if they were chewing gum - he uses them and tosses them out. Aren't you worried about Liberman's statement that he will form a coalition with the Likud and the Blue and White party, without the religious parties?

"We will make an effort to unite the entire right-wing bloc. In the last elections, we lost 240,000 votes [on parties] which did not pass the electoral threshold. If we manage to bring them in, the right-wing bloc will have 70 seats. I'm not discussing Liberman's hypothetical situation, I'm working to make sure that the Right, led by Netanyahu, will form a government. We will ensure that the Right will be as large as possible, and therefore I call on our natural partners to unite in order to build a joint camp for the journey."

Will there be a unification of the Right? Everyone is calling for it. Do you see yourself working shoulder-to-shoulder with [Zehut Chairman Moshe] Feiglin and Otzma Yehudit?

"We will have to discuss things between ourselves. Everyone will need to compromise on something. I did it in order to save the right-wing bloc in the last elections, when we made a technical bloc with Otzma Yehudit. If we join together based on what we have in common, we can run together and compromise on things along the way. In the last elections, in the big poll we received six Knesset seats. We intend to work towards unification and to give everyone their own place along the way."

How much do you find yourself, in your position as a minister, compromising on your previous beliefs? You said you were against coed military service. Just yesterday it was publicized that soon, half of the religious girls will enlist in the IDF.

"That's not connected to coed military service. I was the Chief Military Rabbi and I worked to help female soldiers in the IDF. You can't say that I was against female soldiers in the army. Coed military service is connected to a lot of problems that need to be dealt with. And in the army as well there are many opinions."