Deri: I'll bring Gideon Sa'ar and Naftali Bennett back to right-wing bloc

Shas chief lays out plan for helping Netanyahu achieve majority after elections, vowing to bring New Hope and Yamina back to rightist bloc.

Hezki Baruch ,

Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Shas chief and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri gave an online address to Shas party activists via Zoom Sunday afternoon, kicking off the party’s campaign for the March 2021 Knesset election.

Deri emphasized his support for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Shas’ commitment to the right-wing bloc, while lamenting the divisions on the Right, noting that Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party had vowed not to sit in a coalition government with Netanyahu, and that Naftali Bennett has refused to commit to backing a Netanyahu-led government.

“Yesterday we launched the campaign with a clear message of belief and faith, and afterwards people said to me ‘Where has Netanyahu disappeared to?’ Is Shas abandoning Bibi? People see how Netanyahu’s allies are becoming divided and some are joining the ‘Anyone but Bibi’ camp.”

“Without a strong Shas, there cannot be a strong Netanyahu. And you can see what is happening to the rightist camp. Shas will, as it has said in the last three elections, back Netanyahu as Shas’ candidate and that of the rightist bloc for the premiership.”

Deri went on to excoriate Yisrael Beytenu chief Avidgor Liberman, accusing the former Defense Minister of plotting to help the Left establish a government with the aid of the Joint Arab List.

“I’ve said that Liberman is planning to form a government with the Left and with the Joint Arab List, and in the end I was correct. When they talk now about how it is possible to form a rightist government without Netanyahu, everyone can see the division of seats. It is obvious that Shas won’t join a government that isn’t rightist.”

“It is clear that the Likud won’t get less than 30 seats, so how can they form a government without the Arabs and without Liberman, who smears and curses haredim and Judaism? I’m not even talking about Yesh Atid, who is also very far from us and from the United Torah Judaism party.”

“’Just Not Bibi’ won’t lead to a government.”

With polls showing the Likud and the haredi factions failing to come close to the 61 seats needed to form a government, Deri laid out a path for reaching a majority, vowing to work after election day on bringing the Yamina and New Hope parties into the right-wing bloc.

“I promise that after the elections I will bring Gideon Sa’ar and Naftali Bennett back to the right-wing bloc, and they’ll get the positions they deserve. I wish them success in bringing as many votes in from the center-left. Then will bring Bennett and Sa’ar back to the right-wing camp.”