Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Tuesday afternoon with a delegation of National Religious rabbis at the Prime Minister's Office.
The meeting was attended by former MK, Rabbi Haim Druckman, the head of the Bnei Akiva Yeshiva network and the Or Etzion hesder yeshiva , Rabbi Eli Sadan, rosh yeshiva (dean) of the IDF's mechina program, Rabbi David Stav, the leader of the Tzohar rabbinical organization, Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, the rosh yeshiva of Mercaz HaRav, and other rabbis.
Netanyahu thanked the rabbis for supporting him, and noted Rabbi Druckman's letter criticizing the right-wing anti-corruption demonstration which took place Saturday night.
Prime Minister Netanyahu told rabbis at the start of the meeting: "There is a political effort here through demonstrations and other means to bring down the nationaistl government headed by us, we who are concerned about the Land of Israel and are fighting for it."
"We did not always understand these attempts. Once they succeeded - in 1992. This time we will make sure it does not work. I think we are all experienced and none of us is fooled, so I just wanted to express my appreciation and encourage each of us to strengthen the other."
Rabbi Haim Druckman said at the meeting, "The current situation is intolerable. They talk about higher values, but their motives are completely different. We have to tell the truth, that those who are 'fighting against corruption' are themselves corrupt."
Rabbi Eli Sadan said, "I am very angry at the persecution that is taking place today, for many reasons, because when people allow themselves to talk about the prime minister, they are not talking about the chutzpah of the entire political and media system [and they speak] without any restraint. It is a sign of shame for our country."
"A Jew like you, who has been in the government for over 20 years, could have earned 10 times as much, 100 times as much, as a private citizen," Rabbi Sadan told the prime minister. "To say that there's a problem because you accepted a cigar, that this is a scandal, lawlessness, corruption. They want to change the government this way and not at the ballot box."
"If there is no truth, there is terrible danger, it is fine if some people criticize you - that's legitimate, but at the end of the day, the person who turned the State of Israel into an economic power is you, as prime minister. Everyone talks about the fact that the State of Israel is a state of start-ups and economic success - and someone did it. You have run the country for [the better part of] 20 years, and you put the economy at the top of your concerns. But did anyone say thank you?"