Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Rabbi Rafi Peretz Arutz Sheva

Jerusalem Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz (Jewish Home) on Wednesday said that he wants to resume cooperation with Yamina's MKs Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, after he broke off from the unity list to join the coalition.

In an interview with Israel Hayom, Rabbi Peretz said, "Religious Zionism will not succeed in raising its head if we continue to falter and have many leaders. I would like to go back to working together with them."

"I didn't separate from them by slamming the door, I don't feel like they separated from me with the feeling that the door was slammed. I am sure that they understand that we had different considerations. We need to put things behind us, in a long but organized process. We need to hold primaries, to find the path, to join forces together. I always met a group with values and responsibility, and I'm sure the considerations will be relevant ones."

"Elections are not here yet," he added. "There is time to think about how to connect all the forces of Religious Zionism. The public wants it, we want it. None of the three - the New Right, the National Union, or the Jewish Home - will pass [the electoral threshold] if we run alone."

Regarding his decision to separate from the rest of the list and join the coalition, Peretz said: "To be a minister in the government, a member of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which influences the legislative process, and to participate in the Cabinet during a period such as this - these are things of great influence."

When asked about Likud's coalition offer to Yamina, he said, "The Likud said that with the six Knesset seats we won in the elections, three important tasks were a demand which did not match reality. I agreed with that. It seemed fair to me. And the offer that we received seemed fair to me. It's not a dishonor to be Jerusalem Minister."

Regarding Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods, Rabbi Peretz said: "We invest a lot in the eastern part of the city. Because that's sovereignty, that Israeliness should be clear there. We build schools for them, we train teachers, we do great work there. The situation there is, at the best, moderate. It's true that they feel more Palestinian there than Israeli, and we're trying to change that. Whoever is more stubborn and works on it more, will succeed more."

"We are the ones in charge in Jerusalem. We're not guests. We received it as a gift from G-d, and it's ours by right, not by kindness. We take care of the Arab population, but we will make our sovereignty clear. A lot of Arabs understand that it's good for them to live under the State of Israel. Not everyone wants to throw us into the sea."

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