Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Shas chairman Aryeh Deri sharply criticized Prime Minister Naftali Bennett after Bennett said that the political power of the haredim should be limited.

"Come and tell the million people who together received 16 seats in the election campaign that their power should be limited - who are you anyway and in whose name are you talking? You're a clown," Deri said in an interview with Channel 13 News.

The former interior minister continued: "The person who made this statement is not a prime minister whom the people supported and expressed confidence in. It came from a man who formed a government through theft, fraud and deception."

"Bennett is now completely discouraged, he thought his act of self-indulgence would lift him up, and now that he sees how he is coming down to the electoral threshold line, he is trying what Liberman tried - 'hit the haredim and maybe I'll get more sympathy.'

Speaking at The Jerusalem Post 10th Annual Conference Tuesday morning, Bennett said Israeli society is composed of three broad political forces or “vectors”, arguing that all three have important roles to play in the Jewish state.

“Our motto is that 70% of people agree on 70% of the issues, so let’s focus on that. But practically speaking, I see here a much greater potential. Let’s also start talking about the 30% [of issues].”

“In Israel there are basically three political vectors: the national force, which I’d absolutely call right-wing; the globalist-humanist approach, which I’d basically call the Left, and the religious: haredim and the Orthodox. In practice, we need all three vectors,” while adding that he believes haredi political power should be diminished.

“We are a Jewish state, and I’m happy that there are haredim, but we need to limit their political influence. And I wouldn’t want an Israel without a left-wing,” Bennett continued.