Yoav Ben-Tzur
Yoav Ben-TzurHezki Baruch

Labor Minister Yoav Ben-Tzur (Shas) believes that Prime Minister Netanyahu will be obligated to announce elections immediately after the end of the war.

"At the end of the war, Netanyahu will be forced to go to elections within 90 days, even before an investigative committee of one kind or another. This is my opinion. The Prime Minister himself will initiate the elections. We cannot continue like this any longer. The public will have its say and then we will see if Netanyahu receives a mandate," he told Maariv.

He added that "decency requires that after such a terrible event, the public must have its say. The government will not be able to continue functioning in the current situation. Everyone takes responsibility for what happened. I, as a minister in the government, also take responsibility."

Later, the minister published a clarification of things. "My words were taken out of context. In response to the constant question about Prime Minister Netanyahu's responsibility, I wanted to say that this is not the time to deal with this and that after the war, Netanyahu himself will lead the investigation."

"In any case, these things do not at all represent the position of the Shas movement, which is determined by the Council of Torah Sages and is presented by the chairman of the movement only. In a war, you don't talk about politics and I made a mistake in my judgment."

During the interview, Ben-Tzur also answered the criticism surrounding the use of coalition funds for his party's education network. "The coalition funds are intended to bring the conditions of Torah education to equal those of the state network. After many years, it was decided to implement the Ofek Hadash reform here as well."

"Our teachers should not be deprived. The September salaries have already been paid and if they take the money back, there will be a complete mess. Some of the funds are intended for seminars for college teachers, for Torah culture and haredi culture. The Minister of Finance promised that he is opening the 2024 budget and from now on there will be no more coalition funds and all will be at the base of the budget. I hope that from now on, there will be no more complaints," he emphasized.

When asked about the recruitment of the haredi public to the IDF, he replied: "A haredi who thinks he can contribute to the army, let him enlist. I am not talking about those who sit down to study Torah, who contribute in their way to the salvation of the people of Israel. But I am against the phenomenon of people just sitting idly by. The war brought about a change in the attitudes of the haredi public and the general public. Look at the size of the division a month and a half ago, and what is happening now in the people of Israel. This is an extraordinary mobilization that symbolizes the true character of the people. What was in the past is dead, and I hope we can maintain unity in the future as well."