Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett responded to the attacks on him by haredi politicians and said that he would not shy away from setting up a commission of inquiry into the disaster in Meron.
“I was very sorry to hear the harsh expressions used by MKs Gafni, Deri and Litzman. These are expressions that do not make one respect them and reflect a loss of temper,” Bennett said.
“Only a year ago, when the current unity government was formed, Yamina stayed outside, and the haredim sat inside. You did not see me calling for Gafni to take off his kippah. There was a government, we were not part of it, and the sun shone in the morning,” he said.
“The haredi Knesset members will not teach us what Judaism is and certainly not what Zionism is. As Prime Minister, I will take care of the haredi public and the world of Torah,” Bennett declared.
“To the haredi citizens of Israel, I say, again: you have nothing to worry about. On the contrary, the past year has shown that you are the ones who pay, in your very life, for a political culture of neglect, preference for associates and perpetuation of problems.
Bennett stressed: ”If the intention in this hysterical venture is to deter us from the intention to set up a state commission of inquiry into the Meron disaster – it will not work. 45 Israeli civilians were killed. This must be answered for.”
Haredi lawmakers railed against Yamina chairman and Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett Tuesday afternoon, claiming the new government will threaten Israel’s future as a Jewish state.
Shas chief and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri accused the incoming national unity government of planning to “uproot religion” from the country.
“The Jewish state is in danger,” said Deri. “It will uproot religion from the country. The new government is going to destroy the Jewish character and identity of the country which has allowed us to live together.”
United Torah Judaism chief and chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee Moshe Gafni demanded the Religious Zionist public distance itself from Yamina and Naftali Bennett.
“An outrage has happened in Israel. There were times even when we were in the Opposition that the government wouldn’t dare do one-tenth of this. There will be war here against this evil one. We will shake the heavens and the earth over the behavior of this man who seems to be wearing a kippah – what a desecration of God’s name.”
“Reject, boycott, and excommunicate these people from your midst,” Gafni said, addressing the Religious Zionist public, “so that you won’t be partners in this alliance. Don’t stand in line with them to beg to be appointed rabbi of a city or neighborhood. Don’t try to fool us. Don’t turn to us.”
Housing and Construction Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) called Bennett a ‘Reform Jew’, adding he should remove his head covering.
“He is an embarrassment to his kippah and I think that is incredible gall. At least let everyone know that he is a Reform Jew.”
“Don’t believe Yamina that the Status Quo on Religion and State will be maintained. No one believes your promises. You already broke your promise not to sit with Lapid and not to join with the Left.”
Source: Arutz Sheva