“A Dangerous Government” // MK Rabbi Aryeh Deri on the new government’s treachery

By Chananya Bleich

MK Rabbi Aryeh Deri
“A Dangerous Government”
MK Rabbi Aryeh Deri on the new government’s treachery
I met with Shas Chairman Rabbi Aryeh Deri on Monday. I began the interview by asking him why he insists that this government is terrible.
“For the past 73 years, the Reform movement has been fighting to receive recognition from the State of Israel as a legitimate religious organization. They have invested millions of dollars into that effort. And while they sometimes had small victories in court, we always managed to stop them through legislation. Look at their fight for the Kotel accords. Do they really care about the Kotel? No. They just want to receive official standing. They claim that if there’s an Orthodox plaza then there should also be a Reform plaza. If there’s Orthodox conversion then there should also be Reform conversion. If there’s Orthodox kashrus then there should also be Reform kashrus.
“Already on the first day after the government was sworn in, Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai announced that in this government, Orthodox, Reform and Conservative will have equal standing. And he repeated that again when he traveled to the US. In the coalition agreement on which Yamina—which consists of religious people—and Zev Elkin, who is religious, sits, it states that a special branch will be opened in the diaspora for Reform. That alone is enough of a reason to protest vehemently. How could religious people allow this to happen? After the Holocaust there were about six million Jews in the US and about 600,000 Jews in Israel. Now there are less than six million in the US and a bit more than six million in Israel. That’s a direct result of the Reform, intermarriage and assimilation.
“But what do you expect when you form a government that includes the far-left parties, which want to turn Israel into a ‘country for all of its citizens’ rather than a Jewish state? They took their Reform rabbi [Avodah MK Gilad Kariv] and put him in charge of the Knesset Constitution Committee, which is the committee that has the most influence over issues of religion and state. Furthermore, they unilaterally decided that the coalition would have a 9-7 majority within that committee, even though they only have a one-person majority in the Knesset as a whole [Knesset committees are meant to reflect the makeup of the Knesset].
Furthermore, on her first day on the job, the new transportation minister announced that she will allow public transportation on Shabbat, and she doesn’t even need legislation for that. We warned Yamina that this would happen, but they claimed that it wasn’t a concern because they’ll have a veto against any new legislation. But the fact is that 90 percent of what happens in this country can be implemented unilaterally by the ministers, who have the right to set their own policy within the remit of their ministries.
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