Bennett is “a man who formed a government through theft, fraud and deception,” said ultra-Orthodox lawmaker Aryeh Deri.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Ultra-Orthodox (haredi) lawmakers responded with fury after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that their political power should be limited while speaking at a conference on Tuesday.
During a speech on Israel’s current political landscape at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that ultra-Orthodox parties hold too much sway when it comes to lawmaking in the Jewish State.
“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,” said Bennett.
It should be noted that Bennett’s political party holds six seats in the Israeli parliament, known as the Knesset, while the two ultra-Orthodox parties in the Knesset hold total of 16 seats.
“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,” Shas chairman Ayreh Deri told Channel 13 News.
“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,” he added.
Moshe Gafni, chief of the UTJ party, said that Bennett’s remarks were akin to desperate political pandering, pointing out that the premier had initially attempted to woo the haredi parties into his eclectic coalition.
“Bennett’s words are not surprising. He did this [for] his partnership with Lapid, Brotherhood with Lapid, and only pleaded with the ultra-Orthodox public because he needed it [for political gain,] Gafni told Israel Hayom.
“This is the same man who lies… for issues that interest him at the moment. It is not surprising that Bennett also knows that he will not need us anymore, because this is the last time he will hold political power.”
Religious Zionism party chief Betzalel Smotrich, who once partnered with Bennett during their time in the now-defunct Jewish Home party, said the premier’s remarks showed that he is out of touch with the political reality on the ground.
“A politician with six seats who stole the premiership via fraud seeks to reduce the influence of sixteen seats,” Smotrich wrote on Twitter.
“So much lack of awareness in one sentence.”