By Maayana Miskin
MK Uri Ariel of Bayit Yehudi responded Wednesday to criticism from Shas MK Yitzchak Vakhnin, who accused Bayit Yehudi of hypocrisy over spending in Judea and Samaria and claimed the party had not made any effort to work with chareidi factions, instead seeking an agreement with Yesh Atid.
Counter to Vakhnin’s claims, Bayit Yehudi did try to work with Shas, Ariel said. “It could be Vakhnin isn’t aware of our appeal to the heads of his party, and I suggest he clarify the matter with them,” he said.
“We were pushed off by the chareidi parties, so we had to reach an understanding with [Yair] Lapid,” he added, referring to the head of Yesh Atid. “We knew with complete certainty that Netanyahu planned to leave us out of the government like he did last time,” he revealed. “Lapid was the only one who stood at our side, so we keep working with him.”
Ariel called on chareidi parties Shas and Yahadut HaTorah to keep working with Bayit Yehudi despite their differences. “Over the years we have voted together with the chareidi parties on many issues, in committees and legislation, and we will continue to cooperate,” he declared. Bayit Yehudi will not threaten chareidi parties, he said. “That’s not our language. After all, we have to act in a direct, friendly way despite our disputes.”
Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid are reportedly in advanced coalition talks with Netanyahu, while Shas may be left out of the government–a fact that Shas leaders have blamed on Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett. (Arutz Sheva) v