Deri said, “According to the meetings that we had with Netanyahu, he told us he would start serious negotiations next week.”
“I don’t think he’ll allow other parties to disqualify us,” Deri added.
Deri gave President Shimon Peres a letter from Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef, in which he compelled him to ensure there would be no rift in the nation, and reminded him that he had been Ben Gurion’s emissary in the initial agreement to exempt yeshiva students from military service.
Arrangements for universal national service is a crucial concern of Shas and United Torah Judaism in coalition negotiations for entering the government, and the two haredi parties are worried that legislation will be passed in the coming Knesset mandating service for yeshiva students.
“I turn to you with a worried and pained heart,” Yosef wrote to Peres. “Throughout the generations, the Jewish people has risked its life to study the holy Torah.
“Please, use your influence in order to bring together the different sectors of our people and, at this time when there are people who are sowing fire and hatred and argument within the People, turn to them and guide them with logic and consensus and not through division and hatred, so that our nation will remain united, and hatred will not be increased among brothers,” the rabbi implored.
Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post