Monday, 16.12.2019, Minister of the Interior and Head of Shas, Aryeh Deri gave an interview on Yaron Vilensky and Yaakov Bardugo’s show on Galei Tzahal (the Army radio station).
During the interview, an election video was played for Deri in which MK Alex Kushnir, speaking in Russian, calls for a government without the Orthodox. When asked for his opinion of the video, Deri said:
“A month ago, there was a terrible campaign of incitement by Avigdor Lieberman and his whole band against all of the Ultra-Orthodox. I said that no one would call us extortionists in comparison to Yisrael Beiteinu who, among other things, demanded 2 billion shekel for immigrants from the Soviet Union who don’t pay taxes and don’t work and Avigdor Lieberman said that there had never been a more antisemetic and racist statement made in Knesset. Yes I made a rousing statement, but it is true. I was Minister of the Interior in 1990, and together with Arik (Ariel) Sharon, worked day and night for a whole year to welcome the immigrants from the former Soviet Union with love and happiness and now they are coming and speaking out against the Jewish religion. All of the incitement of a Halachic state is false and meant only to collect a few more votes. The Status Quo is deteriorating in the favor of the Secular and we will regret this. We gave the gift of the Shabbat to the state and we are going to lose it. Everyone who is trying to protest the Ultra-Orthodox is doing irreversible damage in order to collect a few votes“.
Head of Yisrael Beiteinu MK Avigdor Lieberman posted in response to Deri’s comments:
“Yesterday evening, in the studio of Galei Tzahal–the radio of all of the soldiers of the IDF, yes even of the children of those who made Aliyah from the Soviet Union–Balfour’s pet reporter (a reference to Balfour street on which is the residence of the Prime Minister), Yaakov Bardugo and the Minister of the Interior and Head of Shas Aryeh Deri met. In a display of hatred towards immigrants from the Soviet Union the likes of which we have not heard in a long time, the two set a goal, to separate and divide between immigrants from the former Soviet union and the Tzabar public that has been in Israel for a while. It seems the fact that Deri and Bardugo come from backgrounds of waves of immigration that suffered from inequality taught them nothing. The Shofar of Balfour audaciously and shamelessly stated that the Yisrael Beiteinu party is based on 400 thousand religionless people that the party is trying to bring into judaism, against the will of the public and by any means necessary. Minister Deri added that the same hundreds of thousands of people that are here… don’t want to be Jewish. In inappropriate condescension and ignorance, Deri stated that the Russian language could only be used by those who do not speak Hebrew. He scorned and ridiculed MK Alex Kushnir from Yisrael Beiteinu for speaking Russian in one of the videos produced on the 8th of June, 2019 and condescendingly asked if he knew how to speak Hebrew. Interesting that Deri decided to pay attention to him now. By the way, MK Kushnir, who made Aliyah in 1992 from the Ukraine was a Company Commander in Givati (an infantry brigade in the IDF), worked for the Shabak, was an emissary for Joint, interim head of Nativ, and CEO of the office of Immigration Absorption. Deri, would you say the same to an English, French, or Spanish speaker? Or does only Russian tickle your ear. Deri went so far as to hint that the immigrants that he received in 1990 as minister of the Interior should be grateful they were not put in transit camps and instead are now coming and speaking out against religious and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. Deri in his vitrollic way continues to hold steady with racist statement against immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and has yet to apologize for his despicable statement from two weeks ago that these immigrants do not work and do not pay taxes, quite the opposite, yesterday he stood by this miserable statement. The immigrants from the former Soviet Union will not forget Deri’s racist remarks and the fact that the heads of the largest parties have still not condemned them“.