Haredi Parties Battle for the Periphery

Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri has been harshly critical of fellow haredi party United Torah Judaism (UTJ) in recent days, as elections for the 20th Knesset approach. 

Deri accused UTJ of "digging its claws" into his party's target constituents – the Sephardi/Mizrahi public living in Israel's periphery. 

Not taking the Shas Chairman's comments in stride, United Torah Judaism MK, Moshe Gafni, attacked Deri during a speech Wednesday night, accusing him of similar moves in the periphery. 

"Deri was going toward activities sponsored by Degel HaTorah [a political party within UTJ] at Kiruv Rechokim institutions in the periphery, that are identified with Degel HaTorah," Gafni attacked. 

Judging by Gafni's remarks at the election conference, it appears a war between the haredi parties is inevitable.  

"There is no taboo, not for this public, and not for any other city," Gafni said, in response to Deri's criticism. "We will approach everybody, not only in Bnei Brak. Whoever received assistance from us should contact him [Deri] and tell him to be grateful and help us so we can continue helping you all over the country."

"We can't say that a certain place is taboo and that United Torah Judaism will no go in there. We are entering all of the places where we have opened schools, kindergartens, and Torah lessons."

"We have to be there also during the elections, and we will be there during the elections, and I think the Israel public is intelligent," he concluded.  

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/191878

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