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Netanyahu reassures Israelis – the nation’s religious status quo will continue

Likud Head MK Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with MK Aryeh Deri during a vote for the new Knesset speaker, Dec. 13, 2022. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to calm some political furor after a report on Israeli TV claimed that one religious party is demanding a halt to electricity generation on Shabbat and an increase in segregated beaches. 

The Channel 12 report, which gave no named sources, claimed that Netanyahu agreed to United Torah Judaism’s demands. 

“We will preserve the status quo. Every person according to his faith. There will be no halacha [rabbinic law] government here. There will be electricity on Shabbat, there will be beaches for everyone,” he said.

During his speech, opposition lawmakers could be heard shouting their complaints. 

Netanyahu also admonished the departing coalition to “accept the people’s decision in the election and stop intimidation and lies.” 

Before Netanyahu spoke, outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid said, “Netanyahu is weak, terrified of his trial.”

He accused Netanyahu of giving too much power to his coalition partners.

“[Religious Zionism party head Bezalel] Smotrich and [Shas leader Aryeh] Deri control this government. Netanyahu is a junior partner,” he said. 

Likud and its coalition partners were expected to attempt to pass several laws this week aimed at meeting coalition members’ demands.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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