Former Knesset Member Aryeh Deri said Wednesday that the governing system in Israel must be changed and that haredi parties should be dismantled. He reiterated his previous announcement of returning to public life, but noted he did not yet know in which capacity.
The former MK also slammed a radical minority within the haredi sector which sullies the reputation of the entire group.
Deri participated in a conference on the rift between the haredi public and the secular society at the Ono Academic College's haredi campus in Or Yehuda. The event was also attended by Opposition Chairwoman Tizpi Livni and journalist Sever Plocker.
"I am in favor of changing the election system. I want direct voting for the role of prime minister, similar to the method employed in the Unites States," Deri said.
"I am in favor of canceling the haredi parties, and for regional elections with the president or prime minister appointing professional and not political ministers," Deri told the haredi students. The former Shas chairman noted, "Under the current system, the minority has no other way to protect itself."
Deri and Livni in Ono Academic College campus (Photo: Ofer Amram)
Deri also slammed groups within the haredi sector, which he said were damaging the seculars' perception of the ultra-Orthodox public. "Unfortunately, as haredim we must perform serious self-examination. Our image in the secular public is one of cart burners, stone throwers and blackmailers."
He further added, "This is the only connection secular have with haredim, but it's not the truth. Approximately 99% of the haredi public does not approve of such things."
'Minority taking over'
Referring to the "problematic" minority within ultra-Orthodox society the former Shas chairman said, "I won't go into details so my car won't get torched tomorrow morning. This minority isn't even a minority, it's one thousandth of the sector, which is taking over."
Addressing the Emannuel affair, Deri, who served as mediator between the haredim and the court, said, "No partitions should have been set up. They behaved wrongly and unwisely."
"We have a serious issue of prejudice in the haredi sector but not racism. There aren't enough Sephardic educational establishments."
MK Livni paid Deri a compliment for his efforts in the Emannuel affair and said he was an example of a leader who acts as well as speaks.