Shas co-leaders Aryeh Deri and Eli Yishai arrived at the Kosel on motzei shabbos in what most view as another attempt to show party solidarity as the differences in hashkafa between the two becomes increasingly apparent – sending a message of disharmony among the party leadership which may result in uncertainty for many voters. The two arrived in separate vehicles following a Jerusalem election rally they both attended.
During the election event prior to the Kosel visit, Yishai directed his words against the Bayit HaYehudi Party, referring to the right-wing dati leumi party as having “Its own new torah”, stating that if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cuts a deal with the other parties in the coalition and only then calls on Shas, it is possible that Shas will opt to remain in opposition. Yishai indicated that he may not be willing to sit alongside Bayit HaYehudi in a coalition.
It was Bayit HaYehudi leader Naftali Bennett who came after Shas, accusing its party’s ministers of having a sectarian agenda, calling upon Mr. Netanyahu to take the housing and interior ministry portfolios away and place them in the hands of a party that has a broader agenda, a party concerned with the entire country, not just its own constituents.”
Bennett is focusing much of his campaign on the fact that Shas in the past has controlled ministries, resulting in those ministries concerning themselves exclusively with issues important to Shas supporters, at the expense of the general population. Bennett feels in the next government, the Housing and Interior Ministries must be taken out of Shas hands.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)