A meeting planned for Sunday, 22 Kislev, between Shas party leader Aryeh Deri and former party leader Eli Yishai was canceled by the order of HaGaon HaRav Shimon Ba’adani Shlita.
Following the meeting between Yishai and Rav Ba’adani, it was clear to the rav, who is a member of the Shas Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael, that Yishai was not going to comply with Deri’s demands. Rabbi Ba’adani responded by instructing Deri to cancel the planned meeting on Sunday. Deri’s demands include Yishai giving him an undated letter or resignation which Deri can use if and when he sees fit and 2; Yishai accepting that he may not speak with the media without first obtaining permission from Deri.
Persons close to Yishai feel that the former party leader, who has been aligned with Shas for 30 years, will be resigning from Shas and the Knesset. Others speculate Yishai will leave and form his own party or find his new political home aligning with another party.
Rav Ba’adani has instructed party officials to refrain from discussing the Yishai matter and not to speak to the media about it, stating Moetzas Gedolei Hatorah will deal with the matter exclusively, no one else.
Polls show that Shas would lose even more seats if Deri runs without Eli Yishai and yet another poll shows that Yishai teaming up with Uri Ariel’s Tekuma faction would result in that alignment earning seven seats. There is pressure being exerted on Naftali Bennett to close a deal with Ariel to present to prevent Bayit Yehudi from splitting and to prevent Ariel from aligning with Yishai.
There is speculation that if Yishai aligns with Ariel and others, despite his popularity and the fact he is breaking from Shas and is not being ousted, he may be viewed by some as following in the footsteps of Chaim Amsellem.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)