Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on erev Shabbos telephoned HaRav Meir Mazuz, Rosh Yeshivat Kisei Rachamim, to persuade the rabbi to instruct Eli Yishai to withdraw from the 21st Knesset election race to avoid wasting votes that would likely go to a right-wing party that will enter Knesset. All the polls show Yishai hasn’t a chance of meeting the minimum threshold of four seats to enter Knesset.
According to the report released by ‘Kav HaScoopim’, the prime minister asked the rabbi to instruct Yishai to leave the race, as wasted votes represent a threat to the right-wing majority and the latter’s ability to form a coalition government.
Kikar Shabbos News adds that Rav Mazuz responded, asking if the prime minister is indeed so concerned with the right-wing majority, why was he so afraid of Aryeh Deri’s veto regarding the possibility of appointing Yishai as a cabinet minister. At the time, Yishai declined the offer because he realized Shas party chairman Deri would veto the appointment and Mr. Netanyahu would not jeopardize losing Shas in the coalition for Yishai. “After the veto, you cannot come and ask to remove the [Yachad] list” the rabbi is quoted telling Mr. Netanyahu.
The rav reportedly added, “Just because of a personal issue [with Yishai] he threatens to leave and go with Gantz. May one rely on such a person for after elections, he may leave for another reason.”
The rav called on Mr. Netanyahu to speak with Eli Yishai, adding “I will do all I can that Yachad enters Knesset, and we will be at your side with absolute certainty”.
The prime minister is quoted saying he is not concerned for his personal status regarding the announced intentions of the attorney general to file criminal indictments against him, but he remains concerned the right-wing will fall and clear the way for a left-wing coalition government.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)