Shas, as has been seen in the past, is not a novice to the political arena and not without the ability to strike when pushed into a corner. Shas is now signaling that if Degel HaTorah attacks regarding Shas’ decision to enter the World Zionist Organization continue, Degel can forget about Shas’ support for the bill seeking to add deputy ministers to Jerusalem. The bill was put forward by MK R’ Uri Maklev.
If the bill is passed into law it would solve the problems for the chareidi parties in Jerusalem City Hall. At present, Shas does not have any deputy mayors and in Yahadut HaTorah, the single slot is held by Degel but in 18 months, it will rotate to a representative of the Agudah faction. Shas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had a brainstorm, to expand the bill to other cities as well and thereby open slots for dozens of deputy mayors, but a public outcry compelled the prime minister to backtrack and the bill is now only relevant to Jerusalem, as first intended.
Shas however has announced it is not too concerned with the current situation, and Councilman Shlomo Atias is doing fine even without the deputy portfolio Shas officials report, Degel on the other hand wants the slot as is evident by the fact it sponsored the bill.
The Shas retaliatory threat has only been released unofficially for now, seeking to keep Degel at bay, but if the move does not succeed, the party will most likely move ahead and officially warn Degel to back down or bear the consequences of ongoing slanderous attacks against Shas.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)