Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri launched a strong critique of Yachad Chairman and former Shas MK Eli during an interview in the Channel 2 studio, Arutz Sheva reported.
“It was not a good week for us, because we made very great efforts, personally and all members of the Knesset and rabbis, in order to avoid this from happening,” Deri said of the split. “We are a traditional party that speaks for Torah and for unity. Look other parties that are not traditional; today there is an atmosphere of connection to the public, which is sick of disputes and I have to appear and talk about the split.
“We made a very big effort, but I have to tell the truth: this is not a split,” Deri continued. “We had 11 Knesset members and one retired, we get 8 seats in polls [Editor’s note: in actuality, Deri is referring to one poll – this one. Other polls have indicated an even split between Deri and Yishai.] and Yishai will not pass the threshold.”
“There is a split of two ways ideologies,” he explained. “Shas is not built on one man, it is built on 30 years of politics.”
Referring to Yishai, he said the Yachad Chairman is “a man who has personally received a position of authority and who has gained a lot of other partners whom I respect – but this is not the way of Maran [Rav Ovadiah Yosef].
Deri accused Yishai of “hurting Maran and continuing to hurt him,” and told Yishai to “think twice about the moves you make,” according to Arutz Sheva.
“….you made a big mistake, hurt the institution of Maran and will continue to hurt him. You introduced this dispute,” he fired. “You hurt a traditional party, which is in the way of Maran. You hurt educational institutions. You partnered with affiliates who have their own agendas which are unimportant to Maran.”