Head of the Shas party Eli Yishai told Israel Radio Thursday morning that he doesn’t think that former party leader Arye Deri will establish a new party.

“It’s had for me to believe that will form a new party,” Yishai said. “He always said he’d never go against the wishes of Rabbi Ovadiah [Yosef, Shas’ spiritual leader]. He loves and respects Rabbi Ovadiah, and I just don’t think he would do this.”

Yishai seemed to be indicating that it is the wishes of the rabbi, who is effectively the Shas movement’s ultimate decision maker, that Yishai will take Shas into the coming elections as party leader.

However, asked why Rabbi Yosef does not simply make a public statement on the matter, Yishai said elusively that the only issue the rabbi would comment on was to say “vote for Shas.”

During the interview, Yishai also accused Yair Lapid of trying to deceive the public into believing that he doesn’t hate the ultra-Orthodox.

“He’s behaving very nicely, as if he’s Little Red Riding Hood,” Yishai suggested. “But it’s incumbent on Shas voters and anyone who cares about Jewish values that he doesn’t succeed with his media spin.”

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