Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak, a well-known haredi outreach preacher and founder of the newly established Hakoah Lehashpia Party (The Power to Influence), said the party would be running in the upcoming election, despite the public attack on him from Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef over the weekend.

Speaking in Nahariya on Sunday night, Yitzhak said that he would be backing his new party in the election all the way.

“I announce here unambiguously that I’m going until the end,” he declared. “I will not stop, I will continue... I am determined and I will save the Jewish people.”

Yitzhak is not himself standing for election to the Knesset, but serves as the party’s spiritual adviser, much like Yosef does for Shas.

Through his speaking tours and preaching activities, the rabbi seeks to “return” secular Israelis, especially Sephardim, to Orthodox Judaism.

The Shas leadership has heavily criticized Yitzhak for running his party in the elections, which will compete for core Shas voters, and which party officials fear will cost it a seat in Knesset.

Yosef openly criticized Yitzhak for the first time on Saturday night, while Rabbi Shalom Cohen, a member of Shas’s rabbinical decision-making body the Council of Torah Sages and dean of the Porat Yosef Yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem, also weighed in against him, saying he was losing his place in olam haba, the world to come.

Yitzhak addressed Cohen’s comments, saying that he had cursed him “like a simple person in the market.”

“What about [the principle of] judging your friends favorably? Even a regular Jew from the market you can’t judge him to be guilty; a Jew who has done so much [to return others to being observant] – they can say such things about him?”

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