(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Several Shas MKs are getting increasingly worried about the possibility that they might be replaced on the party’s electoral list, or pushed down the order into unobtainable spots.
Before MK Eli Yishai split from the party to form a new political faction in December, several of his former colleagues expressed concern and anger that Shas chairman Arye Deri was considering bringing in new faces to the list to improve the party’s image and electoral appeal.
But on the day before Yishai split, the remaining nine party MKs signed a letter expressing full support for Deri, calling on Yishai not to break away from Shas, and effectively sealing his fate outside the party.
It is alleged that Deri sealed the support of even the Yishai allies by guaranteeing that he would not make changes to the Shas electoral list for the coming elections.
Several reports have surfaced in recent days that Deri is nevertheless considering changing up the electoral list.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, a senior Shas figure called Deri “a despot” and accused him of “thuggish” behavior in the way he is managing the party’s preparations for the coming elections.
The source said that if Deri were to try and change the electoral list there would be serious opposition from the Shas MKs and that they would directly approach the leading Shas rabbis, current party spiritual leader Rabbi Shalom Cohen and Rabbi Shimon Baadani to intervene.
According to a report on Army Radio, one Shas MK who remained anonymous said that if he was pushed out of the realistic spots for election he would work clandestinely for Yishai’s party.