(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Former Shas chairman Eli Yishai slammed his successor, Arye Deri, Sunday for considering leaving his post as economy minister to enable the passage of a controversial gas deal.
Deri told Channel 2 Saturday that he was mulling temporarily leaving the post if another way to pass the deal cannot be found. There has been talk of him exchanging portfolios with a Likud minister or temporarily giving his portfolio to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu met with Deri Friday, which led to him changing his mind after months of refusing to allow the deal’s passage. Just weeks ago, Deri told reporters that if he was forced to leave his post, his party would leave the coalition.
“Deri is a wheeler-dealer who must decide whether he represents the poor, who he said were invisible poor, or the gas tycoons,” Yishai told Channel 10. “If he truly represents the invisible, he should not give up his seat.
He should not give up. And if he represents the tycoons, he should just sign the deal.”
Yishai said it was wrong to leave his ministry and allow another minister to sign the deal. He suggested that quitting his current post would be proof that he could not accomplish anything.
“He bragged after the election that he got seven seats and I got zero,” Yishai said of the Yahad party he formed.
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“He said the score was 7-0.
Now we see, he got seven mandates and zero accomplished.”
Deri’s office responded by accusing Yishai of lying and saying it is unfortunate that he continues besmirching Deri and Shas even after he was trounced in the March 17 election.
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