For Yishai, merely a slap on the wrist

PM knows he’s only in power thanks to us, Shas sources stress.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 12, 2010 01:59
1 minute read.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai

Eli Yishai 58 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cannot punish Interior Minister Eli Yishai for marring the visit of US Vice President Joe Biden because of the Shas leader’s vast political power, a source close to Yishai said on Thursday.

A Prime Minister’s Office statement Thursday about the plan to build 1,600 housing units in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood says that Netanyahu “summoned Yishai and expressed his displeasure at the timing of the announcement of another stage in the planning process of a Jerusalem building project.”

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Yishai’s associates said he had agreed to take the blame for the Ramat Shlomo announcement in a conversation with Netanyahu but there was no chance of him getting more than a slap on the wrist.

“The prime minister remembers who gave Netanyahu his job,” a source close to Yishai said, referring to Shas’s refusal to join a government that Kadima leader Tzipi Livni tried to form in October 2008.

Yishai told Netanyahu, according to the Shas chairman’s associates, that the public would not understand why Israel was apologizing for building in Jerusalem when the capital is not part of the West Bank moratorium.

A source close to Netanyahu said that the prime minister “appreciated Yishai’s behavior” during the crisis.


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