Shas not worried about losing votes due to 'Peretz factor'

November 15, 2005 23:35
3 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Traditional Shas voters will not abandon the party for Labor just because Achlama Peretz lights Shabbat candles, said a spokesman for Shas Chairman Eli Yishai Tuesday. The spokesman was responding to a comment made Tuesday morning by former Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri on Army Radio that Shas would lose votes to a Labor Party led by Amir Peretz. "Peretz may be Moroccan, he may be from Sderot, but his radical left-wing secular views make it impossible for Shas's constituents to vote for him," said the spokesman. "Peretz's first mistake was to invite the Arab parties to form a coalition," said the spokesman. "His second was to invite settlers in Judea and Samaria to evacuate like in Gaza and northern Samaria." However, David Tal, a former Shas MK who joined Peretz in forming Am Ehad, believes Peretz could take away two to three mandates from Shas. "If Amir behaves wisely he can capitalize on Shas constituents," said Tal. "Sephardi Jews see him as 'one of their own.' For many he is a role model." Commenting on Peretz's left-wing politics, Tal said, "After the recent economic slowdown and Bibi's welfare cuts, all that many people care about is feeding their families. Many would be receptive to Amir's socio-economic message." Still, he cautioned, "He should be careful not to lean too radically to the left. He should try to stay close to the center." The Shas spokesman argued that although Peretz presents himself as a champion of the downtrodden, he was really a representative of powerful union interests. "Who does Peretz support? Single mothers? The elderly? The handicapped? No way. He is the hero of Israel Electric's union, the highest paid in the country, the longshoremen with their inflated salaries and other unions that have the economy in a full-nelson hold." Nevertheless, according to a Ha'aretz-Dialog poll conducted by Professor Camil Fuchs on Thursday, Shas would fall from its present 11 mandates to just six or seven if the elections had been held last week. Tal agreed with the Shas spokesman that Peretz had made a few mistakes since that poll was taken. He succeeded in alienating many traditional Sephardi constituents with his invitation to the Arab parties and his bill to extend the disengagement plan from Gaza and northern Samaria to other settlements in Judea and Samaria. "He should also try to stay away from statements about dividing Jerusalem," he added. Peretz's spokesman said in response that the new Labor chairman was not courting any particular group. "The age of parochial sectors in Israeli politics is over," said the spokesman. "Politicians and parties are no longer judged according to ethnic or religious criteria - rather, according to abilities, opinions and actions. "Labor, led by Peretz, will provide a warm home for all groups interested in a change in Israeli society." Gil Hoffman contributed to this story.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town