Shas Plans to Quit Within Months, Some Say It May be Too Late

by Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) The Sephardic hareidi-religious Shas party hopes to make some political gains before quitting the government. Shas observers and opponents say: It won’t work.

“The die has been cast,” writes political commentator Sophia Ron-Moriah in the Makor Rishon newspaper.

    “Shas will quit the Olmert government before mid-summmer, or before – depending on the pace of the two or three matters that are important to Shas.”

The legislation that is important to Shas includes the expansion of rabbinical court authorities, restrictions on internet access to pornographic sites, and the restoration of previous levels of monthly child allowances.

Shas has been under heavy pressure from the religious and right-wing camps to quit the Olmert government before significant progress is made in the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority to divide Jerusalem and give away major portions of the Land of Israel.

Olmert Keeping Shas on a Short Leash
Prime Minister Olmert, for his part, is interested in granting gestures to Shas at a slow pace, in order that Shas remain in the government coalition for as long as possible. If the 11 Shas MKs leave the coalition, the government will be left without a majority in the Knesset.

Coalition chairman MK Eli Aflalo (Kadima) has even asked Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik to shorten the current winter and upcoming summer sessions, in order to provide fewer opportunities both for the coalition to lose important Knesset votes and for Shas to quit the coalition.

Warning to Shas
Yossi Elituv, a widely-read political commentator who specializes in Shas, recently wrote an open letter to Knesset Members of the party, warning them that Olmert is using them in order to give away Jerusalem.”

Olmert has “decided to take advantage of the time that is left until the coming elections,” Elituv wrote, “to formulate an unreal and dangerous diplomatic agreement that has major and far-reaching concessions. Jerusalem is being torn to pieces, and all in the merit of the votes of the Shas Knesset Members… You said you would rush out of the government the moment they begin talking about Jerusalem. Really now. What do you think [Foreign Minister] Tzipi Livni and Abu Ala were talking about on the day that a terrorist blew himself up and murdered a woman in Dimona? Do you think they were exchanging recipes for Hamentaschen [Purim pastries]?! … You well know that someone has sold Jerusalem at the same time he was selling you contradictory messages. But you are addicted to the false sweetness of the illusion… Jerusalem is not ‘about’ to be put on the agenda; we’re already in another phase: Jerusalem has already been sold out!”

“Olmert is speaking to you in two voices,” Elituv continued, “without even clearing his throat in between: On the one hand, he freezes construction in Jerusalem, and with the other he enwraps you with embraces of promises. With one voice, he calls rabbis and swears allegiance to Jerusalem, and with the other voice, he calls his clerks and instructs them to stop every project, to strangle the city, and bring down the hareidi cities. All the neighborhoods that were built past the ’67 borders have been arbitrarily and unforgivably frozen. His hand did not tremble when he signed away our normal lives here…”

UTJ’s Ravitz
MK Avraham Ravitz, of the rival hareidi-religious party United Torah Judaism, refused to criticize Shas. Speaking to Arutz-7 on Monday, he said only, “I have enough trouble trying to get my own party to do what it should; I should try to advise Shas?” He admitted, however, that he was “doubtful” that Shas would succeed in its apparent two-pronged goal of achieving certain religious-political goals and also being able to quit before the negotiations on Jerusalem reach a critical stage.

“The MKs of Shas are themselves unsure whether they will succeed,” Ravitz said. “It’s not that Olmert is giving them what they want little by little – he’s barely giving them anything at all.”

February 26, 2008 | 1 Comment »

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  1. I hate Shas and their Leader Ovadia Yosef, I mean really hate them. They are as close as we can here in Israel to being a cult. This one(Shas is a personality cult built around the Persona of R. Yosef) Iraqi by Birth and hater of all things Ashkenazi (European Jewry) He was once Sepharedi Chief Rabbi and was dismissed summarily from his position due to graft and he is holding a grudge ever since. They originally formed a political party to be equal to the Haredi Ashkenazi parties as they felt discriminated against because of their origins. Mioddle East , Turkey Asian republics of Soviet Union Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan. Here is the problem. Most of Shas supporters are not overly religious they might best be described as traditional. Most will drive on Shabbat andgo to football matches picnicks etc. But 99% of them will keep Kosher, respect their parents and give the elderly a seat on a bus and even the pooest of them will give to some charity. They revere their Rabbis even though 99% of them are as ignorant Of Torah as most secular Jews but they grew up and still maily live in places where they were born as close to Family as possible. Like the Arabs they have large extended clans and mostly large nuclear families. like the Arabs Primary loyalties are to extended families before all else.

    While Shas like all othe Haredi Parities are Anti Zionist, most Shas supporters unlike the Ashkenazi cousins will serve in the IDF, most would consider themselves either Zionist and or patriotic not so the hard core leadership of Shas and their students they are trying to out ashkenazi the Ashkenazim in being anti zionist and borderline patriotic. So Leadership Of Shas Haredi , most of followers not! Leadership anti Zionist most of followers yes!

    They have been Brainwashed for a lot of years maybe 2 generations into believing thYosef is a Great of his generation like the Rambam, Rashi, Ramban etc. His word is equal to them as would be the Word of God. The Stat of Israel has allowed these freaks of nature to be se

    mi autonomous in that they run their own institutions and educational systems where the 3 rs are almost unknown and in their stead are Ovadias concept of Judaism, They know no other. He keeps his people poor and downtrodden which helps to keep them ignorant and thus loyal to himself and to shas.

    Oslo 1 and 2 were passed with the votes and abstention of Shas which allowed them to be passed against the wishes and votes of Jewish majority of the Knesset. by a single vote. Here the Arab parities and a few bribed cross over Jewish votes got Oslo Passed . Shas was key here. They have never recanted those votes!

    By playing with insightful acumen Shas has learned to play the 3rd necessary wheel in Israeli coalition making. They will join any coalition if the price is right even sometimes when the price is not paid as being out of coalition denies their people Jobs and a lot of money. In short this quasi cult is interested in money and power above and beyond the national interest. The state is for them a cow to be milked as much and as often as they are allowed.

    It is interesting to note that Yosef is the rare Possek in modern times who dares with a straight face to Posek against poskeim of the Rambam, Rashi, and Rmban to name a few, I myself have read some and believe me Aristotle would be turning over in his grave at the illogic of Yosefs poskim. Poskim are edicts or opinions of Halacha(Jewish Law)

    I HATE SHAS!A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. – George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950