Shas' announcement Friday that it would not join a government led by Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni has sent the political establishment into a frenzy, which may lead to general elections.
There are those who are calling for the establishment of a narrow government, and others who are saying Livni must not stall and let the people decided. Meanwhile, Kadima officials are blaming Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu for Shas' refusal to enter the coalition.
Former Meretz chairman, Knesset Member Yossi Beilin, said Friday that Shas' decision may serve as a rare opportunity to form a narrow government which would lead firm moves and bring them to the people's decision in the next elections.
He called on Livni to make "a bold decision" and ask the Knesset to approve a government with a relative majority. He added that he would not be part of such a government unless the Justice portfolio is offered to Meretz.
National Religious Party Chairman Zevulun Orlev, on the other hand, said he hoped "the era of spins and cronyism is over and we can now go to elections, in order to let the people speak and form a proper and stable government in Israel."
MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima) voiced his support for his party chairwoman, saying that "governmental stability is extremely important at this time, but not at any price. Livni compromised with Shas, but it appears that the irresponsible and unfeasible promises that Shas was given by Netanyahu looked more appealing.
"The public will have to decide whether it wants a responsible and national leadership, or Netanyahu who is willing to sell all his economic principles for his lust for power."
Sources in the Likud denied that the party had signed a political deal with Shas in order to bring about general elections. That having been said, the sources stated that Netanyahu did have a verbal agreement with Shas that he would ask the haredi party to join his coalition first, if he were to form the new government after the elections.
MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said, "The Shas leadership has come to its senses and has realized that Jerusalem cannot be sold for free. Eli Yishai and the Shas movement will naturally have a place of honor in the national unity government which will be established by Netanyahu after the elections.
"We must only hope that even if Livni tries to form a narrow minority government sponsored by the Arabs, the president will not allow it and will prefer quick elections which are the real national interest."
Attila Somfavli contributed to this report