The Shas Party held its first meeting Wednesday, following the nomination of three chairmen to head the party – Arieh Deri, Eli Yishai
and Ariel Atias.
who returned to the party and was appointed its campaign manager, ran the meeting and presented the division of functions ahead of the upcoming elections. "The goal is to bring as many mandates as possible to create a strong Shas,"
MK Nissim Zeev
was presented as head of the Judea and Samaria Division. Zeev, who is known for his outspoken extremist statement and affiliation with radical right-wing views, will focus on the Jewish communities in the West Bank, in an attempt to attract Habayit Hayehudi
and National Union
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Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen
will head the Tel Aviv Division, Rabbi David Azoulay will head the Arab Sector Division, and others will be in charge of outreach to communities such as the Georgian community (MK Avraham Michaeli), the Bokharan community (Amnon Cohen), and more.
The meeting (Photo: Courtesy of Shas Information Division)
"I'm very glad to be here and meet everyone. There's much work to be done. I must tell you how surprised I am by Yishai and Atias' cooperation. We have a great task ahead of us. We must deal with other parties merging together," Deri said.
Eli Yishai, in charge of Election Day strategies, reviewed the party's achievement in the government and the Knesset. "We had many accomplishments; it is important that the public knows," the interior minister said.
head of Shas Information Division, asked Knesset members to take note of all legislative achievements of which Shas was responsible in the 18th Knesset, including successes in putting a stop to anti-religion legislation.
Atias added that his office was in the process of devising a cohesive message that will accompany all campaign strategies. It has yet to be established whether said message will focus on Yishai's well known battle
against African infiltrators or Deri's long lasting focus on social issues.
He than took a jab into Shas' political challengers, saying "We have recently seen political mergers. Suddenly, everyone wants to represent the Mizrachi community, everyone wants to take care of disadvantaged populations. All of a sudden, people are showing interest in tradition and Judaism."
"Shas is united under Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's spiritual leadership and is the only one the can guide the political system," Atias said.
Akiva Novick is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent
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