Yishai. Impressive achievement
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Netanyahu. Seeking support
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Yishai hints Shas might join coalition with Lieberman

Netanyahu meets Shas leader in bid to garner support for Likud-led coalition. Yishai doesn't rule out sitting in government with old rival Yisrael Beiteinu, saying 'we've seen more far-fetched combinations in the past'

Shas Chairman Eli Yishai and Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday at the Likud Knesset offices to discuss Shas' support for Netanyahu in his efforts to form a Likud-led coalition.


According to Yishai, the two exchanged views, analyzed the election results and spoke about the various options for a coalition.


"Clearly Netanyahu wants a wide government based on the national camp," Yishai said. "I hope this will be possible, but as long as the president hasn’t tasked him with forming the government, I cannot go into details or agreements," he added.


Yishai reiterated his belief that the Israeli people have chosen the Right, and his hope that this would be reflected in the coalition's makeup. He rejected the claim that the haredi party diminished in strength and said: "We've kept our power in terms of votes.


"The growing voter turnout subtracted from our strength, but in light of the circumstances and the Likud's rise this is an enormous and impressive achievement. We'll stand for our principles."


Shas' leader also commented on the possibility that his party would share the coalition table with its ideological rival Yisrael Beiteinu. Tensions between the parties skyrocketed recently ahead of the elections, and Shas' spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef even said that voting for Lieberman is like supporting Satan.


However, on the day after the elections Yishai spoke in a very different tone, saying that "we've seen much more far-fetched combinations in the past."


To illustrate his point he mentioned another old political opponent of Shas, Meretz's former leader Yossi Sarid, who in the past vowed not to sit in the same government with the haredi party, but later folded.


פרסום ראשון: 02.11.09, 15:50
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