Cracks in the veneer? The united front presented by Shas leaders Eli Yishai and Aryeh Deri may have already begun to crumble, over the party's elections campaign, Ynet learned Friday.
The two are reportedly at odds over what should be the focus of the campaign – a social agenda or the fight against illegal migrants.
- Deri, Yishai to share Shas leadership
- Deri returns to Shas after 13 years
- Religious Zionist parties unite ahead of elections
Prior to Deri's return to Shas' leadership, Yishai intended to lead an aggressive anti-infiltrators campaign, a party source told Yedioth Ahronoth.
"We were counting on it for votes. We had focus groups polled and saw how important this issue is to our voters."
Deri's return, however, has changed all that. "Aryeh shudders at the thought of something like that," the source told the newspaper.
"According to him, we're not 'against' anyone and the campaign will focus completely on social issues. Not a word about the Sudanese."
According to party sources, Yishai has already filmed a clip detailing the party's policy on the migrant problem and may choose to "save it as his ace in the hole" should Deri refuse to include the issue in the campaign platform.
The clip has been described as being "hard to watch." If it airs on the party's website, it will be as part of an attempt by Yishai to "show Deri who's the boss," a Shas insider said.
In a joint interview with Channel 2 News Thursday, the two addressed the future campaign. "We've joined forces to represent those without representation, which make up half of the country," Deri said.
"The issue of the infiltrators, we all agree that it's a risk, but the question is how big of a risk," he added.
Yishai was quick to interject, saying that "We will do everything to make sure all infiltrators, up to the very last one, return to their country."
Yishai's advisor Yaakov Bezalel said that "Deri has been given the mandate to lead the campaign. We will offer him the materials we've already prepared and it's up to him whether he uses them.
"Having said that, we're sure that the issue of the infiltrators will be featured in the campaign, because it will result in votes."
Deri himself has yet to choose a media strategist.
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