Chairman Naftali Bennett of Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home-New National Religious Party) would prefer that the Shas party not be part of the next government, according to a Friday-morning report by the Yisrael Hayom daily. A Knesset member who ranked high on the party's ballot in the recent election told the newspaper, "It makes sense from our standpoint that Shas will be outside and United Torah Judaism will be in. We only have problems with Shas. They have been attacking us since the elections until now." Saying that the fight is not on ideological grounds, the member of Knesset explained that the battle is over the religious-affairs portfolio.
On Thursday evening, Shas Co-chairman Eli Yishai told Bennett that he would work to tighten relations between the two parties, stressing the need for cooperation. The two agreed to meet in the next few days.