Daily Israel Report

Yishai to Zionist Rabbis: Save the Torah World

Eli Yishai of Shas defends his record on the land of Israel, seeks help from Bayit Yehudi.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/6/2013, 1:14 PM

Eli Yishai
Eli Yishai
Flash 90

Shas leader Eli Yishai hinted Wednesday that he is ready to bury the hatchet following tension between his party and the religious-Zionist Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party. Yishai defended his record on issues dear to the religious-Zionist community, and called for Bayit Yehudi to defend issues important to the hareidi-religious world.

Yishai has met with religious-Zionist rabbis in recent days and "requested one thing from them: ‘Save the Torah world,’” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Yishai said that during the meetings “I proved that I am loyal to the land of Israel.” Yishai noted that he did not support the Disengagement from Gaza in 2005, and that he did not join Kadima head Tzipi Livni in forming a government after the last elections, but threw his support behind Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instead.

“I reined in [former Prime Minister] Olmert and protected the land of Israel,” he added.

The hareidi parties are fighting to prevent the government from requiring full-time yeshiva students to enlist in the army, and to keep partial funding for hareidi schools that have not committed to teaching a core curriculum of secular subjects.

Sources in the Bayit Yehudi party have attacked Shas in recent days over its condemnation of the party during the elections campaign. However, party sources said Tuesday that they are now seeking to build bridges with the Shas movement based on issues common to both parties.