Several key supporters of MK Eli Yishai, formerly Minister of the Interior and head of the Shas party, are pushing a plan that would see him leave Knesset and run for the office of mayor in Jerusalem.
“It’s a very important position, much more than some of the ministerial posts,” one of the backers of the plan told Yisrael Hayom.
“It’s a position that’s exactly right for Eli Yishai, because he was Minister of the Interior, because he knows how to run things, and because he’s a hareidi-religious figure who could be acceptable to secular Israelis as well,” he added.
Sources close to Yishai said he has heard the proposal, but has not yet shared his opinion.
Until last week Yishai shared joint leadership of the Shas political party with MKs Ariel Attias and Aryeh Deri. However, last week Shas’ spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, named Deri the sole leader of the party.
Rabbi Yosef explained Saturday night that he had promised Deri years ago that he would return to lead Shas after he served his time in prison.
He blessed Yishai, saying, “He is an honest man, a righteous man… He did everything with wisdom and humility, he never bragged or was arrogant. I am grateful for everything he has done, may G-d give him long life.”