Shas voters slam party's campaign

Shas voters split on whether campaign posters sufficiently honor spiritual leader's legacy.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Shas campaign poster: Bibi needs a strong Aryeh
Shas campaign poster: Bibi needs a strong Aryeh
Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

A recent campaign by the Sephardic-haredi Shas party has angered many of the party's supporters, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

The campaign involves large signs stating "Supporting Bibi, remembering Maran," with a photo of the late former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who served as the party's founder and spiritual leader.

"Bibi" is the nickname of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Another poster reads, "Bibi needs a strong Aryeh" and carries a photo of Shas Chairman Interior Minister Aryeh Deri.

"Aryeh" is also the Hebrew word for lion.

The campaign drew the ire of many haredim who criticized the mixture of "holy and secular" and the apparent comparison between the late Rabbi Yosef and PM Netanyahu.

Kikar Hashabbat quoted a survey by Kav Ha'itonut found that among Shas voters, 42.3% do not support the campaign, which they believe does not sufficiently honor Rabbi Yosef's legacy.

The survey, which included 751 participants, also found that 32.5% of Shas voters believe there is no problem with the campaign, while 23.6% believe that it is "not appropriate, but if it brings voters then 'it's okay.'"

When asked about Shas' support for Netanyahu, 42.2% said that it will bring Shas more supporters, while 31.4% believe that it will neither help nor harm Shas and 24.9% believe that it is good for Netanyahu but causes Shas to lose support.

Recent polls have showed Shas alternately teetering on the edge of passing the electoral threshold and gaining six seats in the coming election.

Last month, the Shas party rejected a proposed unification with the Ashkenazic-haredi UTJ party, claiming that "if we unite [with UTJ], if could lead to a massive loss of traditional voters."

Shas campaign poster: Remembering Maran, supporting Bibi
Noam Revkin Fenton/FLASH90