Deri and Yishai
Deri and YishaiMiriam Alster, Flash 90

Former Chairman of the Shas party Eli Yishai slammed this morning current Chairman of the party Aryeh Deri following the Supreme Court ruling allowing the opening of Tel Aviv businesses on the Sabbath, asserting that Deri’s foot-dragging is what led to the Supreme Court decision.

“Whoever has the Council of Torah Sages [the authoritative rabbinical body of the Shas party] behind him - the decision is easy and not complicated. If I were in the government I would create a crisis. I am well aware of how these things work. As a result of the decision, supermarkets across Israel will now open on Shabbat. Today it’s Tel Aviv, tomorrow it’s all over Israel,” Yishai said in an interview with “Kol Baramah.”

He asserted that, if things were up to him, he would have convened the Council of Torah Sages and gotten a quick decision. “If [Rabbi Ovadia Yosef] were alive, he would not have allowed me to delay for even 24 hours. I don’t understand why Deri said that it’s such a hard decision - for this reason there is the Council of Torah Sages. Deri’s conduct is like that of a boy who kills his father and then cries that he’s an orphan.”

Yishai called for members of the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party to act - as Shas members are blocked from acting independently, according to Yishai. “I call on my friends in UTJ to stand up and shout and do what is expected of them...the members of Shas are prevented from doing this...they say harsh’s forbidden for them to speak and express themselves, and whoever talks gets rebuked. The current MKs of Shas won’t even be MKs next time. Shas is ruled by fear.”

Regarding his political aspirations, Yishai said he “intends to return the crown as of old, without fear, to the Nation of Israel. According to polls, the 'Yahad' movement stands to receive 5 or 6 seats. The movement will strengthen the world of Torah, and the Sephardi world in particular. Together with Shas and UTJ we will strengthen the power of the Torah.”