Eli Yishai: Unification could Help Shas

Shas may benefit from Likud – Yisrael Beitenu union, because religious voters will leave Likud.

Gil Ronen ,

Eli Yishai
Eli Yishai
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Shas may benefit from the union between Likud and Yisrael Beytenu, because religious voters will leave Likud, due to Yisrael Beytenu's anti-religious bent. Shas's senior minister, Eli Yishai, confirmed this assessment as a possibility in an interview with IDF Radio.

Yishai said that the unification move came as a complete surprise to him. He said that the unity between Likud and Yisrael Beytenu could wind up enlarging their combined size somewhat, but could also shrink it a little, or leave it the same. The two parties currently have 42 seats between them.

Yishai called the development a "fascinating" one and said that it could lead the leftist and center parties to unite as well. He mentioned politicians Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid in this context. Yishai even mentioned the possibility that the hareidi parties would unite too.

"It is clear that the right wing will win a big victory in these elections," he added.