Shake-Up in Shas: Rabbi to Choose Yishai or Deri

The Shas party ends its equal three-way leadership arrangement, Aryeh Deri expected to be new head.

Maayana Miskin ,

Deri, Yishai and Atias of Shas
Deri, Yishai and Atias of Shas

The Shas party is ending its three-way power-sharing agreement between MKs Eli Yishai, Aryeh Deri and Ariel Attias. The party’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, is expected to announce the new leadership arrangement in the upcoming days.

According to various reports, Rabbi Yosef plans to name Aryeh Deri the head of the party.

Both Deri and Yishai have previously served as head of Shas. The two have reportedly clashed as joint leaders, leading to tension in the entire party as MKs split between "the Deri camp” and “the Yishai camp”.

If Deri is named the single leader of Shas, Yishai is expected to receive a “condolence prize” in the form of a senior role in the party leadership.

Attias has been named the head of the Shas Knesset faction. A statement from the party said, “In light of the budget cuts threatening Israeli society in general, and the Torah world and the lower classes in particular, Rabbi Yosef has asked that former minister [Attias] use his skills and abilities to stand strong and block the decrees.”

“The Shas movement thanks MK Avraham Michaeli, the outgoing Knesset faction head, for his contribution over the course of the years, and wishes him success in his new position on the Constitution and Law Committee,” the statement added.