Yishai Split With Deri For 'Leaning to the Left'

Yishai notes his nationalist opinions created tension with Deri, as did Deri's attempts to
limit him; chose not to hold 'putsch.'

Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar ,

Deri, Yishai splitting left and right
Deri, Yishai splitting left and right
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

MK Eli Yishai, former chairperson of Shas who on Monday split from the party and launched his Yachad party, explained the move and his falling out with Shas head Aryeh Deri.

"Between me and Deri there are different opinions. I'm on the right, he leans to the left...Deri and I are people with different paths and management. It happens that we don't get along," Yishai explained to Israel Hayom.

Deri and Yishai have been rivals since Deri returned to politics taking back leadership a year-and-a-half ago after a stint in jail for corruption, followed by a lengthy period in the political wilderness, during which time Yishai took over the reins of the party.

In pushing Yishai out of the party, Deri offered him to stay on the number two spot if he agreed to harsh terms, including not being interviewed without permission from Deri.

"I couldn't be in a place in which I am tied up. I let members of the movement say what they want, maybe I would brief them, but I didn't tell anyone not to speak," Yishai said. "He (Deri) always said I'm not like every MK, that I have a special standing as someone who managed the movement for 14 years, so now to request permission to speak about anything?"

Speaking about the period in which he, Deri, and MK Ariel Atias served jointly in leading the movement, Yishai said "it wasn't really a trio, it was more of a duo. They joined together for work in cooperation and distanced me."

Yishai noted that he could have deposed Deri, saying "there were moments when they thought we were going for a move like that. Some of them thought to do that, but to come and take the Shas trademark and do something like that? These aren't tricks that I like to do, but it was possible. There were enough partners to do that process, but I didn't think it was right."

Instead Yishai broke off, and a poll on Tuesday found Yachad has split Shas's electoral power, with each party drawing four mandates. A senior Shas source told Arutz Sheva the party is in a tight spot, saying "at this pace we are liable to disappear from the political map."

In announcing his new party on Monday night, several young Shas activists tried to break up the press conference and shouted threats at Yishai, leading the state to assign him a security detail.

"Maran (Shas founder and mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ztz”l) said of me 'he is loyal in all my house.' So for someone to call me a traitor? It hurts, it's painful. Certainly it harms," said Yishai.