Deri makes reconciliation offer to Yishai

In huge political curve ball, Shas head proposes Yishai disband Yachad and return, offering to cover his campaign debts.

Hezki Baruch ,

Eli Yishai, Aryeh Deri (file)
Eli Yishai, Aryeh Deri (file)
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

In a surprising political curve ball, Shas chairman and Negev and Galil Minister Aryeh Deri offered a deal to Yachad - Ha'am Itanu chairman Eli Yishai, his political rival who previously served as Shas head during Deri's jail sentence for corruption and following hiatus from politics.

Journalist Akiva Novick of Channel 10 reported on Thursday that Deri offered a deal according to which Yishai would disband his new party and come back to Shas, and in return Deri would cover Yishai's debt of several million shekels from his election campaign and offer him an official post in Shas.

The offer is surprising given the long-standing feud seen between the two during elections. 

Shas received seven mandates in the elections, a great setback from the 11 seats it previously had. Yachad ran jointly with Otzma Yehudit, and fell just short of the recently raised 3.25% threshold percentage. Shas activists were revealed to have conducted a massive voter fraud campaign against Yachad, subtly invalidating voting slips to steal the democratic rights of the party's voters nationwide.

In response to the reported offer, Yachad issued a statement Thursday night, saying, "it's unfortunate that Mr. Deri thinks that you buy control with money."

"We were surprised to hear for the first time now that Aryeh Deri, who worked and works to harm Eli Yishai and his family, presents himself suddenly as one who all his days and nights are dedicated to helping Eli Yishai. We certainly welcome the change in approach, but have trouble believing that Mr. Deri changed his spots and suddenly become a righteous and honest person."

"If Mr. Deri is interested in changing his ways, it would have been fitting for him to do it with Eli Yishai directly, and not through an old and archaic spin in the media," concluded the statement.

Just two weeks ago Yishai criticized Deri, saying he saw "seven mandates and zero work" from Shas. He has also likened the way Deri limited his role and told him what to say when he was still in Shas to the autocratic regime of North Korea.