MK Michael Ben-Ari (file)
MK Michael Ben-Ari (file) Israel news photo: Flash 90

MK Michael Ben-Ari (Otzma Leyisrael) warned potential voters that Shas co-leader Aryeh Deri could help the left wing form the next government.

In the current situation, he said, with two large blocs representing the Left and Right, Deri is in a position to "reshuffle the cards" and transfer all of Shas's power to the Left bloc.

"It is no secret that Aryeh Deri is deep inside the Left," he said. "His friends, headed by Haim Ramon, are out-and-out leftists, newspaper Yediot Aharonot is counting on him and building him up as the Left's great hope, and the Left's court newspapers have turned him into a well-guarded etrog, and have forgotten his severe corruption convictions."

Shas supporters' natural place is in Otzma Leyisrael (Power to Israel), MK Ben- Ari continued. "I meet Shas supporters in many places, in Jerusalem's Bucharan neighborhood, Shmuel Hanavi, and Har Nof, in Or Yehuda, Netivot and Sderot, and all of them are worried by the possibility that Deri will join the Left. Shas supporters are not like that. The vast majority among them are Torah believing Jews from the nationalist camp who want Israel to keep Jerusalem and not give up a single centimeter in Hevron."

"We've already been to this movie," he added, "in which Deri took votes from the Right and transferred them to the Left; today this matter is in the open and he himself does not deny it. It is enough to see Deri's statements in house parties in the Arab sector, when he says that only Shas will take care of the Arabs, and that only Shas can make the hareidim more moderate, as he told Yediot Aharonot on Shabbat, by reshaping the hareidi public."

Deri's co-leader in Shas, Minister Eli Yishai, is "a dear Jew with good intentions," MK Ben Ari said. "While it is true that as regards the illegal infiltrators he was mostly good at talking, and could have had more influence as a Minister of Interior, today it is already clear to everyone that Eli Yishai no longer decides anything in Shas and in the next Knesset the party will be in Deri's image, and his decisions will be the deciding ones."