Eli Yishai
Eli YishaiYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Chairman of Ha'am Itanu Eli Yishai believes that his party's chances could be enhanced if he published recordings of the Shas party's spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef z"tl. 

"Maran [Rabbi Yosef - ed.] never said he supported the Oslo Agreements," Yishai said on Radio Israel, referring to the 1993 accords that Shas under Aryeh Deri enabled in a crucial vote abstention.

Yishai intends to reveal yet-unheard recordings of Rabbi Yosef, but noted that he will "do everything possible without prejudice against the Shas movement - good things that I can say, I will say" - this despite Shas's multiple attacks and even death threats against Yishai. 

"But really, perhaps to a certain extent, I am also paying a price," Yishai added. He said that if he played all the recordings his party would supersede Shas and gain ten seats in the next Knesset, in contradistinction to polls indicating he may not pass the Knesset threshold.

"They have said to me, 'If you say all you have to say you will get ten seats plus,' but it's not an easy decision and as a public figure, I know it and I'll do (what I must) even at a large price if I have to," he said.

On the issue of an agreement with the Palestinian Arabs, Yishai insisted that Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef never supported the Oslo Accords - against Shas, which has, at times, aligned itself with the Left and is increasingly doing so under Deri.

"I think the decision to establish a Palestinian state is bad for Israel, it's no secret, unfortunately this is already a fact," he said. "It's there, it works, there are negotiations and talks with the Palestinian Authority, with ministers there."

"This is really a serious problem," he said. "Maran said to me, in recent years, 'I will talk about peace and they wage war,' it is impossible to believe them. You see that they don't want peace, do not want true peace, just to hit their target and destroy us."

Yishai added that there is no plausible possibility that the PA will recognize Israel as a Jewish state, even if they commit to do so publicly, as for them such a decision would be "irreversible." 

Yishai, when asked if the Oslo Accords were a mistake, said immediately "yes, I think so."