Shas: Playing for Olmert’s Funny-Money With Jerusalem On Line?



As we watch the time tick down to the 6 PM Wednesday release of the “final” Winograd report on the summer 2006 Lebanon conflict, there are three reports well worth reading for background as to whether or not the Winograd report will be the fatal blow to the Olmert regime’s continuance in power. Below are excerpts from each, but readers of this blog should read each report in total for possible perspectives in the days to come. Can Olmert be taken at his word? Is delaying Jerusalem until last placing it in a fait accompli situation?

This author must wonder what Shas’ motivation in joining Olmert’s regime in the first place and what is their motivation for continuing to stay? Why would Rav Ovadia express support for Olmert on the eve of the Winograd report?

Is it all about the money and only the money? Does it register with Shas that when Gimmel joined the Sharon’s coalition before the expulsion, they were promised hundreds of millions of shekels and the promise bounced higher than a kite? It seems to this author that the same could happen now. And it seems that Olmert’s promises are not worth a plug-nickel. And don’t we learn that our leaders must epitomize the protection of the moral fiber of society by regulating relationships between men, ecouraging truthfulness, sincerity and kindness while condemning immorality and deceit.

It seems that the bottom-line is that Olmert and his lackey friends; Livni, Barak, Ramon, Sheetrit and yes, Eli Yishai and the Shas party need to ousted and this horrifically dangerous Olso-Annapolis process needs to be stopped cold and permanently! MB

Senior Israeli Political Source: Salami Talks to Leave Jerusalem to End [Gives Shas “Pikuach Nefesh” Excuse], by Dr. Aaron Lerner (IMRA)


“We are so close to the peace we all so desperately want. All the other issues have been settled. Are a bunch of stones more valuable than the Israeli blood that will flow if the deal is not made?” So will argue not only the Olmert team and their supporters in the media etc. but also Rabbi Yosef.

Rabbi Yosef could readily take the position that for “pikuach nefesh” (life endangering situation) Israel has to cut a deal on Jerusalem at all costs.

The “pikuach nefesh” standard for Rabbi Yosef relies heavily on expectations regarding the short term consequences of a decision rather than long term, so it would not be particularly difficult for the Olmert team to provide Rabbi Yosef with various “experts” to back a “trade Jerusalem to save lives” ruling.


Cited by Dr. Lerner is a Haaretz report, by correspondents Barak Ravid, Yair Ettinger.

The last two paragraphs seem important;

Shas’ Council of Torah Sages met Sunday to discuss the party’s red lines on negotiations with the Palestinians and decided that “the minute they begin talking on Jerusalem, Shas will immediately leave the government.”

Shas leader Eli Yishai briefed the council on his latest talks with the prime minister on the negotiations with the Palestinians, and said that he had been promised “there would be no freeze to construction in Jerusalem, Ma’aleh Adumim and Beitar [Ilit].”

Is it possible that Shas would also leave the coalition over the long-running freeze on building meant to connect and to consolidate Ma’aleh Adumim into Jerusalem? MB

‘Do Not Fear, for I Am With You’


With only a day left before the publication of the final Winograd report on the Second Lebanon War, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef called Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and assured him that Shas would back him.

Olmert had relayed messages to party head Eli Yishai and Communications Minister Ariel Attias that negotiations with the Palestinians on Jerusalem would proceed at a much slower pace than other core issues of the conflict.

“The Jerusalem issue is very sensitive,” Olmert said. “It is preferable to start with issues that have more potential for reaching an understanding than starting with issues in which there is already significant disagreement.”

Shas Sends Encouraging Message to PM Olmert, by Hillel Fendel
(Israel National News)


Olmert’s announcement that he does not plan to discuss Jerusalem right away negates his recent promises to both U.S. President George Bush and PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to immediately begin negotiations on all the core outstanding issues between Israel and the PA – including Jerusalem.

Investigative reporter Yoav Yitzchak, editor of the NFC Hebrew news site, says Olmert is working on several fronts to prevent his coalition from crumbling and the subsequent calling of new elections. The Prime Minister continues to sustain ties with Lieberman, so that he won’t work actively to topple the government, and is also maintaining contacts with Labor – Olmert’s largest coalition partner, with 19 MKs – to head off voices there calling to quit the government.

Labor Party leader Ehud Barak, who promised several months ago to quit the government after the release of the Winograd Report, has backtracked somewhat. He now says that he will wait to read the report’s conclusions before making a decision.