The Shas Party, a Sephardic hareidi party that opposed the Disengagement and maintains that it opposes another unilateral withdrawal, appears to be on the verge of signing a coalition agreement.
It has been reported that Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, known to be against unilateral withdrawals, instructed Yishai to insist on receiving four ministerial portfolios, and not the three that have been offered.
Political analyst Yoav Yitzchak noted that the coalition guidelines do not specifically mention the convergence plan that Olmert has touted for some months. Yitzchak implies that Olmert has thus betrayed his voters.
Others note, however, the fact that the guidelines promise that, if negotiations with the Palestinian Authority are not fruitful, the government will “take action” in the framework of “reducing Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.” They say that this gives Olmert ample room in which to carry out his convergence plan, withdraw from large areas of the Land of Israel, and uproot additional tens of thousands of Jews from their homes.
Shas MK Nissim Ze’ev told Arutz-7, “Olmert is smart and wily, and these guidelines give everyone what they wish to understand… When he talks of reducing settlement areas, he means removing some outposts, not bona-fide communities.”
A-7: “Are you too, then, not falling into this trap of understanding the guidelines in a way that is convenient to you? Do you not feel that Olmert himself will understand them differently? After all, he is outspokenly in favor of a massive withdrawal.”
Ze’ev: “I don’t believe that uprooting Jewish settlements is on the agenda. We, in any event, will quit the government the moment such an issue is brought up… But in the meanwhile, there are many other issues in this country that have to be dealt with, such as the Rabbinical Courts, child allowance payments, civil marriages, and more.”
Shas: “I don’t believe that uprooting Jewish settlements is on the agenda.”
Just how stupid do you think your voters are that you can snooker them again and again?
Shas: “We, in any event, will quit the government the moment such an issue is brought up…”
Where have we heard this before? Didn’t Mafdal say the same thing after joining the Sharon Gov’t, and then sat glued to their seats until it was too late, umtil the cabinet votes were taken before resigning? What makes you think that Shas, once they are in the government and then the “smart and wily” Olmert holds the money for Shas institutions over their heads, will be any more principled than Mafdal was over a year and a half ago?
On Friday afternoon, this message, which say it all, was sent out by Cities of Israel;
Superurgent Update from Israel: Shas is Wavering — You Can Help!!!
Ehud Olmert is Israel’s Chamberlain: the man who wants to forceably deport 10 times as many Jews in Judea and Samaria, as elderly Prime Minister Sharon did in Gush Katif last summer (at Olmert’s behest, by the way). This is absolute insanity in view of the fact that any settlement pulled down will immediately be taken over by the Hamas which came to power only a little while ago.
As a result of the Gush Katif expulsion, Kibbutz Yad Mordechai and Kibbuz Zikim, both in the South, have been hit by between 200 to 300 Kassam rockets EACH, since Israel left Gush Katif. Imagine having to live there, with your only “protection” the Sharon-Olmert government-issued Red Dawn system (thanks alot, guys) which gives you 20 seconds to run into a “secure” area (have you ever carried to drag 2 or more children, or an elderly person, into a safe area within 20 seconds?) These rockets are being fired from the ruins of the old settlements – exactly as predicted by Israel’s former chief of staff, Bugi Yaelon.
Olmert needs 61 Knesset seats to be Israel’s next prime minister, however, fortunately for us here, he has so far enlisted only 55 seats (Kadima, Labor and Pensioners) in Israel’s 120 seat Knesset — not enough. Therefore, Olmert and the Israeli press are applying incredible pressure to Shas, the religious-Sephardic party (12 seats), THIS VERY WEEKEND, to join the coalition. Shas is supposed to be refusing, especially since the coalition guidelines (kavei yessod) specifically state the goal of razing settlements, which Shas has clearly stated that it opposes.
PLEASE CALL, AND ASK SOME FRIENDS TO CALL, Beeper Company, 972-3-6106666, and leave a message for the following Shas politicians, asking them please, NOT to be part of such a dangerous coalition. You dictate your message (up to about 30 words), and then dicate the following names and beeper subscription numbers:
70776 Shlomo Benizri
2618 Yizhak Cohen
31103 Amnon Cohen
2010 David Azulay
50040 Yizhak Vaaknin
122 Meshulam Nahari
35393 Lachmanovitch, spokesman for Eli Yishai
32221 David (Shas aide)
Shas: Olmert’s coalition will lead to terrorism in Israel and anti-semitism in the world, stay in opposition.
Shas: If you love the Torah and Eretz Yisrael, stay in opposition. If you love only money — go with Olmert.
Shas: Will you destroy talmud torahs, mikva’s and yeshivas? No, no, no — stay in the opposition!!
Sometimes, people refrain from telephoning in their message for fear that Shas might have caved in before they got around to seeing this email, and their message might be too late, hence foolish. Don’t worry about this concern. The worst that can happen is that Shas will have signed with Olmrt before they get your message, in which case your message will help them feel bad about joining the coalition, hence more apt to leave the coalition as soon as possible. Great.
Many thanks for your kind cooperation. We will not remain silent, we will not allow appeasement to engulf Israel, the only Jewish state in the world. Your help makes our goal attainable. Think of our children — think of your conscience. By the way, if you have a religious leader — please forward this message to him as well.
Susie Dym, spokesperson
Mattot Arim, an Israeli grassroots organization
working toward peace-for-peace since 1992