The Shas party is just like the little boy that cried wolf. You remember the story, the little boy who kept screaming that there was a wolf around, so everyone came out looking to protect the town from a the threat. Only there was no wolf. Finally when a real wolf came it was too late, because no one believed the boy. Shas has been threatening for months that once Olmert starts negotiating Jerusalem, they will bring down the government. The problem with that is no one believes them. First of all they got the new Religion ministry that they wanted. But beyond that, everyone including the terrorist Abbas, has admitted that Jerusalem is on the table. In fact last week the US state department said not only is it on the table, but it was ISRAEL’s Idea !!! To prevent the loss of the Shas party Israel has moved the Jerusalem issue to the end of the negotiations. So answer me this? If everything else is decided except Jerusalem, do you think that Israel will have any leverage NOT to negotiate the fate of the capital of the Jewish People? Of course not. We know that and so does Shas. They are the Boy Who Cried Wolf and now the wolf is there and they don’t even believe themselves.
21 Shevat 5768, 28 January 08 03:28
by Hillel Fendel
The right-wing camp and many Shas supporters have long awaited this decision, and especially over the past two weeks since Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) left the government. Yisrael Beiteinu chief Avigdor Lieberman announced on Jan. 16 that he was resigning his position as Minister for Strategic Affairs and leading his party out of the government coalition in protest of the start of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority over so-called “core issues.” Those issues include Jerusalem, final status borders and the so-called ‘right of return’ of hundreds of thousands of Arabs and their descendants to Israel.
The Shas decision was made Sunday afternoon at a Torah Sages Council meeting in the home of Rabbi Yosef in Har Nof, Jerusalem. Shas leader Eli Yishai, Minister of Industry and Trade, was also present, briefing the rabbis on the planned timetable of the talks with the PA.
At present, the government coalition headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert numbers 66 Knesset Members – a majority of the Israeli Parliament’s 120 members. If and when Shas and its 11 MKs quit, Olmert will head a minority government vulnerable to a simple no-confidence motion in the Knesset.
Olmert is also facing another political crisis this week: Wednesday’s release of the Winograd Report on the government’s handling of the Second Lebanon War. The report is expected to criticize Olmert personally; it will not call for him to step down, but it is likely to lead to a wave of public pressure for him to do so.
If Olmert resigns, new elections need not necessarily follow; he could simply be replaced by a fellow Kadima Party member. If he brings the government down with him, however, or if the Knesset votes to disperse itself or votes no-confidence in the government, new elections must be held in 90 days. In such a case, the government becomes a transitional government, and ministers and parties cannot resign or join. Alternatively, the leading parties can decide on an agreed-upon date for new elections.Given the dramatic ramifications of the Winograd Report to be issued two days from now, together with the Shas decision to quit as soon as Jerusalem is mentioned to the PA negotiators, the coming days and weeks are expected to be politically tense.