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Former Shas leader: Government has abandoned the poor

In an interview with Al-Monitor, former Shas Party leader Eli Yishai criticizes the government's alleged socioeconomic agenda, claiming that the poor are again subject to political manipulations.
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The Hebrew year 5774, which draws to a close on Sept. 24, was undoubtedly the toughest year that Knesset member Eli Yishai, the former head of the Shas Party, ever experienced in his political career. The passing of the movement’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, at age 93 on Oct. 7, 2013, left Yishai vulnerable to attacks by his replacement, Shas leader Aryeh Deri, who had prodded the rabbi to remove Yishai as party head.

But nothing could have prepared Yishai for the series of humiliations that would befall him, one after the other. He was denied the privilege of speaking at the rabbi’s funeral, even though he had a close relationship with the rabbi, who was very fond of him. Later, he was forcibly removed from any position of influence within the party, and his people in it were “eliminated.” In many cases this meant that they lost their sole source of livelihood, but there was nothing that Yishai could do to help them.

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