Looking to defuse the latest coalition crisis threatening his government, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with Shas chief Aryeh Deri by phone Wednesday evening, scheduling a meeting between the two for Thursday.
The Prime Minister, who is currently on a state visit in Moscow, called the Shas leader in response to his party’s threat to renew its boycott of coalition votes. Shas abstained from all Knesset votes and committee hearings on Wednesday – until a vote on a conversion law the party strongly opposes.
Shas officials pledged to renew their boycott on Thursday and strip the coalition of its majority – leaving Netanyahu’s government with just 59 MKs – unless newly-appointed Channel 10 chairman Rami Sadan is removed from his position.
Sadan, it has been alleged, made defamatory statements against Sephardic Jews in general and the Shas party in particular, saying that he “hates” Shas and its chairman, Aryeh Deri. Sadan has denied the claims, though Channel 10 CEO Golan Yochpaz insists they are correct.