Rabbi Meir Mazuz, the spiritual mentor of MK Eli Yishai, who heads the Yachad-Ha'am Itanu party, has called on longtime Shas voters to consider voting for Ha'am Itanu.
Yishai and MK Aryeh Deri were longtime rivals in the struggle over the leadership of Shas, which Yishai left last year to found his new party.
"At first,” explained Rabbi Mazuz in an election rally held in Ashdod Monday, “I said that whoever used to vote for Shas should continue to vote for Shas. I thought that they wouldn't fight [us]. I thought they would refrain from talking and hurting us. But they are not behaving properly. They are fighting [us] all day long. They curse and vilify us.”
Rabbi Mazuz explained that it turns out that the two parties are on a collision course, since their target audience is identical.
"I thought we could get along, since we seek the nationalist audience and they seek the leftist one. Since Shas has changed its course on some things, that means Yahad has to change course too. Today I say – whoever prefers Shas, let him vote Shas. Whoever prefers Yahad, let him vote Yahad.”
The change in wording means that Mazuz now is openly calling on Shas's longtime voters to vote for Ha'am Itanu.