Aug 26, 2019

Eli Yishai in exchange for nothing

reports have it that Eli Yishai is once again negotiating to give his support to a political party in exchange for a ministerial appointment.

The other day, Shas reps met with Rav mazuz in an effort to obtain his support but when he insisted on Eli Yishai being involved Shas decided to forgo any further talks.

So Eli Yishai is now talking to UTJ about throwing his support to UTJ, as he did last elections. Yishai claims they had an agreement last time that if UTJ would achieve 8 seats, Yishai would be appointed as minister. They got the 8 seats, with Yishai's support (maybe or maybe not because of it), but no government was formed so nobody was appointed to any positions, though UTJ never explicitly admitted or confirmed such an agreement or that they would appoint him to such a position. Now Eli Yishai wants an explicit statement that they'll give him a ministerial position in exchange for support.

UTJ's response, for now, is basically that they are happy to have his support but have no intention of giving him any appointment from their allotment. To quote senior UTJ officials, "why should we have to give him any position? let Bibi give him something."

Well, the reason is because he is telling his supporters to support your party and give you an extra boost. If that isnt valuable to you, so don't make an agreement.

It is a funny thing to make an agreement, as if this is the normal way, where one side gives everything he has and the other gives nothing. He isnt negotiating with bibi, so why should Bibi give him anything. He is negotiating with UTJ, not Bibi, but they think they owe him nothing for his support and any job should come from Bibi rather than them. In the end Yishai will probably agree to it without anything in return, as he did last time, because he does not really have any options. It seems he has positioned himself in a way that nobody wants to be involved with him.

If UTJ tells him no in the end, I think he'd be smart to go to Otzma instead. To them he might actually be valuable, as he might push them over the threshold. And, with two of their main people disqualified, he could be valuable. And, while Bibi might not want classic Otzma people in his government because of their extreme positions and affiliations with Kahane and racism, he might be more willing to bring them in with Eli Yishai as their government representative (though I am sure Aryeh Deri will still try to veto it).

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  1. Bibi seems to be the only one in the market for buying support. Given the market, his asking price is really high.

    I assume UTJ and Shas have a vote sharing agreement. With a bit of luck on the math, his endorsement might be worth at most 1 mandate. That is a huge price to pay for very little in return.

    In the end it is a nothing for nothing trade. Yishai is just trying to further his career following the footsteps of Tzipi Livni.

  2. Doesn't UTJ officially not have actual ministers? Another complication.


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