Rabbi Yosef Calls on PM to Back Yishai

Shas spiritual leader calls for backing in the face of public criticism of Yishai's performance prior to the Carmel fire.

Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has demanded that the prime minister publicly back the interior minister, in the face of public criticism of the latter's performance prior to the Carmel fire, according to a spokesman for the Shas party.

Ovadia Yosef
Tomer Appelbaum

The news came after the bureau chief of the Prime Minister's Office, Natan Eshel, and Interior Minister Eli Yishai visited Yosef's Jerusalem home on Tuesday.

IDF conversion bill

Haaretz has further learned that, in recent days, Yishai has also spoken with Eshel on the military conversion bill, a measure which Shas opposes but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has supported in the preliminary vote in the Knesset.

Yishai apparently held the talks on behalf of Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, and other Shas officials have reportedly also held talks on the same issue.

Amar has demanded assurances that, prior to presenting the conclusions of the committee Netanyahu established to investigate the issue, the prime minister would withdraw his support for the controversial bill.