Deri: Yesh Atid Surge Illusory

Minister of Interior Rabbi Aryeh Deri, of Shas. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Amid a police investigation of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and a poll showing Yesh Atid overtaking Likud, Shas chairman Rabbi Aryeh Deri appeared unmoved by projections of a political turnaround anytime soon.

“I would not recommend Lapid for prime minister,” Deri told reporters.

“The seats that went to Lapid were drawn from the [left-wing] Zionist Camp and they [the voters] are looking for a home,” Deri said. “I’m willing to bet that the results of the next elections will not reflect the outcome of these polls,” he said.

Rabbi Deri suggested that Lapid would do better to re-join Netanyahu’s coalition rather than pursue a doomed attempt to unseat him.

“Take your 11 seats and become foreign minister,” Deri advised Lapid. “That’s a lot more realistic than your imaginary 27 mandates.”

Meanwhile, opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) reminded Israelis, as he has done so many times before, that he will be Netanyahu’s successor.

“Before me stand two leaders,” said Herzog. “One, Netanyahu, who has completely lost control, and another, [Yair] Lapid, who doesn’t talk about the important issues at all… and therefore the public will wise up eventually.”

Herzog described Netanyahu as intelligent but weak, unable to make the historic decision for peace.

“I will replace Netanyahu at elections, not because of an investigation,” stated Herzog.

Herzog discounted a Friday poll showing Lapid’s Yesh Atid party would beat Netanyahu’s Likud if elections were held now, while Zionist Camp would sink almost out of sight, from 24 Knesset seats to 8.

“If polls were always right, Hillary [Clinton] would be president,” said Herzog.