The head of Israel’s Central Election Committee Justice Elyakim Rubinstein fined the Sefardi haredi Shas political party NIS 37,000 ($10,000) today for intentionally violating Israel’s election law by giving away amulets and offering blessings in return for votes.
Shas Caught Intentionally Violating Election Law Again, Is Fined
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The head of Israel’s Central Election Committee Justice Elyakim Rubinstein fined the Sefardi haredi Shas political party NIS 37,000 (about $10,000) today for intentionally violating Israel’s election law by giving away amulets and offering blessings in return for votes, Ynet reported.
Rubenstein’s ruling called Shas’ actions “a clear violation” of the law.
But the fine is so minimal that it can hardly be called a deterrent.
Shas has previously been caught handing out amulets and offering Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s blessings in exchange for votes, both in this election cycle and in previous ones. It was warned at least twice previously in this election cycle by Rubenstein.
Polls show Shas’s support slipping among its traditional voter base of of both Sefardi haredim and non-Orthodox Sefardim who, while not Orthodox, are traditional – meaning they respect Orthodox and haredi rabbis and will often follow those rabbis’ instructions in political matters. The party also faces challenges from two breakaway Sefardi haredi political parties, each of which is expected to draw critical votes away from Shas.
Besides intentionally breaking election law, clearly panicked Shas leadership made a rare appeal to Ashkenazi voters for support.
Shas’ spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef called on Ashkenazi Israelis to vote for Shas.
"Ashkenazi brothers, many of you got apartments from the Housing Ministry when it was in Shas' hands – do your best to vote and convince others to vote.…It is not an issue of Sephardic and Ashkenazi; we all have the same Torah. We will all go and vote for Shas, which will make Judaism stronger. This movement was founded to make Judaism stronger,” Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the founder and spiritual leader of Shas said in a special appeal.
Yosef also continued his attack on the right wing Zionist Orthodox Habayit Hayehudi (The Jewish Home) party, which polls show is drawing some voters away from Shas.
On Saturday night, Yosef called Habayit Hayehudi “a party of goyyim.” whose voters are also religiously observant but not affiliated with Sephardi origin. Today, Yosef said that the “true home” of Habayit Hayehudi’s voters is Shas.
"I'm sorry to say…[Habayit Hayehudi] is not a Jewish home; their Knesset Members say they want public transportation on Shabbat and civil marriage. What kind of a Jewish home is that? Your true home is Shas,” Yosef said.
Portraying Shas up as the true and only defender Orthodox Judaism in Israeli politics, Yosef said that the looming military draft of haredi yeshiva students, "who study the Torah day and night and [who] please God" was the goal of "Torah-hating secular" politicians Shas fights.