Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is an island of stability. A religious dictator who divides the world to good guys and bad guys in line with conservative, religious worldviews, and who within Israel’s democracy holds greater decision-making power than any minister elected by the public; at times, he is even more influential than the prime minister.
For 26 years now, somehow, after all the discussions and negotiations and cabinet votes and trips to America and press commentary, it always ends up boiling down to the rabbi’s decision; we have not yet found the bold prime minister who would say: No more. I won’t do it.
he endorsed peace talks and compromises, the withdrawal from Lebanon, and military restraint when necessary. We won’t be surprised if he also approves the current freeze.
Shas is smalltime politics at its finest. It’s all about bargaining and scratching each other’s back, and all is enveloped by the rabbi’s holy robe.
The man who has been through eight prime ministers and eight governments here is at the end of the day Israel’s most experienced politician. It’s a little amusing and mostly sad, but at the end of the day you’ll see that Rabbi Ovadia is the one who gives his blessing to a final-status agreement.