If Shas decides to support Shimon Peres for President, the Shas party will have finally reached the lowest point of its deeply despicable history.
Shas, the party that is supposed to stand for Sefardi rights, will have gone along with the fraudulent railroading of Israel's first Sefardi President by the Olmert government and endorsed his replacement with Olmert ally, secular socialist Shimon Peres. While its leader Rabbi Ovadya Yosef, regularly fulminates against secular Jews and preaches hatred of secular Jews and Ashkenazim to the home crowd-- Shas has repeatedly made deals with them to keep the flow of Shekels coming to its institutions.
It was Shas which backed the Rabin government and which bears 'Direct Responsibility' for the passage of Oslo and every death by terrorists operating from the Palestinian territories since then. The blood money that flowed into Shas' institutions and Aryeh Deri's pockets were more than enough to salve their consciences. The only relevant halachic psak din that should be asked of Rabbi Ovadya Yosef is this, 'How many dead Jews are worth the funding of Shas schools?" "How many murdered, religious and secular, Ashkenazim and Sefardim, are worth the shekels Shas has received from the Left Wing politicians they have pledged their allegiance to?"
Shas' former leader Aryeh Deri has already spent time in jail for his crimes. Deri has already called for Shas to support Peres as "Hakarat Hatov". Peres has met with Rabbi Ovadya Yosef, but made no clear commitments yet. As is usual he is likely biding his time and considering offers. The alternatives would be clean honorable men like Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and Reuven Rivlin, but Rabbi Lau would have nothing to offer directly to Shas, while a vote for Peres would undoubtedly be handsomely repaid.
Meanwhile Eli Yishai, who has become the new Aryeh Deri, is all too willing to hint at every turn that Shas would support anything from the Disengagement to the release of Palestinian terrorists, if the price is right. While the current corrupt Sefardi Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Shlomo Amar, is set to replace Ovadya Yosef-- Shas cronies conduct a war against former Sefardi Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, a genuinely great and decent man, who has defied the authorities and campaigned courageously against the dirty politics of the Olmert government.
In the previous election, Rabbi Ovadya Yosef promised followers who voted for Shas that they would go to heaven. I can't speak for Shas voters, many of whom vote out of a religious duty or out of a belief that Shas is actually a party that supports Sefardi interests-- rather than supporting the interests of Shas party cronies-- but the Shas leadership is bound far down below.
The sad thing is that unlike the voters for a lot of Haredi parties who really don't care what happens to Israel, Shas voters are good decent people who are misled into voting for a party that provides them with some needed services, particularly when they are discriminated against by the Ashkenazi Haredi establishment-- but also exploits them and uses them for its own leaders' ambitions. There is little point in writing to criticize Ashkenazi Haredi parties whose voters will vote for them no matter what-- viewing it as a religious duty. There is a use in criticizing Shas which misleads many into thinking it's right wing and which co-ops votes by people who genuinely care about the security and survival of Israel and the Jewish people.