religious political party formed in 1984 to represent Mizrahi Jews
, who have historically faced social and economic discrimination in Israel
. The party believes in maintaining the Jewish identity of the state, calling for a "state with a Jewish soul" in all aspects, including in its laws. Shas strongly advocates for the compensation by Arab countries of Mizrahi Jews who were forced to leave their countries of origin after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948; this compensation is a condition for the party's consideration of a peace deal with the Palestinians. Since 2009, the party has become more supportive of Jewish Israeli settlements, particularly those surrounding historic Jewish religious sites and in the greater Jerusalem
area. See "WATCH: Shas' stunning election ad is a challenge to both Right and Left
," Dimi Reider, +972mag, Jan 18, 2015; and "Ultra-Orthodox Shas inks deal to join coalition
," Marissa Newman, the Times of Israel, May 4, 2015.