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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Aryeh Deri’

Rabbi Ovadia Dumps Yishai, Crowns Deri as Shas Party Leader

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has given his blessing for the charismatic Aryeh Deri to return to his former position as head of the Shas political party at the expense of Knesset Member Eli Yishai.

Since the return of Deri to the Knesset after the end of his seven-year banishment as a  result of a bribery conviction for which he was jailed, Yishai has headed the party in the Knesset. After this year’s elections, he shared the leadership with MKs Deri and Ariel Atias, who probably will head the party’s caucus in the Knesset.

Jewish Home Rabbi: We Are Not Against Haredim, We Are Against Shas

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Tsfat and one of the most prominent rabbis affiliated with the Jewish Home party, called on party chairman Naftali Bennett to make an effort to add United Torah Judaism to the new coalition government, and leave Shas out.

In an editorial published this weekend in the Olam Katan shul freebee, Rabbi Eliyahu describes his visits over the past month to the homes of Hasidic leaders and prominent Haredi rabbis, to try and form a joint alliance between the religious Jewish parties.

“I sat down with members of the Knesset various factions, discussing unity. To this end, I asked them if they could commit in the name of Shas and Aryeh Deri not betray the alliance. No one could commit in the name of Aryeh Deri, no Rebbe and no MK, not even Shas’ own MKs,” Rabbi Eliyahu wrote.

He explained that he “would love to ally with the Haredim, but I don’t want to be fooled by such an alliance.” He added: “You can’t fault Naftali Bennett for refusing to seek with eyes closed shut such an entirely fraudulent deal.”

Nevertheless, However, Rabbi Eliyahu argued that “we should today form an alliance with Agudat Israel. They are our flesh and blood brothers. Even if they do not all serve in the army and if we’ve had occasional complaints against them in the past, they are our brothers. They are close to us about the issues of the Land of Israel, Shabbat, Chastity and the importance of Torah study. They are no less our brothers than anyone else.”

The chief rabbi of Tsfat argued in favor of finding a solution to the issue of army enlistment, but urged doing this through a “pact with Agudat Israel and not through coercion. We need to find a way to incorporate them in the agreement Jewish Home has with Yesh Atid. We can’t leave them out.”

“We have to cry out loud: We are not against the Haredim. We are only against those who sold us out in the Oslo Accords. We need to explain that not all the Haredim are the same. We should embrace warmly the Agudat Israel faction and bring it into the government,” he said.

It’s Not too Late to Save Bennett from Himself

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Naftali Bennett has made a huge mistake. Driven by emotion—blaming Sara Netanyahu for his new pact with Yesh Atid Leader Yair Lapid, and the sense of rage many of us in the National Religious camp feel towards the likes of Aryeh Deri, and towards the Haredim who look down on us as being not much better than the secular in terms of our Jewish merits—he has gotten himself into the worst possible partnership.

Before I proceed, I must add that in many ways Bennett is merely the newest victim of a terrible situation in which wife of the prime minister has been intimidating her husband and through him the politics of the entire country. Everyone in the Israeli media is familiar with this pathological mess, as does the political class, but to date no one has been able to effectively control it. Bennett did not invent Sara Netanyahu, he was simply foolish enough to cross her, and then not smart enough to realize what an enemy he has created. If Bennett’s clashes with Sara Netanyahu lead, God forbid, to the evacuation of Jewish homes, it would be a catastrophe reminiscent of “the modesty of Rabbi Zecharia ben Avkules destroyed our Temple.” (Gittin 56a).

In their declaration of fealty, which they repeat incessantly, both Yair and Naftali are telling the world how, when sitting together in government, they’re going to collaborate on those 90% of the issues about which they both fully agree: they’re both in favor of free enterprise and less red tape, they both favor rational religious legislation—Ayelet Shaked even wants civil marriages for those the Rabbinate has declared unweddable.

Yair (and his two rabbis, Shai Piron and Dov Lipman) wouldn’t mind, I expect, giving the Ministry of Religious Services to Habayit Hayehudi, and appointing the much deserving Tzohar chairman Rabbi David Stav Chief Rabbi. And I suppose Bennett, who is kind of a Libertarian on many issues, wouldn’t get in the way of public transportation on Shabbat for those communities that want it (e.g. Tel Aviv).

And both Lapid and Bennett agree that it’s high time the Haredim carried the burden of military service and full participation in the work force like the rest of us. I mean, how many among us don’t feel that the majority of those Haredim don’t even belong inside a yeshiva, that they should stop living like parasites and stop the pretense of saving “klal yisroel” by warming up a yeshiva bench.

This proud, new Lapid-Bennett axis agrees on so much, except for those meaningless 10% of the issues where their thinking is radically different. That, of course, is the part where the Netanyahu-Lapid-Livni axis freezes construction—any construction—in the homes of half a million National Religious Israelis, and then comes to the homes of 100 thousand National Religious Israelis and puts them on trucks because they live on the wrong side of the security fence.

Check out the Yesh Atid list of MKs and find even one—including the two honorable rabbis—who fought against the Gush Katif mass expulsion of between eight and ten thousand Jews. Back in 2004, Rabbi Piron, when asked for a psak (halachic ruling) on what to do about the Gush Katif plot, prescribed doing what we can to avoid the uprooting, but only with love, because on the other side stood great patriots who felt, innocently—not my cynical interpretation, his—that this way they’ll bring peace to the land. And then the good rabbi added, with love, that “we settled on the hilltops at the expense of settling in the hearts” of Israelis. Meaning, of course, the hearts of the good rabbi’s friends on the left who would like to see all of us in a DP camp south of Beer Sheva.

And MK Dov Lipman had this refreshing thing to say to Paperblog: “If, and I emphasize if, we reach a point where we have an internationally backed agreement which they will sign (not like Gush Katif which was unilateral) which includes our terms including an undivided Yerushalayim, then I believe we would have to accept it even though that means the painful giving up of Jewish homes and land.”

And those are just Lapid’s Rabbis! For heaven’s sake, talk about the camel giving a lift across the river to the scorpion! The Yesh Atid list is comprised of anti-Orthodox professionals. The entire country was talking last week about MK Ruth Calderon’s opening speech, where she taught a blat gemorah from the podium and showed how Jewish tradition belongs not only to the black hats and not even just to the knitted yarmulkes, but to the hatless as well. Marvelous, not a dry eye in the house. But check out Calderon’s anti-Orthodox record, and you’ll discover anything but a yearning for mutual respect and acceptance.

But forget about those relatively harmless wall flowers, whose actual influence on the politics of expulsion has been negligible—because no one has given them the power so far—and look at the number 5 man on Lapid’s list, former GSS head Yaakov Peri, who’s been advocating the expulsion of Gaza, Judea and Samaria Jews his entire career, who signed the Ayalon-Nusseiba petition calling for the splitting of Jerusalem – this is Naftali Bennett’s ally!

If, God forbid, the Lapid-Bennett axis succeeds in forcing itself on Netanyahu “as is,” we will have created the most formidable enemy of the settlements since the time Yossi Sarid and Yossi Beilin held office and brought us Oslo. Moreover, Bennett can make it possible for Lapid to gain some prestige as a brilliant this or that minister—let’s face it, despite his dubious education and occasionally strange notions of history, math and other Core Curriculum (Limudei Libah) problems, the man has flash—in two to four years Lapid can emerge as the new white hope of the left, leading a Nouveau Oslo government—obviously without Likud and without Habayit Hayehudi.

And what is this burning problem of the “equal burden” that must be faced head on this minute? The refusal of nearly eight percent of Israelis—the Haredim—to serve in the army. Man, this burns us up. It makes us sick, just looking at these young men with their hats and their beards, and their Eastern European dress, total parasites—while more than 20% of the population, Israeli Arabs, are just as parasitic on every single issue, except for the fact that they also, on occasion, collaborate with our enemies.

Sadly, Naftali Bennett was not thinking like a Jew this time around, and, I believe, acted on his feelings and not with his head. We’ve all been so enamored with the idea that Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi together comprise 31 MKs, exactly as many as the Likud Beitenu does, and some have even quipped that our own “pact” is stronger than the Liberman-Netanyahu marriage.

But, you know, Habayit Hayehudi together with Shas and United Torah Judaism comprise 30 MKs, with the difference being that it is wholly Jewish, never mind the cultural differences, and that over there Bennett actually carries the biggest stick.

Folks, despite the cultural differences, the more astute—and learned—members of Habayit Hayehudi, working with the likes of Eli Yishai from Shas and Meir Porush from UTJ, could settle the “equal burden” thing in a day. The yeshivas are just as interested in getting rid of their freeloaders, the punks who hang around “Cats Square” in Jerusalem, doing drugs and beating up unsuspecting Arab passersby—they just need to find a way of looking good doing it.

And despite the sad record of Shas in the ushering in of Oslo—the vast majority of Haredi politicians today are not enemies of the settlements, especially since so many Haredim, their voters, live outside the “green line.”

It’s not too late, folks, for the more introspective and astute members of Habayit Hayehudi (I’m looking at you, Uri Orbach) to forge the axis in which we could all rejoice, the axis of Torah Jews who are willing to overcome their relatively minute differences on military service, and compromise over the chief rabbinate, which has been turned into the private property of the Haredim (whose voters don’t even use its services).

Other than that, I’d like to find out I have 30 proud, pro-settlement Orthodox representatives in the Netanyahu government, uniting in offsetting the Livni-Mofaz direction—rather than a leftist government our man Naftali helped create with his sweet, home grown naivete.

Netanyahu Wants Shas In, But without Deri

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Over the weekend, Shas leader Aryeh Deri, one of the architects of the “stinking maneuver” that back in 1990 attempted to take down a right-wing government in favor of one led by Shimon Peres, stared straight at the Channel 2 camera and invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “pick up the phone and let’s negotiate right now a coalition government” together.

As it turns out, according to Walla, Netanyahu has been talking to Shas, but with Interior Minister Eli Yishai instead, behind Deri’s back.

When Aryeh Deri, having served his prison term for corruption charges, was imposed by Rav Ovadia Yosef on the two leaders of Shas, Yishai and Housing Minister Ariel Atias, common wisdom suggested that, sooner rather than later, Deri would emerge as the real party leader, the official water carrier for “Maran,” Rav Ovadia.

But, using the ancient tactic of divide and conquer, when Rav Ovadia had his minor stroke over the weekend, Netanyahu chose to send him his wishes for a speedy recovery not through Atias or Deri, but rather through Yishai.

Walla reports that Netanyahu and Yishai have been discussing “the day after” the January 22 elections, assuring him that the Interior portfolio will stay his, despite the fact that Avigdor Liberman, his co-leader at Likud-Beitenu, wants that ministry for his own faction.

And neither Netanyahu nor Yishai appear to include Aryeh Deri in their plans for the future.

Meanwhile, the Maverick Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak, has been suggesting that Rav Ovadia Yosef is not fully in charge at Shas. Obviously, Rav Ovadia’s condition has seriously deteriorated recently—Rabbi Yizhak has suggested, according to Walla, that he lost the hearing in one ear.

With two former Shas supporters, Rabbi Amnon Yizhak and Rabbi Haim Amsalem, running independent lists and splitting the Sephardi vote, Shas may end up without the goods needed to usher it into the next government.

Ben Ari’s Nightmare: Shas Will Crown Shelly Yachimovich

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

To understand just how realistic is the prediction that the January 22 elections will result in a Labor-led coalition, with Shelly Yachimovich as prime minister, you must become acquainted with a traumatic event in Israel’s political history, which has come to be known as HaTargil HaMasriach – the stinky maneuver.

It was the late Yitzhak Rabin who awarded the above maneuver its aromatic name. It described a 1990 attempt by Rabin’s eternal rival inside the Labor party, Shimon Peres, to create a narrow, leftist coalition partnership with the Haredi parties.

The trick almost succeeded, but was blocked finally, believe it or not, by the late Lubavitcher Rebbe. We’ll deal with that parsha further down in this report, but, for now, just keep in mind that when you ask the average Israeli who was old enough to follow the news back then about the stinky maneuver, he or she would cite three names: Shimon Peres, Haim Ramon, and Aryeh Deri.

Disturbingly, all three men are today in positions of power, although two of them, Ramon and Deri, have been convicted by criminal court—Deri for embezzling, Ramon for sex without consent—to manufacture yet another stinky maneuver, and this time the numbers are on their side.

Last week, MK Michael Ben Ari of Power for Israel took the podium at a conference of party activists to attack not his favorite target on the right—Bibi Netanyahu—or on the left—take your pick—but the Shas party. And more specifically, Aryeh Deri, a member of the leadership triumvirate who is considered to be the real power at the helm.

According to Ben Ari, in the current situation in Israel’s politics, with two distinct blocks vying for the voter’s chit, Aryeu Deri is perfectly capable of scrambling all of Bibi’s best laid plans for a right-leaning or even left-leaning coalition, and deliver Shas over to the leftist block.

“It’s no secret that Aryeh Deri is deep inside the left,” Ben Ari said. “His friends, led by Haim Ramon, are clearly leftists. The daily Yedioth Aharaonoth is pinning its hopes on him as the left’s great, last hope, while the leftist papers have turned him into their “etrog,” and have forgiven him his serious corruption convictions.”

Ben Ari added: We’ve already been to that scenario where Deri took votes from the right and handed them over to the left. Today this is an obvious thing, which he himself is not denying.”

In a statement to The Jewish Press, MK Ben Ari advised anyone planning to vote for Shas, “if they’re really looking to vote for someone who is loyal to the Torah, to vote for Power for Israel.”

“Unfortunately, the cowboy [Deri] is back on the range,” Ben Ari added, “and he hasn’t been concealing his intentions.”

Perhaps to allay his party voters’ fears regarding such a possibility, on Saturday’s “Meet the Press” on Channel 2, Deri called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to immediately invite him to negotiate the next coalition government. “Call me,” Deri invited Bibi, looking at the cameras, “I will come to your house and we’ll decide about [Shas] entering the government.”

In response, Likud-Beitenu came after Deri with both fists pounding: “The public should remember Deri’s association with the left during the Oslo Accords. Those who vote Shas may find it in a coalition with the Left.”

Deri seems to have forgotten the Likud’s partner, the largely Russian-born Israel Beitenu, led by former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman. Just days ago, Shas was forced by the Knesset elections committee to take down their commercial showing a blonde, goyish looking Russian bride, who under the chupah receives her Jewish conversion by fax. That slight will not make for warm ties between Liberman and Deri, even if the latter actually ends up inside Netanyahu’s government.

In response, Deri told Yedioth that “this is not appropriate. We’re hearing Likud accusations of having contacts with the left, while they are not willing to sit with us. Was it because Netanyahu himself is planning a center-left coalition? Instead of attacking us, let them declare whether or not they want to go with us or with the center-left.”

“Despite all the occupations with the health of [Rav Ovadia Yosef, who suffered a minor stroke], I am prepared to start talks even tonight,” Deri added, explaining that the chupah commercial was not intended as a slight against Russian immigrants: “Our commercial is light and satirical, and doesn’t utter a bad word against anyone.”

Tension in Shas after Deri Demand to Supervise All Nominations

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Those who suggested it was only a matter of time before Aryeh Deri began his move to the absolute leadership of Shas, having been assigned to a co-leadership with Interior Minister Eli Yishai, can point to a case of a frozen appointment this week as the first eruption of hostilities between the charismatic ex-con Deri and the Shas leadership that stayed out of jail in his absence.

Kikar HaShabbat reported that Deri tried to prevent or suspend the appointment of a senior figure in Shas, causing tension in the Haredi-Sephardi party.

The belittled official was one Rafi Malachi who serves as chairman of the Shas delegation to the Histadrut national workers union and is a deputy of Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini. Malachi was planning to appoint Yisrael Amitai, who is close to the Shas leadership and to Eli Yishai, to a major position in the union. But at the last minute Malachi received a phone call from Shas treasurer Yehuda Ochana, who had jumped ship from Yishai’s to Deri’s deck, telling him the appointment is fozen for now and that future appointments must be run through Aryeh Deri.

Deri will attempt to calm the sudden tension he caused in a face to face meeting with Amitai on Tuesday. But many in Shas view the move as a signal that Deri intends to be in charge of patronage in the party.

Stay tuned.

Aryeh Deri to Head Shas

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Reports are indicating that Aryeh Deri will return as the head of the Shas party, while Eli Yishai will receive the senior government position, assuming the party joins the next government.

The reports say that both sides have, for the most part, agreed to the terms and assuming no major changes will sign on them them soon.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/aryeh-deri-to-head-shas/2012/10/16/

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