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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Aryeh Deri’

Could Attorney General’s Report Trigger New Elections?

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein reported to Prime Minister Netanyahu that he would find it difficult to defend the appointments of MK Aryeh Deri (Shas) as a Minister, and of MK Yoav Galant (Kulanu) as Minister of Construction if the High Court were to decide against their appointments.

Aryeh Deri served prison time for graft, and while there are no legal impediments to his appointment anymore, Weinstein believes the High Court could decide otherwise if someone were to actually petition them against Deri.

Galant, on the other hand, was accused of expanding his house, building a private road and planting an olive grove on public land, which makes his appointment as Minister of Construction somewhat ironic. Galant lost his appointment as IDF Chief of Staff due to the scandal.

If Aryeh Deri loses his ministerial position, he could pull Shas out of the coalition, and cause everything to fall apart.

Weinstein’s report and statement that he might not be able to defend the appointments could trigger a series of events that bring about new elections.

Shas Signs with Likud, Bayit Yehudi Gets Offer

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Shas has signed their coalition agreement with Netanyahu.

Shas chairman Aryeh Deri will become the new Minister of the Economy, replacing Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) who held that position in the previous coalition.

Despite the battle between Bayit Yehudi and Shas over the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Netanyahu has given that ministry exclusively to Shas.

The Conversion Authority will remain with the Prime Minister’s office, and not be returned to the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Shas will receive the Ministry for Development in the Negev and the Galilee, as well as a Deputy Finance Minister position.

To top it off, Shas will chair the Knesset’s Education Committee.

The Likud also announced their offer to Bayit Yehudi.

Bayit Yehudi would get the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Diaspora, the Ministry of Agriculture along with control of the Settlement Division, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and a Deputy Defense Minister position.

In addition, Bennett was offered a seat in the Security Cabinet.

The Likud simultaneously threatened that if Bayit Yehudi rejected the offer, Netanyahu would form a government with Herzog’s Zionist Camp.

At this point, Kulanu, UTJ and Shas have signed. Yisrael Beytenu has said they won’t join, leaving Bayit Yehudi as the last party to decide. If Bayit Yehudi joins, Netanyahu has his 61 seat coalition just in time for his Wednesday deadline.

Deri Plays Tough, Refuses to Share Religious Affairs Post with Bennett

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Shas’ demand to lock out Bennett from the religious court is forcing a last-minute coalition showdown.

Shas leader Aryeh Deri has refused to allow the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) the post as Deputy Religious Affairs Minister, leaving party chairman Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a last-minute showdown to form a coalition government.

Without Bennett, Netanyahu has only 61 Knesset Members unless he can come to terms with Yisrael Beiteinu Avigdor Lieberman. As it stands now, he has only the minimum needed for a new government, but that number is too fragile to keep a coalition from falling apart.

He has until 8 p.m. Wednesday to put up or shut up. Either he, Bennett and Shas come to terms or Reuven Rivlin asks someone else to form a government. The only other alternative is a national unity coalition, which by all accounts would last for perhaps a day, or a week or month, but not much longer.

The Religious Affairs Ministry is the stumbling block. Deri wants it to himself, lock stock and barrel, knowing that allowing a Tel Aviv Bayit Yehudi Knesset Member to be his deputy would mean slicing money from Hareidi institutions and compromising on religious issues that are the foundation of Shas.

Deri always has proven he can be bought for a price and knows how to make it an expensive one. He might compromise with Bennett if Netanyahu offers him another key Cabinet post, likely at the expense of a prospective Likud minister.

Actually, there is another alternative. It is called “elections.”


Shas MK Deri Calls Hareidi Assault on IDF Officer ‘Terror’

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and several Knesset Members expressed outrage on Friday after Hareidim attacked an IDF officer’s car when he ventured into the Jerusalem neighborhood to visit two of his soldiers.

One of them is a lone soldier, without family in Israel, and the other recently lost his grandfather.

The officer, who is from Kiryat Arba, escaped with bruises after the Hareidi attackers smashed the back window of his private vehicle, whose windows were reinforced against Arab rock-throwers on the highway between Kiryat Arba and Jerusalem.

“They had murder in their eyes,” the soldier told his mother, according to Yediot Acharonot. “They were just like terrorists in encountered in Gaza,” he added. The 21-year-old officer saw action in Gaza in the Protective Edge counter-terrorist operation against Hamas last summer.

A rising number of Hareidim who enlist in the IDF has made a minority of extremists even more violent in their opposite to anything that hints of Zionism.

They are subservient to their rabbis, who so far have not taught that there is no mitzvah in physically attacking a fellow Jew.

Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Hareidi Shas Sephardi party, called the attack “terror.” Yehadut HaTorah (UTJ) MK Yaakov Litzman said, “Attacking a soldier by extremists is a red line that must be condemned. Use of violence of any kind is sacrilegious.

UTJ Knesset Member Uri Maklev called the incident “terror” and charged that the extremist gang is headquartered in Beit Shemesh. He also accused the police of negligence by ignoring the gang.

He told Kikar Shabbat:

This is a gang of extremists who are more violent to other Hareidim than they are to the general public. It is the same group that once attacked [Hareidi] MK Moshe Gafni and the late Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. The police know the identity of some of their leaders but surrender and do nothing about it.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said after the attack, “This is an outrageous incident, and the lawbreakers who raised a hand against an IDF officer should be prosecuted. Military service is a source of pride. The IDF is the people’s army that protects us all. Population groups from all of Israeli society serve in it – that’s how it was and how it will continue to be.

Bennett Flexes Muscles and Threatens to Knock Out Coalition

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett used Twitter late Sunday night to warn Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he can forget about a right-wing coalition if he fulfills a pre-election promise to give the Shas Sephardi Hareidi party control of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Bennett was in charge of the ministry in the last government and is not willing to leave the national religious community out in the cold and let a Hareidi party reverse a trend to weaken the authority of the Hareidi establishment.

Bennett wrote:

Unilaterally taking the Ministry of Religious Affairs away from the national religious community and handing it over to Shas means the end of negotiations with Bayit Yehudi.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is asking President Reuven Rivlin for another two weeks to form a coalition.

The truth is that if the Prime Minister had run out of extensions, he and the potential coalition partners would have struck a deal now. As usual, everyone uses the clock to play chicken with each other.

Netanyahu knows that Bennett and Shas chairman Aryeh Deri are not prepared to force him into a corner without a coalition. And Bennett and Aryeh know that that if they do so, there always is the option of a national unity government with the dreaded Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni. Going that route would make the last Titanic coalition look like the Queen Elizabeth, so you can count on everyone finding common ground.

But how can Netanyahu get out of this mess created by promising the Religious Affairs Ministry to Shas when Bennett blocks it with a red line?


Netanyahu can simply declare himself Minister of Religious Affairs and appoint two deputies – Bennett and Deri.

We wanted a Jewish country, right?

So we come up with Jewish solutions.

Two Jews, three ministers.

Understand Israeli Elections – Here’s a Primer, Part 1

Friday, March 13th, 2015

The Israeli political system is radically different from the one in the United States. The most obvious differences are that Israel is a parliamentary system with more than 20 potential parties in the mix, unlike just the two standard American parties, the Democrats and the Republicans.

This year 26 parties are vying for positions in the upcoming vote, 11 of which are likely to pass the threshold requirement for becoming part of the next Knesset.

The first step of this year’s Israeli election to determine who makes it into the Knesset at all, then which parties will form the governing coalition, and finally, who will be the prime minister of the state of Israel, takes place next Tuesday, March 17.

The date was set by a formal meeting in early December, of all the then-current Knesset party leaders. Those leaders chose the date for the election to take place in just four months. While four months is a dramatically short campaign period by American standards, Israeli law permits only five months to elapse between the dissolution of one Knesset and the election for the next.

Election day is a big deal in Israel. Virtually everything, except the polling places, is closed. Free transportation is provided for any voter who needs it to reach their regular polling place.

On March 17,  all eligible voters – every Israeli citizen over 18 years of age – can vote. That includes Arabs, Muslims, Christians and Jews, men and women, able-bodied and those with disabilities. There is no voter registration system; every citizen is automatically registered once they turn 18. Nearly six million Israelis are eligible to vote in this year’s election.


Eligible Israeli voters go to polling places in their neighborhoods. There are more than 10,000 polling places throughout this tiny country. Most open at 7:00 a.m. and remain open until 10:00 p.m.

Turnout for Israeli elections has been declining for years, but it’s still well over 60 percent. In the U.S., turnout has been in the low-to mid 50 percent zone since the early 1970’s.

Before entering the voting booth, each voter is handed an envelope. Inside the booth is a tray, with different strips of paper. Each strip of paper includes the name and symbol of a party. The voter chooses the slip of paper which has the name and symbol of the party for whom they wish to vote, and puts that piece of paper in the envelope they were handed. After leaving the booth the voter places the envelope with their chosen party slip into the ballot box.

Israeli voters choose parties, not individual candidates, which, among other things, means their national representation is ideological, not geographic, and the vote is proportional, meaning the 120 Knesset seats are divvied up in proportion to each party’s percentage of the total vote. There is a minimum threshold for a party to meet before it can sit in the Knesset. That minimum is currently set at 3.25 percent of the total votes cast, which translates into four seats.


Once the polling places close and the ballots are counted, the second phase of the Israeli election begins, the one frequently described as “horse trading.” In order to have the right to form a government and choose the prime minister, a group of parties needs to be able to control a majority of the Israeli Knesset, the single chamber Israeli legislature. The Knesset has 120 seats.

With so many parties competing, no single one has ever attained that magic number of 61 seats, and it is even likely that three or more parties need to agree to work together to form the ruling coalition. Therefore, parties which have been thrashing each other in public now start eying each other as potential dance partners, trying to figure out with whom they can create a functioning coalition to run the government.

This coalition building phase is a little bit like when, after a brutal primary in the U.S., the second place vote getter and the winner frequently kiss, make up, and agree to live with each other as their party’s candidate for president and vice president during the general election. But several different parties and lots of individual members of those parties are all added into the Israeli decision making mix. It isn’t easy.

But first let’s back up. How were the individuals on each party’s list chosen?


As soon as the Knesset is dissolved, either because it reached its four year expiration date, or because it is dispersed for some other reason (such as happened in the current case, when Prime Minister Netanyahu asked the Knesset to disperse and the Knesset unanimously agreed, on Dec. 8), the parties begin internal negotiations to determine who will be on their official “list,” and in what order. The higher up on the list one is, the greater the likelihood of actually making it into the Knesset.

There are various systems for determining who are included, and where they are placed, on each party’s list, including voting by the party leadership. Additional factors are taken into consideration, such as whether enough women are included, whether there are security experts represented, whether certain ethnic minorities will be included.


How does one of the party members then become the prime minister? Israel’s president, currently former Knesset member Ruby Rivlin, selects the member of Knesset believed to have the best chance of forming a viable coalition government, given the election results. This can take some time until the parties are able to align so that they can govern together.

Some of the horse trading here involves party leaders with high numbers demanding significant ministry positions in exchange for pledging their party’s support. Compare this to the ability of the U.S. president, once elected, then deciding who will become the various cabinet members.

This phase is incredibly complicated. For example, right now at least five different parties will be needed to join together to create a ruling coalition. And it is not as if just the top five vote-getting parties will join together, because of differences in ideology.

For example, the tiny far left Meretz party, which currently is polling at five seats, thought it would be able to create a power bloc by pairing up with the Joint Arab List. The Arab group dashed those hopes, claiming they would not join with “Zionists.”

Another complicating factor is that certain parties have claimed they will not join in a coalition with Netanyahu, and the Likud has ruled out creating a coalition with other parties, including the current frontrunner, the so-called “Zionist Union.” That party is a joining together of the center-left Labor party and Tzipi Livni and her entourage. Livni has changed parties so many times in the past few years most people just refer to this new party as Labor-Livni.

Once finally selected, the prime minister announces the formation of a new Knesset and the offices each minister will hold.

January 29 was the deadline for all parties to submit their lists of candidates. As of that date, the following parties had the following members in the following order (the parties are listed in terms of their most recent polling status):

ZIONIST UNION (1) Isaac Herzog (2) Tzipi Livni (3) Shelly Yachimovich (4) Stav Shaffir (5) Itzik Shmuly (6) Omer Bar-Lev (7) Hilik Bar (8) Amir Peretz (9) Merav Michaeli (10) Eitan Cabel (11) Manuel Trajtenberg (12) Erel Margalit (13) Mickey Rosenthal (14) Revital Swid (15) Danny Atar (16) Yoel Hassan (17) Zuhair Bahloul (18) Eitan Broshi (19) Michal Biran (20) Nachman Shai (21) Ksenia Svetlova (22) Ayelet Nahmias Verbin (23) Yossi Yona (24)Eyal Ben-Reuven (25) Yael Cohen-Paran. The left-center Zionist Union was forged by combining Labor and Tzipi Livni and her followers, has very recently been polling at between 20 and 24 seats.

LIKUD: (1) Benjamin Netanyahu (2) Gilad Erdan (3) Yuli Edelstein (4) Yisrael Katz (5) Miri Regev (6)Silvan Shalom (7) Moshe Ya’alon (8) Ze-ev Elkin (9) Danny Danon (10) Yariv Levin (11) Benny Begin (12) Tzachi Hanegbi (13) Yuval Steinitz (14) Gila Gamliel (15) Ophir Akunis (16) David Bitan (17) Haim Katz (18) Jackie Levy (19) Yoav Kish (20) Tzipi Hotovely (21) Dudu Amsalem (22) Miki Zohar (23) Dr. Anat Berko (24) Ayoob Kara (25) Nava Boker. Likud has been polling at between 26 and 20 seats, most recently declining.

YESH ATID (1) Yair Lapid (2) Shai Piron (3) Yael German (4) Meir Cohen (5) Yaakov Peri (6) Ofer Shelah (7) Haim Yalin (8) Karine Elharrar (9) Yoel Razvozov (10) Alize Lavie (11) Mickey Levy (12) Elazar Stern (13) Pnina Tamano-Shata (14) Boaz Toporovsky (15) Ruth Calderon. Yesh Atid focuses on social and economic issues and was brand new for the last elections. Yesh Atid has been polling at around 10 – 13 seats.

JOINT ARAB LIST (1) Aiman Uda (Hadash) (2) Masud Ganaim (Islamic Movement (3) Ahmad Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) (4) Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash (6) Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahya (Islamic Movement) (7) Haneen Zoabi (Balad) (8) Dov Khenin (Hadash) (9) Taleb Abu Arar (Islamic Movement). The Joint Arab party has been polling between 11 and 13 seats.

BAYIT YEHUDI (1) Naftali Bennett (2) Uri Ariel (3) Ayelet Shaked (4) Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan(5) Nissan Slomiansky (6) Yinan Magal (7) Moti Yogev (8) Bezalel Smotrich (9) Shuli Mualem (10) Avi Wortzman (11) Nir Orbach (12) rabbi Avi Rontzki (13) Orit Struck (14) Anat Roth (15) Ronen Shoval. Bayit Yehudi, the religious Zionist party, has recently been polling between 10 and 14 seats.

KULANU (1) Moshe Kahlon (2) Yoav Galant (3) Eli Alalouf (4) Michael Oren (5) Rachel Azaria (6)Tali Ploskov (7) Dr. Yifat Shasha-Biton (8) Eli Cohen (9) Roy Folkman (10)Merav Ben-Ari. Kulanu is a brand new party created by its number one on the list. Kahlon is understood to have destroyed the cell phone monopoly in Israel. Kahlon has not ruled out joining with Likud or Zionist Union. His determination to be the next finance minister is well-known. Kulanu has been polling around 8 – 10 seats.

SHAS (1) Aryeh Deri (2) Yitzhak Cohen (3) Meshulam Nahari (4) Yakov Margi (5) David Azoulay (6) Yoav Ben-Tzur (7) Yitzhak Vaknin (8) Avraham Michaeli. Shas (the Sephardi Haredi party which has experienced severe upheaval since its leader, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef’s death in Oct. 2013) has been polling pretty consistently at 7 seats.

UNITED TORAH JUDAISM (1) Yaakov Litzman (2) Moshe Gafni (3) Meir Porush (4) Uri Maklev (5)Menachem Eliezer Moses (6) Israel Eichler (7) Yaakov Asher (8) Eliezer Sorotzkin. UTJ, the Ashkenazi charedi party, has recently been polling between 6 and 7 seats.

YISRAEL BEITEINU (1) Avigdor Lieberman (2) Orly Levy-Abekasis (3) Sofa Landver (4) Ilan Shohat (5) Sharon Gal (6) Hamad Amar (7) Robert Ilatov. Yisrael Beiteinu is identified with the Russian immigrants and is considered right wing, although it does not believe in annexing Judea and Samaria. It has been polling at 5 seats for quite some time.

MERETZ (1) Zehava Gal-on (2) Ilan Gilon (3) Issawi Frej (4) Michal Rozin (5) Tamar Zandberg (6) Mossi Raz (7) Gaby Lasky. Meretz, which is left on social and Arab-Israeli issues, has been polling pretty consistently at around 5 seats.

YACHAD (1) Eli Yishai (2) Yoni Chetboun (3) Michael Ayash (4) Baruch Marzel (5) Sasson Trebelsi. Yachad, only recently created as a split off from Shas, has been polling between 4 – 6 seats.

Other parties which are not expected to reach the threshold number of votes include the Green Party, the Green Leaf (legalize marijuana) Party, Rent with Honor Party, the Economics Party, a Charedi Women’s Party (called Ubezchutan) and even something called the Pirate Party. Gotta love Israelis.

JewishPress.com will post another primer once the elections reach the second phase: assembling the ruling coalition.

If Aryeh Deri Keeps His Word, Herzog Cannot Be Prime Minister

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Aryeh Deri has crushed any hope of the Herzog-Livni duo that they can form the next government coalition and has paved the way for a Netanyahu-led Haredi-right-wing administration.

Deri, and the Shas party he heads, have a long record of moving left or right so long as the party can be part of a coalition and squeeze the government for money for its institutions. The party and its chairman have no ideology when it comes to being part of the power structure.

When Deri says he is a leftist, don’t believe him

When he say he is a nationalist, don’t believe him.

However, on Thursday made it clearer than ever, with no reservations, and said at a campaign stop at Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market and also on Israeli radio stations:

I have un-categorically stated that I will not sit in a leftist government, and then I was asked about my personal association with Herzog. I answered, ‘I don’t discard Bujie [Herzog] personally….I have explained clearly that the participation of Shas with the Likud goes back many years.’

That is not entirely true.  Shas sat in the Peres-Rabin coalition and voted for the Oslo Accords, and Deri said earlier this week he favors the expulsion of Jews from Jewish communities that are not part of large populating centers in Judea and Samaria.

So with the election results in doubt and polls showing a trend in favor of Herzog and Livni’s Zionist Union party, why is Deri locking himself out of a possible coalition led by Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni, who have a commanding lead over Netanyahu, according to the polls?

The simple and correct answer is that Deri knows that a Herzog-Livni coalition would be incredibly unstable, unless there is a sudden sweep beyond the leftists’ wildest imagination. On the other hand a government headed by Netanyahu, even with the tiniest majority, would be stable.

In other words, a coalition in the hand is better than a coalition is in the bush.

The arithmetic is very simple, much more so than colleague Shalom Bear stated here yesterday.

Let’s give Bujie the benefit of the doubt and grant him 26 seats in the Knesset. Let’s give Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid 13 and Kulanu, headed by Moshe Kahlon, eight. That comes out to 47, and make it 53 with six seats for Meretz, and that is being generous.

The missing seats won’t come from the Likud or Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home). Nor will they come from Yisrael Beiteinu. They won’t come from the United Arab List because Kahlon has ruled out sitting with a coalition that is kept in office by outright anti-Zionists, although the same objection could be raised concerning a cajole of future MKs on Herzog’s list of candidates.

The only way Herzog and Livni can fill the gap is with the Haredi parties. YaHadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) traditionally sits with the right wing. Even if they were to agree to sit with Herzog and Livni, all of the hate in the world for Netanyahu will not convince Lapid and Meretz to sit together with the Haredim. And vice-versa.

The UTJ chairman even refused to show up for a question and answer session on Thursday that would have required him to sit in the same room with Lapid.

Yes, if Shas wins eight seats, it could give Herzog a majority, but Deri knows that a leftist-Haredi coalition is too shaky to last any longer than the time between Mincha afternoon prayers and Maariv evening prayers.

But Deri knows very well that he is the deal-breaker for a coalition led by Netanyahu, even if the Likud wins only 21 seats. Add five from Yisrael Beiteinu, 12 from Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) and eight from Kulanu. The sum total is 46, and these numbers are conservative.

That is where the Haredim will call the shots. Shas and UTJ will come up with at least 15 seats, giving Netanyahu a tiny but stable majority of one. Unlike a leftist coalition with Haredim, all of the parties in the projected Netanyahu government have no problem sitting with each other.

In the past, that would not have been true because Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu, was one of the major reasons, the previous coalition broke up, But his party has been whittled down to almost nothing, leaving him little room to let out much more than a weak squeak.

If Yachad wins enough votes to enter the Knesset, and that is a big question mark, the coalition would have a majority of four, after subtracting Baruch Marzel, who has said he won’t sit with Netanyahu.

Deri has done his math, and if the above scenario becomes reality, the irony of ironies is that the anti-Netanyahu media blitz will have resulted with their two most hated voting blocs waving the heaviest hand in the government – settlers and Haredim.

However, there is one big caveat emptor, as a reader responded to this article on Facebook:

LOL. “If Aryeh Deri keeps his word …

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/if-aryeh-deri-keeps-his-word-herzog-cannot-be-prime-minister/2015/03/13/

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