Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the home of Shas party chairperson Aryeh Deri on Wednesday evening following a ruling by the Supreme Court prohibiting Deri from serving in the new government as a cabinet minister.
Supreme Court Declares War on Netanyahu’s Government, Cancels Minister Aryeh Deri
The meeting, which lasted more than half an hour, reportedly included several other coalition members as well.
Deri, who lives in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood, currently serves as Minister of the Interior and Health, and Vice Prime Minister. He also participates in the high-ranking Israeli Security Cabinet.
“Everything is for the best,” Deri told Shas lawmakers following the ruling. “I have no doubt that it turned out well,” he said, according to a report by Israel’s KAN News public broadcaster.
“We will study the issue in the coming days and decide what to do,” he added.
Shas Social Services Minister Yaakov Margi warned earlier in the day in a radio interview with Reshet Bet that his party would not be likely to support continuation of the Netanyahu government if Netanyahu fires Deri.
“I will advise the [Shas party’s] council of Torah sages that if Aryeh Deri isn’t in the government, there is no government.”
In her ruling, Supreme Court President Esther Hayut wrote that because Deri was convicted last year of “serious corruption offenses,” his appointment to ministerial positions “clearly crosses the line of reasonableness.”
The 10-1 ruling came in response to petitions challenging an amendment to the Basic Law: The Government that prevents those with suspended sentences from serving as a government minister. The so-called “Deri Law” amendment passed in December 2022 enabled the Shas leader’s appointment to the posts despite the conviction on tax offenses.
The ruling did not prohibit Deri from remaining in office as a member of Knesset, and his party will still hold the Interior and Health ministry portfolios.