Aryeh Deri, the chairman of the Sefardi haredi Shas Party, resigned from the Knesset Tuesday evening and all other Shas MKs resigned, as well. But does this really matter? Or is this just an Israeli haredi kabuki dance?
Above: Aryeh Deri
Deri Resigns From Knesset, All Other Shas MKs Follow
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
It is likely not much more than political kabuki dance Israeli haredi-style.
Aryeh Deri, the chairman of the Sefardi haredi Shas Party, resigned from the Knesset Tuesday evening, the Times of Israel reported.
Yesterday, Deri wrote a letter to the party’s Council of Torah Sages asking to resign from leadership. The rabbis refused him and went to Deri’s home to personally delive the message. Deri, however, wasn’t there.
Wherever he was, Deri wrote party members of Knesset and activists last night and said he would resign.
Today, Deri went to the homes of the members of the party’s Council of Torah Sages, supposedly telling each one that he was serious about resigning and leaving politics.
And then tonight, he did it.
But while that looks like Deri defied the party’s rabbis, his resignation is only symbolic because the Knesset already dissolved itself in preparation for the March 17, 2015 snap elections.
Deri reportedly gave his letter of resignation to outgoing Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein at 7:30 pm but his resignation only goes into effect Thursday night.
The other 10 members of Knesset from Shas resigned from the Knesset shortly after Deri in a largely symbolic gesture.
“I have nothing to add. Gentlemen, leave me be,” Deri reportedly told the media moments after resigning.
Sources in Shas have told reporters that besides the very damaging leaked videotape of the party’s late founder and spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef condemning Deri to members of Yosef’s family and top aides, calling Deri a “thief” and bemoaning the fact that Deri took actions that defied Yosef’s instructions, there may hundreds of hours of even more damaging recordings in the possession of Deri’s rival and ex-Shas chairman Eli Yishai or operatives favorable to him.
Yishai, who is close to the West Bank settler movement, left Shas earlier this month and formed a new political party, Ha’am Itanu (The Nation Is with Us).
Deri, who is much more dovish, was convicted of public corruption in 1999 and was removed as chairman of Shas when he was sentenced to prison. He was brought back into co-chairmanship of the party in 2012 by Rabbi Yosef and then became sole party chairman last year shortly before Yosef died. But it now appears the frail, sick and elderly Yosef was coerced into making those moves.