“If we put him for example at the head of our [electoral] list, 30 to 40 percent will leave us. Why? Because he was judged in court. Why take someone who [is a] thief? Why take someone who accepts bribes? Why should we do this?"
Above: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Videotape Showing Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Calling Aryeh Deri A Thief, Seeking To Ban Him From Shas Party leadership, Leaked
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
It is election season in Israel.
“If we put him for example at the head of our [electoral] list, 30 to 40 percent will leave us. Why? Because he was judged in court. Why take someone who [is a] thief? Why take someone who accepts bribes? Why should we do this?…No one has anything on Yishai.…Aryeh [Deri] will not listen. I know from past experience, he’s too independent. Your mother was crying. Is this not an evil person? I told him a couple of times, he didn’t want to listen.…He’s encouraging [Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzhak] Kaduri to make another party. He’ll get 5,000 votes, he won’t pass the electoral threshold…I can’t betray Eli Yishai.”
According to a partial translation in the Jerusalem Post, this is some of what Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who died in October 2013, said in 2008 about Aryeh Deri, the current chairman of the Shas Party Yosef founded.
The tape was leaked to Israel’s Channel 2 News, which says it has more explosive footage of Yosef talking about Deri which it will release in upcoming days.
Deri was the chairman of Shas and a powerful Member of Knesset but was convicted of public corruption a decade ago, putting him in prison.
On his release, Deri began campaigning to get his old party position back and Yosef, who had promised that to Deri before Deri went to prison, did not want to give it to him.
Yosef blocked Deri for several years until in 2012 Deri was made co-chairman of Shas along with MK Eli Yishai and MK Ariel Atias after Deri again threatened to start his own political party.
Just before Yosef died in 2013, the frail rabbi appointed Deri sole party chairman – a move many people believe was coerced.
Eli Yishai, who headed Shas in the years Deri was in prison and afterward until Deri’s return as sole party leader last year, broke away from Shas two weeks ago to start his own political party.
Despite an agreement between Deri and Yishai not to use smear tactics or badmouth each other, Deri publicly lashed out at Yishai and accused him of being a traitor to Yosef.
Deri is generally more left-leaning on peace process issues than Yishai, who is linked to Israel’s growing haredi West Bank settler population and whose new political party is reportedly seeking an alliance with the furthest right elements in the Zionist Orthodox HaBayit HaYehudi Party headed by Economy, Religious Services and Diaspora Minister Naftali Bennett.