search

‘With the worst possible feeling,’ Netanyahu fires Deri from ministerial roles, adhering to High Court ruling

Aryeh Deri arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, January 22, 2023. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Aryeh Deri arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, January 22, 2023. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fires Shas leader Aryeh Deri from his roles as health and interior minister.

Netanyahu, speaking to Deri, says: “I am compelled, with a heavy heart, with great sorrow and with the worst possible feeling, to remove you from your position as a minister in the government.”

The decision comes following a High Court ruling on Wednesday barring Deri from ministerial office, due both to his past criminal convictions and his promise to resign from political life as part of a plea bargain last year after his conviction for tax offenses.

Netanyahu vows to find a “legal way” for Deri to continue serving the State of Israel.

Deri’s dismissal takes effect in 48 hours, by when Netanyahu will need to find new ministers to take over Deri’s responsibilities.

Netanyahu reads Deri from the text of a letter he has prepared, which states in full:

“As you know, I decided to appoint you as deputy prime minister, interior minister and health minister, with the approval of a majority of Knesset members, because of the fact that I regard you as a font of experience, wisdom and responsibility that are so important for the State of Israel, at any time and especially at this moment. I reasoned that it was important that you serve the State of Israel as a member of the security-diplomatic cabinet in my government, where you could be of influence, given your years of experience as a member of cabinet in the governments of the late prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin — rich experience that contributed to Israel’s security and resilience.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Shas chair Aryeh Deri at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, January 22, 2023. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

“To my great sorrow, despite all this, the Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, decided on January 18, 2023, that I am required to remove you from your role as minister of the interior and health. This unfortunate decision ignores the will of the people, as shown by the considerable trust that the public placed in the elected representatives who sit in my government, when it was clear to all that you would serve in the government as a senior minister.

“I intend to seek any legal way whereby you can continue to contribute to the State of Israel with your experience and many talents, in accordance with the will of the people. Nevertheless, in the wake of the instructions in the aforementioned verdict, I must inform you that in accordance with Clause 22 (b) of Basic Law: The Government, I am compelled, with a heavy heart, great sorrow and the worst possible feeling, to remove you from your position as a minister in the government. With great appreciation.”

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: [email protected]
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.