search

Shas: Court undermined the will of 400,000 voters

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Minister of the Interior and Health Aryeh Deri during the swearing in ceremony of the new government at the Knesset, on December 29, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Minister of the Interior and Health Aryeh Deri during the swearing in ceremony of the new government at the Knesset, on December 29, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Moments after the High Court of Justice disqualified its leader from holding ministerial office, the Shas party released a statement accusing the court of making a “political” decision that undermined the will of Shas’s 400,000 voters.

“Today, the court effectively ruled that elections are meaningless. The court’s decision is political and tainted with extreme unreasonability,” reads the statement.

A recidivist financial offender, Shas leader Aryeh Deri was most recently convicted of tax offenses last January, and left the Knesset as part of a plea deal in which he vowed to retire from political life. Instead, he reentered the Knesset on top of Shas’s 11 seats in November, and in December, the coalition fast-tracked legislation to smooth his way into holding the interior and health ministry posts.

“The entire Shas movement is appalled by the arbitrary and unprecedented decision of the High Court of Justice, in contravention of law and justice, and sees it as a serious violation of the right to vote and to be elected, which is the lifeblood of democracy,” the Shas statement continues. The party also pledges to weigh its next steps, promising to consult with its guiding rabbis as to how to address the court decision.

Earlier this month, Justice Minister Yariv Levin proposed legislation to cancel the reasonability test under which the court has nixed Deri’s appointments, and the ruling will likely pressure the coalition to accelerate this, or another solution, to restore Deri’s status as a minister.

The decision also comes in the context of a broader Shas-backed judicial reform fight, a culmination of decades of the Mizrahi Haredi party lamenting overreach by a court that does not reflect its way of life.

“Broad sections of Israeli society today feel excluded by the court,” Shas’s statement reads.

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: example@domain.com
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.