Ovadia Yosef’s daughter lashes Shas leader, hints at new party
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Ovadia Yosef’s daughter lashes Shas leader, hints at new party

Adina Bar-Shalom says Aryeh Deri straying from ‘father’s legacy,’ looks to a new party that will ‘unite the people of Israel’

Adina Bar-Shalom attends a Shas faction meeting at the Knesset on July 6, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90/File)
Adina Bar-Shalom attends a Shas faction meeting at the Knesset on July 6, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90/File)

Adina Bar-Shalom, the daughter of the Shas party’s late founder and spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, slammed the party on Sunday, charging that it had lost its way.

At a conference of alumni of the Gesher institute, Bar-Shalom accused Shas’s political chief, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, of abandoning her father’s legacy.

“I trust in him and thought he was loyal to Father’s legacy. I gave him my complete trust,” she said, according to the Walla news site.

But Deri failed to help her technical college for Haredi women when it faced financial difficulties, she claimed. “He didn’t act to ensure it survived. I’m very, very hurt by that.”

Aryeh Deri, right, and Adina Bar-Shalom speaking at a Shas party press conference in Jerusalem, December 14, 2014. (Screen capture: Channel 2)

Asked if “Shas was history” by an audience member, Bar-Shalom replied, “If it were up to me, then yes.”

Deri, she added, had “changed a lot since he went to prison.” Before his prison term, “he used to know how to mediate and bridge different worlds” within Israeli society. “It’s a shame he went to prison and was ruined.”

Deri served 22 months in prison from 2000 to 2002 for a bribery conviction.

Bar-Shalom was asked about her own possible political future, particularly in light of the explicit ban placed by the ultra-Orthodox parties on allowing women candidates to run on their party lists.

Aryeh Deri and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, March 17, 1999 (photo credit: Flash90)

She said women could “make use of politics even without being a member of Knesset.”

She pointed to an unnamed “group that is being built of secular, Haredi and religious [people] who work together. For two years already. We’re taking our time, and that’s all I’m willing to say. They’re working on running for the next Knesset, but I’ll be among the founders, not in the Knesset. This party unites the people of Israel.”

Bar-Shalom and Deri have clashed in the past, including over Deri’s 2015 promise to establish a women’s council in the party that would give women a say, a promise that never materialized.

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