Following ruling, Netanyahu visits ‘brother in need’; Deri determined to ‘break through the ceiling’

Netanyahu must decide whether to remove Deri from his cabinet or act in direct contravention to the Supreme Court.

By World Israel News staff

Following today’s Supreme Court ruling that Shas chairman Arye Deri could not serve as a minister, Deri defiantly told his colleagues he is “committed to continuing the revolution… with more strength and force.”

“They close the door on us, we will enter through the window. They close the window on us, we will break through the ceiling,” proclaimed Deri.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Deri in his Jerusalem home to assess the situation and offer comfort.

“When my brother is in need – I come to him,” said Netanyahu.

In 2000, Deri was convicted of accepting some $155,000 in bribes while serving as Interior Minister. He was imprisoned for nearly two years.

In January 2022, Deri was given a one-year suspended prison sentence and a $53,000 fine in exchange for accepting a plea bargain for criminal tax evasion charges.

As part of the deal, Deri agreed to resign from the Knesset. At the time, he was serving as an MK in the Opposition.

Netanyahu said he would remove Deri from his position should the Supreme Court rule that he cannot serve in the role due to his recent criminal activity.

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Deri has publicly said that he would not comply with a ruling ordering him to step down and would refuse to resign from his ministerial position.

Netanyahu must now decide whether to remove Deri from his cabinet or act in direct contravention to the Supreme Court.

It is expected that Netanyahu will fire Deri despite his strong support from MKs within the governing coalition.

Hundreds of supporters flocked to Deri’s home to demonstrate their support for the embattled Shas minister.

A Shas party statement decried “the scandalous disqualification of the Shas chairman from a ministerial position.”

“This is not only a personal slight against Deri but a severe and stinging slightly to all Shas voters and supporters. Wide sections of Israeli society today feel excluded by the court.”

A joint statement from coalition party leaders said “the verdict is a huge injustice to over two million citizens, the majority of the people, who voted in favor of a government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, in which Aryeh Deri will play a central and significant role.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid said “if Deri is not fired, the government is breaking the law. A government that does not heed the law is an illegal government. It no longer can demand citizens to abide by the law.”.

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Deri sounded a positive note, saying “there is nothing as happy as the removal of doubt.”

“It’s good that they said their piece and it’s good that it ended as it did… Let the people see and judge,” concluded Deri.