Senior Shas member Aryeh Deri slammed MK Chaim Amsallem Wednesday in an interview with Galei Yisrael. Amsallem, formerly of Shas, has created the breakaway Am Shalem party and has accused Shas of needlessly discouraging hareidi-religious IDF service and hareidi participation in the workforce.
“Of all the Shas MKs, I’m the only ‘jobnik,’ me and maybe Ariel Attias,” said Deri, referring to non-combat army service. “The rest of the Shas MKs did full military service, some served as career soldiers, some were wounded and are handicapped veterans. The only one who did not serve in the IDF is the MK who was formerly with us, Chaim Amsallem.”
Amsallem’s supporters responded by saying that Amsallem, a rabbi, was exempt from service as an exceptional Torah scholar. Amsallem’s philosophy would see exceptionally gifted scholars continue to receive an IDF exemption, they said.