MK Rav Haim Amsallem, a renegade Shas MK who is running on a separate ticket for the next Knesset, said Wednesday that "Shas has been stained with moral turpitude today," following the reported decision to place ex-convict Aryeh Deri alongside Minister Eli Yishai as leaders of the party.
MK Amsallem added sarcastically: "I propose that they also bring back Yair Levy, Shlomo Benizri, [Refael] Pinchasi, [Ofer] Hugi and the rest of Shas's convicts." The names he mentioned are four of the six former Shas MKs, besides Deri, who have been convicted of criminal offenses.
Dozens of activists from the Movement for Quality of Government demonstrated outside Rav Ovadia Yosef's home in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood Wednesday evening, to protest Deri's return.
The movement's head, Attorney Eliad Shraga, said that the fact that Deri had served his sentence does not mean he can go back to being a public official. "No normal person would send his son to a kindergarten with a released pedophile," he said, to illustrate his point.
Shas's Council of Torah sages in to convene Wednesday and discuss the partys future, including the placement of Deri in the list for the next Knesset.