Deri, Not R' Ovadiah Yosef, Behind Oslo Accords

Footage leaked to the media shows that Deri made the decision for Shas to support Oslo, according to R' Yosef - a fact Deri denied in 2002.

Tova Dvorin, | updated: 08:41

MK Aryeh Deri
MK Aryeh Deri
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

It is Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri, not spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, zt"l, who orchestrated Shas's lean leftward and vote for the Oslo Accords, according to footage leaked on Channel 2 Monday night. 

In the footage, R' Ovadiah Yosef, zt"l is seen conversing with a Shas confidante, noting that Deri was the one who established the policy on the Oslo Accords.

R' Yosef adds that he personally was neither against nor for the Oslo Accords at the time, in his words, stating that he simply did not want to get involved in the discussion. 

The footage then cuts to an interview with Deri in 2002, at the height of the Second Intifada, whereby Deri is seen answering questions by a Channel 2 reporter on how Shas came to support the Accords. 

"I knew about the Oslo Accords 2-3 hours before they were presented to the government," Deri states in the clip. "I did not make the decisions. You know the person who makes our decisions is R' [Ovadiah] Yosef." 

Deri then adds that he heard Ehud Barak talking about the Oslo Accords and saw "huge holes in it, like Swiss cheese" and then warned R' Yosef that the Accords could cause issues with pikuakh nefesh, the Jewish law injunction to do everything in one's power to save a life or prevent loss of life - but then indicates that R' Yosef made the decision to support the Accords in any event. 

More than one Shas source has stated before that R' Yosef had never supported the Oslo Accords, which paved the way for the ongoing terror war the Palestinian Authority wages against Israel as well as the international community's support for the Palestinian Arabs - but until now, there had been little proof to support this. 

At the time, the rabbi had ruled, in opposition to religious Zionist rabbis, that it is halakhically permissible to give territory from the Land of Israel in order to achieve a genuine peace. When the Oslo Accords were followed by a terror onslaught, this opinion was retracted.

More drama in Shas

Earlier Monday, Deri had requested to resign as Shas leader after a separate recording leaked of Rabbi Yosef making a number of severe remarks against Deri. 

In the recordings, which were leaked Sunday night on Channel 2 News, Rabbi Yosef is seen in private meetings condemning Deri for his corruption that had him jailed in 1999 and explaining he didn't want to reappoint him as head of Shas - and even going as far as to refer to him as "evil."

The footage leaked after Shas breakaway party Ha'am Itanu leader Eli Yishai had threatened to leak never-before-seen footage of Rabbi Yosef of the leader's "true opinions" over Deri. Yishai's advisors have stated however that they are not responsible for the Sunday night footage leaked, and Yishai's camp has not claimed responsibility for either clip reaching news outlets. 

The Shas Council of Torah Sages had visited Deri’s home on Monday evening to personally deliver the message that they had rejected his resignation, but Deri was not at home when they arrived.

Deri has since indicated that he is determined to resign as party leader despite the ruling. 




top