Deri: 'Large Gaps' Between Us and the Left

Shas chairman says he's against splitting Jerusalem but would agree to evict "isolated settlements".

Ben Ariel ,

Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Shas leader Aryeh Deri on Tuesday said that there are “large gaps” between his party and the left.

The comments, made in an interview on Channel 20, came after Rabbanit Adina Bar-Shalom, daughter of the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual founder of Shas, indicated at a conference that Shas is left-leaning when she said the party fears a “radical right government” and would push for a two-state solution.

“The gap between us and the left is very large. I do not agree to divide Jerusalem, and I do not agree to evict large communities for no reason,” Deri said.

He did admit, however, that he would agree to evict “isolated communities” as part of a peace deal.

While Rabbi Yosef initially issued an opinion supporting the concept of giving up land for peace, after the 1993 Oslo Accords erupted in terrorist wars he famously reversed his position, realizing that such deals and concessions on the land of Israel only cause more bloodshed.

Bar-Shalom had said in the meeting she attended that "if there will be a peace process in the coming elections, Shas, Deri and the (Shas) MKs will push (it forward) with all their strength. They went with father on this matter. The only one who didn't go in father's path is Eli Yishai."

Contrary to Bar-Shalom's words claiming Rabbi Yosef supported a peace deal, recordings have shown that it was Deri who was behind Shas's position on Oslo, and not Rabbi Yosef as Deri later claimed.

Likewise the records show Rabbi Yosef called Yishai "my favorite," giving him permission to form his own party, and on the other hand condemned "evil" Deri for his corruption that had him jailed in 1999.