Commotion in Shas party over new recording

Shas Chairman Minister Deri is recorded by son of Council of Torah Sages Chairman sharply attacking his opponents and Rabbi Shlomo Amar.

Mordechai Sones ,

Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri
Yaacov Cohen/Flash 90

Shas chairman Aryeh Deri launched an unusual attack against his opponents in the Shas party as well as former Israeli Sephardic Chief Rabbi and current Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar.

In recordings of Deri captured without his knowledge by Yaakov Cohen, son of the President of the Council of Torah Sages, Rabbi Shalom Cohen, and broadcast on Channel 2 on Monday, Deri was heard demanding Cohen immediately cut ties with all of Deri's opponents in the party.

"There's no way out, you have to decide, there is nothing else you can do. You might decide now that your yeshiva is more important than the entire Shas party. Take your yeshiva, fine, but I'm not willing to go on with this another minute," Deri says to Yaakov Cohen.

Deri's wrath was aroused by a rare summit meeting between Rabbi Shalom Cohen, President of the Council of Torah Sages, and Rabbi Shlomo Amar, who is considered an independent figure in the Sephardic Torah world.

Deri is heard speaking against the rabbi in a tone unheard of before from a haredi politician, "I told you fifty times, I'm not stupid. I know how much Amar can add to us [electorally], but I also know that on that day I will close down Shas. This is a fact. He is building a new Shas, because he wants to rule. He has nothing else, he's bored. He has to control, he needs the power. What your father runs away from (honor) is exactly the opposite with him and being involved in everything is what he wants ... There's nothing else he wants ... And these are the people around him, take a look at who's around him. Who are the people around him? The people around him are not people who have [Torah] students, they are not people who have followers."

The Shas chairman goes on in a sarcastic tone, "Believe me, he is suitable to be the chairman of the Shas movement, and between us, he is the most suitable among all the people I can see. Amar's fit to be chairman of the Shas movement. But okay, but okay, so you have to decide if you want to give him that. But put him as our spiritual leader, bring him closer and give him that power. "

In the recording, Deri also castigates MK Yaakov Margi, whom he claims is undermining him.

Deri rambles on, decrying those plotting against him: "Yehuda Avidan says last night that Nissim and Margi (Shas MKs) begged him to take action, promising to bring Yaakov Cohen to his home to explain the situation. You will hear him tell you what they said to him unequivocally: 'Come join us on the front lines, come stand with us. [Deri is finished] It's over, it's final. A plea bargain with the State Prosecutor's Office and in another month or so he leaves - and Margi will be minister in his place because Margi is the trusted confidant of Amar and Chacham Shalom and Yaakov Cohen will be in with us on this.' They talk nonsense and people hear it and feel like exploding. And they see the pictures, they see the pictures and they say 'Wait what happened here? Maybe they're really betraying Deri behind his back and Deri doesn't know about it'?"

Minister Deri said in response to the airing on Channel 2 that "the recording is meant to destroy Shas, I respect the rabbis and act according to their instructions."



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