Former Knesset Member Nissim Ze'ev, one of the founders of the Shas party, called on the Council of Torah Sages to suspend the chairman of the movement, Aryeh Deri, amid an ongoing police probe into potential corruption, and a recent scandal over an MK's attendance at a same-sex wedding.
"I think the problem is with the chairman of the movement. Unfortunately, all his interrogations create a heavy cloud over the movement and bring it down to its lowest point, until we are circling around the precipice," Ze'ev said in an interview with Arutz Sheva.
"It is inconceivable that a man who has spent several years in prison for fraud and bribery is repeating the same interrogations and is being detained for the same issues, and that he continues to lead the party as if nothing happened," Ze'ev said.
"So it's a matter for the Torah sages, and I think that before Rosh Hashana is the time for soul-searching ans self-examination about the future of this holy movement, which was established on the value of supreme devotion to Torah and was based on education and values. [This must be done] so that it will continue with the same tradition that has existed for many years.
As for MK Yigal Guetta, who resigned this week after revealing that he attended a same-sex wedding, former MK Ze'ev said that there is no room for such a person in the Shas movement. "The question is not whether he will resign, but how there is a Guetta in Shas, how he came to a movement that represents Torah and values ... And unfortunately there is a politician who I don't think I knows who he represents. I do not blame him. That is the man and these are his views."
Ze'ev added, "I want to remind you of the well-known act of that Conservative rabbah who fought for her community, but when she saw that they were trying to get acquainted with same-sex marriage she left them immediately ... Not that she suddenly became Orthodox but she actually came and said that there is denial of the creation, of 'And G-d created man in His image. In the image of G-d he created him. Male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27).'"
"And I would expect nothing less from a Shas MK who represents a world of Torah values, that he should not give backing to this abomination in any way. Even on other subjects he is unfortunately wrong. Even when he talks about soccer he talks like he's a player. You heard his worldview. He voices more liberal views than the secular parties.
He blamed Deri for recruiting Guetta to the party. "The problem is with the chairman, whose protege is Guetta. He raised him above all the MKs and ministers and appointed him to be secretary-general of the party. So there's a problem here and I think that Shas is in a state of shock. It's a pity that the party has reached such a low point."
Zeev believes that even if MK Guetta apologizes, he can not turn back time. "How can you support something that is an abomination to G-d? He said he was very happy and he was proud that he made everyone come. How can you talk like that?"