Yigal Guetta
Yigal Guetta Flash90

Former Shas MK Yigal Guetta addressed for the first time his resignation from the Knesset, which he claimed was the result of a controversy engineered by his political rivals.

Guetta was forced to resign from the Knesset in September after he revealed that he had attended a same-sex wedding for his cousin several years ago. "The whole family went [to the wedding], my wife and I and the kids, who I don’t usually tell which events to go to. But for this, I said that showing up is mandatory. We all went so we could make him very happy," Guetta had told Army Radio host Razi Barkai.

According to Yediot Aharonot, Guetta told an intimate gathering of supporters that despite his opposition to same-sex weddings, he still attended because he holds the value of family unity in high esteem. "Evil people presented it as if the point of what I said was that I was at a [same-sex] wedding in Tel Aviv. That wasn't the point - the point was that I care about family," said Guetta.

"These are the values I grew up on," continued Guetta. "Every family has one haredi member and one secular one, but they embrace everyone and love everyone. If my secular brother gets married, will I be forbidden to attend his wedding as well, despite the fact that he violates Shabbat in public?"

Guetta also said that he isn't angry with Shas head Aryeh Deri. "I don't feel any resentment," Guetta told listeners. "Deri and most of the Council of Torah Sages supported me."

Guetta was a major Deri ally, and the Shas chairman had described the agonizing choices he was forced to make when the issue first surfaced. "This controversy damaged my health," said Deri earlier this week. "I've dealt with many sensitive matters before, and I don't remember any other time when I couldn't sleep at night because of the tears, and not knowing how to handle it."

Numerous reports have surfaced that speak of a split between Deri and Shas spiritual head Rabbi Shalom Cohen due to Cohen forcing Guetta to resign, allegations which Deri adamantly denied.

"There is no power struggle in Shas," Deri declared. "In Shas, the people who decide things are the Council of Torah Sages. They are the only authority to which we answer."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Sukkot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

Did you find a mistake in the article or inappropriate advertisement? Report to us