In a show of solidarity for party leader Aryeh Deri, coalition legislators gathered during a Shas faction meeting at the Knesset on Monday.
Deri was removed from the Cabinet by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday by a Supreme Court decision revoking his qualification to hold a ministerial position.
In his first public remarks following the Supreme Court’s ruling, Deri declared, “We will return the ballot to the people who voted for us,” contending that it had violated the will of 400,000 Shas voters who had anticipated him to hold a ministerial position in the Netanyahu administration.
Deri challenged the Supreme Court’s explanation for its decision (the court stated that because of a prior tax fraud conviction, his ministerial nominations were “very irrational”).
Deri stated, “The Knesset chose the government. Where is Israel’s Knesset’s “extreme unreasonableness”? Are 10 or 11 judges more rational than the coalition’s 63 legally elected Knesset members? How is it feasible to overturn the people’s and the nation’s will? ”
Despite their disagreement, Deri declared that he and Netanyahu would follow the Supreme Court’s decision.
Deri declared, “This isn’t weakness that we’re demonstrating,” in a combative manner. This is power. Those who believe they can overthrow the government by making various administrative or legal choices won’t come up against weak opponents. They will come up against an ironclad coalition.
Applause welcomed his remarks.
Netanyahu, United Torah Judaism Chairman Moshe Gafni, Otzma Yehudit Chairman Itamar Ben-Gvir, Likud Party Minister of Justice Yair Levin, Likud Party Speaker Amir Ohana, and others spoke at the gathering in support of Deri.
Netanyahu and Deri stated on Monday, “Harm has been done to the principle of the will of the people, and we must remedy this.”
He continued, “It was the wrong choice, and it led us into a scenario where Aryeh Deri is no longer serving as a minister in the administration. Netanyahu stated, “We haven’t come to abolish democracy.
Netanyahu stated on Sunday that he must dismiss Deri from his cabinet-level positions “with a heavy heart.”
“As you know, I decided to appoint you as vice prime minister and minister of the interior and health with the approval of the majority of Knesset members because I see you as an anchor of experience, wisdom, and responsibility that are important to the State of Israel at all times, but especially at this time,” the prime minister stated in his letter of dismissal.
Despite a Knesset amendment voted in December allowing Deri to hold the minister position, the Supreme Court upheld the decision.
The amendment made it clear that only those currently incarcerated are subject to the seven-year restriction on serving as ministers for criminal convictions.
According to Netanyahu, the public’s strong trust in the people’s representatives, which was shown in their ability to secure their position as senior ministers, was disregarded by this sad choice.
The political controversy over the Netanyahu administration’s proposal for judicial reform, which tries to limit what it claims to be a judicial overreach, is the backdrop for the Deri judgment.
The proposal would give the Knesset the power to overrule court rulings that invalidate laws, give elected politicians more sway in choosing judges, and curtail the authority of legal consultants working for government departments.