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Sunday, May 12, 2013 

Beware of "Rav" Deri

David Weinberg warns that Shas MK Aryeh Deri is bound to cause all the harm he's going to cause to Israel's safety and stability:
Aryeh Deri is back as the top gun in Shas, and that is bad news for just about everybody in this country because Deri is shady, retrogressive, and a purveyor of hate.

Go back and read the district court transcripts of Deri's conviction for bribery and fraud. Read Mordechai Gilat's blockbuster book "Deri's Curse," which details how Deri corrupted everybody around him. Read any of Deri's recent interviews, in which he expresses no remorse whatsoever for his sins of yesteryear.

[...] And you wonder: Is this really the man with whom Shelly Yachimovich is going to make common cause in presenting an alternative government for the State of Israel?

Deri is retrogressive because he is the mastermind behind Shas' disastrous school system, where children are trapped in an impossible world of ultra-Orthodox strictures and limitations; a system that deems real work and productivity -- what we would call normal life -- "assur" (forbidden); a system that pauperizes and radicalizes the Sephardi population.

Deri is one of the father-figures of the haredi world of dependency, of living off the dole. He was central to the creation of the all-encompassing government-support system for those studying in yeshiva; a system so comprehensive that it simply doesn't pay for a Kollel man to step out into the working world. [...]

I haven't once heard the newly-reincarnated Deri speak positively about higher education and professional-training programs for the ultra-Orthodox that have opened in recent years, nor has he said one kind word about increased participation of haredim in the army.

Manipulative is Deri's middle name. When he was interior minister, Deri used every trick in the book to force municipalities to favor Shas institutions and party hacks (and to get his brothers appointed as municipal rabbis). He repeatedly monkeyed with Daylight Saving Time to fit one or another perceived (false) "need" of the religious community, to the detriment of the economy and all lovers of long summer evenings. [...]

Reportedly, Deri was also behind the infamous, racist "Kochavit Giyur" (Dial-a-Conversion) advertising campaign that Shas ran in the recent elections. This campaign smeared Russian olim as counterfeit converts, and slandered religious Zionist rabbis as liberal destroyers of conversion standards.

Politically, let's not forget that Deri spawned the "stinking maneuver" in 1990 which attempted to bring down the unity government led by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and install a narrow Peres government instead. The move failed, but it cast the die for years of close cooperation between the Left and the haredim.

Deri was a loyal partner in passing the Oslo I and II accords in Knesset, and in doing so bought the Labor Party's support for the haredi takeover of all state religious enterprises (such as the Chief Rabbinate, religious courts and more). Today, Deri is suspiciously close to Ehud Olmert and Haim Ramon, and outspokenly hostile to religious Zionism and the communities of Judea and Samaria.

Just yesterday, Shas MK Yitzhak Cohen sent Prime Minister Netanyahu a surprising letter calling on Israel to embrace the so-called Arab League peace initiative. Can you imagine? A Shas leader imploring Netanyahu to "turn over every stone and investigate every possibility … that the Arab League initiative holds the seeds for a new bridge of understanding between Islam and Judaism and the Jewish state?"

Such phony, lefty openness to ersatz Arab diplomatic overtures wasn't typical Shas behavior under the aegis of former party leader Eli Yishai. But Deri is back and is marching Shas toward the Saudis and the political Left.
And that's dangerous as can be. This also signals how poorly informed Shas is of the machinations of Islam. Something needs to be done now to inform the public, the Haredi community included, of why Deri is bad for Israel's future, and it shouldn't just be during election time. An advertising campaign on TV could be very helpful too. Everyone needs to know about the grave wrongs Deri blatantly represents.

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