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Entire Netanyahu coalition signs Knesset bill to restore Deri as minister

The proposed amendment is meant to reverse the recent Supreme Court ruling forcing the Shas leader from the Cabinet.

Shas Party leader Aryeh Deri. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Shas Party leader Aryeh Deri. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

All 64 members of Israel’s governing coalition on Tuesday signed onto an amendment to Basic Law: The Government that would block the Supreme Court from intervening in the appointment of Cabinet ministers.

The legislation is meant to restore Shas Party Chairman Aryeh Deri to his ministerial positions from which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed him after the Supreme Court on Jan. 18 ruled 10-1 that he was ineligible to serve in the Cabinet.

“Deri Law No. 2,” as it’s been coined, will go before the Knesset next week. It is the second coalition amendment geared towards paving the way for Deri to serve as minister. An earlier amendment to the same Basic Law in December didn’t prevent the court from ruling against Deri’s concurrent appointments as interior and health minister, which it called “unreasonable in the extreme” given his February 2022 conviction on tax offenses.

Senior coalition members including Netanyahu gathered at a Shas faction meeting at the Knesset on Jan. 23 to voice support for Deri and promise to “fix” the situation.

In his Jan. 22 letter firing Deri in accordance with the court ruling, Netanyahu said, “This unfortunate decision ignores the will of the people, as reflected in the great trust that the public gave to the people’s representatives [during the Nov. 1 election]…when it was clear to everyone that you would serve in the government as a senior minister.”

The premier concluded by stating that he will seek “any legal way” to allow Deri to “continue to contribute to the State of Israel.”

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