Is the government in Deri’s hands?

The government may be in the hands of Shas chairman and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri – so says Professor Avi Diskin, head of the School of Management, Governance and Law at the Sha'arei Mishpat and Mada Academic Center.

"These are two levels of crime, involving two very different allegations," Diskin began. "From what we know, the accusations against Deri are [based upon] a very high level of suspicion that he was involved in criminal [activity] – however, in the case of Yitzhak Herzog, this has to do with breaking laws of political financing, and in my opinion the list of people who are guilty of offenses of this kind knows no end." 

"As of this moment, one is not the same as another, it is possible that things will turn out to be incorrect and the cases may even turn around," he noted. 

Diskin opines, however, that calls for both to resign are premature. 

"Over a year ago, [the government] suspended three mayors who were under investigation and eventually convicted. According to the law, even when charges are filed, they do not have to step down – although this is the norm." 

The problem, he said, is that this norm "transfers the ability to destroy political careers into the hands of junior-level people." 

''In this case, political pressure on Herzog to retire is not justified, because it's too early," he added.

Diskin did support, however, a continued investigation into Deri – not only due to his past history of corruption, but also his ongoing feud with former Shas chairman Eli Yishai. 

The danger, he said, is that Deri might not only resign from his ministerial position – but resign from the Knesset itself, breaking the coalition.

"He is a man who knows how to surprise," he noted. "It's hard to predict what he will do." 


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