Minutes after the High Court disqualified its leader from the ministerial post, the Shaz party issued a statement saying the court had taken a “political” decision that undermined the will of Shaz’s 400,000 voters.
“Today the court has effectively ruled that the election is meaningless. The judgment of the court is political and tainted with gross unfairness,” the statement said.
A restructuring financial offender, Shas leader Aryeh Teri was recently convicted of tax crimes last January and left the Knesset as part of a plea deal in which he promised to retire from political life. Instead, he re-entered the Knesset in November over Shah’s 11 seats, and in December, the coalition fast-tracked legislation to smooth his way to the interior and health ministry posts.
“The entire Shas movement is appalled by the arbitrary and unprecedented decision of the High Court, which is contrary to law and justice, and considers it a serious violation of the right to vote and be elected, the lifeblood of democracy,” the Shas statement continued. The party also promises to weigh in.
Earlier this month, Justice Minister Yariv Levin proposed legislation to cancel the fairness test under which the court halted Deri’s appointments, adding that the ruling would put pressure on the coalition to speed up or restore Deri’s ministerial status.
The decision also comes against the backdrop of a broader judicial reform campaign backed by Shas, the culmination of decades of laments by the Mizrahi Haredi party over a court that does not reflect its way of life.
“Today broad segments of Israeli society feel marginalized by the court,” Shaz’s statement said.