Bill Aimed at Keeping Deri Out of Politics


deriIn move largely thought to be directed at returning Shas politician Aryeh Deri, a  new legislative initiative seeks to limit the possibility of being elected to the Knesset. According to the initiative, a member of Knesset or minister who was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude committed during his time in office that resulted in a prison sentence of a year or more will never again be eligible for election to the Knesset or for appointment as a minister.

Sources close to Deri called the move “a law that circumvents democracy.”

Practically, the initiative combines two bills presented to the Knesset. One of them seeks to amend the Basic Law on the Knesset, and the other seeks to amend the Basic Law on the government.

In the bills’ explanatory notes, it is written, “In recent years, cases have increased in which elected officials who received a mandate from the voting public violated laws during their terms in office, and were convicted by the court for offenses involving moral turpitude. The objective of this law is to protect the honor and status of Israel’s Knesset among the public in the State of Israel.

The law as it stands today allows those who were convicted of the aforementioned offenses to return and be elected for Knesset after seven years have passed since their imprisonment.”

The bill explicitly states that the law will be applicable retroactively, if and when it is passed, such that politicians convicted prior to the law’s existence will also be subject to it.

MK Hotovely said, “With these bills, we are saying loudly and clearly to every elected official who exploited his power and authority while fulfilling his role as a public representative – you are unwanted in the legislature and in the executive. The return of criminals to the Knesset damages its honor and intensifies the negative image of elected officials.”

Hotovely did not directly mention Deri in her statements, especially because the bill’s initiators prefer that it not be tied to a single individual.

However, sources involved in the matter said to Ynet, “Without a personal connection to Deri, a person who was convicted of a crime within the framework of his public position is not worthy of returning to political life. However, there is no doubt that Deri was in the forefront of the initiators’ minds as a convicted man who is likely to garner significant political power in the next elections. This fact will likely push no small number of parties to support the bill.”

Sources close to Deri reported in response to the bill that “no law that circumvents democracy will succeed in suppressing the public’s will and its right to elect its officials. Aryeh Deri is coming back to lead us. Period.”

Incidentally, last May, MK Arieh Eldad placed a similar bill on the Knesset’s table. However, Eldad sought to limit the prohibition to take public office to 15 years from end of the prison sentence. In addition, his bill does not explicitly state that the law would be applicable retroactively. However, Eldad noted in a conversation with Ynet that such was his intention though it is not mentioned in the bill.

{Ynet/Yair Israel}


  1. Well start investigations of criminal activities on all the members of the Knesset;
    we will solve real quickly the problems of the knesset…Obviously nobody will remain in office.( those in office are in office because they simply haven’t been caught;all Israeli society not based on Torah is based on crookedness,bribary,knowing someone and criminal activities!)