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Yesh Atid party leader MK Yair Lapid used the Knesset podium to express his opposition to the appointment of Aryeh Deri as Minister of the Interior, replacing Silvan Shalom who resigned from politics.
Lapid began by explaining his opposition is not a personal dislike for Deri but the situation, stating he would have the same objections to former Prime Minister Olmert, former Finance Minister Hirschson or former President Katsav filling the post, for they too were convicted of serious crimes, crimes that include a moral turpitude clause.
He acknowledges that Deri’s appointment is legal but feels this is so because lawmakers could never imagine such a situation, in which such a person is appointed to a cabinet post. He proposes a bill that would prohibit one convicted of a crime carrying a moral turpitude clause from serving as a Member of Knesset, Cabinet Minister or a mayor of a city in the future for he feels after such a conviction they are no longer suited for such positions.
To highlight the absurd situation which permits ex-cons to serve as ministers, Lapid points out one convicted of such a crime under the current law may not serve as a customs agent, dayan, school principal, firefighter, a city engineer, head of a medical laboratory, director of a government office, a board member of the animal rights organization or a board member of the nation’s library association.
Lapid questions how one is no permitted to serve in any of the above-mentioned positions and many more, yet s/he can serve as a Member of Knesset and/or a Cabinet Minister. He cites what he views as hypocrisy, as a person who is supposed to set an example for the public and has been convicted may return the very same post as Deri has 22 years after serving Interior Minister.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)