Shas Wants a Man in the Treasury


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deriCoalition negotiations between Likud and the Shas party have broken down as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s team appears unwilling to accept Shas leader Aryeh Deri’s demands. The Shas wish list includes eliminating value added tax on basic goods as Deri insists he remains committed to his promise to assist 2 million Israelis living under the poverty line. Deri also wants authority in a ministry that has the authority to allocate funding for the underprivileged.

When negotiations began Deri proudly announced he would serve in two ministries as Shas would not ask to appoint more than one person to a cabinet post. He openly opposed expanding the cabinet to accommodate negotiations, but it appears this noble gesture is a thing of the past as Deri no longer objects to increasing the size of the cabinet.

In a new twist, Deri is now asking to appoint Shas MK Yitzchak Cohen as a Minister attached to the Finance Ministry, seeking to place Shas’ influence in the nation’s treasury, which is likely to be under the control of Moshe Kahlon of the Kulanu party. It remains unclear what Cohen would do in such a post other than lock horns with Kahlon, who will be running the treasury.

Deri has already asked to increase the number of ministers [not including the prime minister] from 18 to 22 as he is seeing two ministerial appointments for Shas.

As such, Deri hopes to serve as Economy Minister and Religious Services Minister while Cohen would be Minister attached to the Treasury and Yaakov Margi as Deputy Minister of Religious Services. Deri is also seeking to take control over the Ministry for Galil & Negev Development.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Yair Lapid also had a plan to get Hareidim out of poverty. But Deri prefers to do so using other people’s money. Interesting, given his history.

  2. Every article about Shas and subsequent comments, are just dripping with venom about Deri’s earntwhile efforts to help the block of consituents that he campaigned for. It seems that this writer has something in it for Shas. Can’t figure out why. Strong negotiating skills are a good thing, if your fighting for what is right, like Deri is.

  3. The implications and innuendos being expressed here and in some other articles regarding Shas’ reliability as a coalition partner are borderline anti-Semitism. This is a party that is directed by gedolei Torah, and this incessant dredging up of what a secular court thinks Aryeh Deri did or did not do 20 something years ago is frankly obscene. As to whateva’s remark about Lapid’s plan to get Hareidim out of poverty, yes, the plan was, as much as possible, to get them out of being chareidi altogether. Are you endorsing that? And what’s this rubbish about Deri “using other people’s money?” As if observant Jews are not entitled to benefit from the public coffers like any other Israeli citizen? I invite all the clever talkbackers residing in the U.S. and elsewhere to move here and see what it’s like paying 18% sales tax on everything (VAT is the equivalent of sales tax). We are talking about people who might be taking home $1500 a month or less. Do I need to start explaining to you all what kind of salaries people receive over here? Everyone knows that Israel is lowball city in that department. And one final word about “given his (Deri’s) history . . . .” For once and for all stop repeating this anti-Semitic drivel about what he did 20 years ago. The court accussed him of accepting “favors” (money) from various contractors & businessmen in exchange for “helping them out.” I’m not condoning this, but he did NOT (even according to the court) put any public money in his pocket. I’m not a Shas voter or even Sefardi. But sheesh, people, how about a little intellectual honesty? Deri’s zero-VAT plan would benefit ALL Israelis, not just chareidim.

  4. #5, Yeah you’re right,let them start paying 18% tax on FOOD!
    I can easily afford it now but back when I had 8 children living at home, food was a major part of our budget.
    We, also, looked forward to the woman’s Bituach Leumi child allowance that helped a lot on a tight budget.(It is the same thing as a child exemption in the States.)
    And we were in a tax bracket that only let us bring home 50% of what we earned, with my husband employed in a state funded educational/research institution. Imagine how it is for others with less.
    When we first moved there and had “only” 6 children, my husband brought home less money than the type of constituent that would vote for Lapid, an unmarried graduate student, he did not pay any taxes.
    Yet, ad nauseam, we hear that students of Torah(same as graduate students, except that their learning helps to protect us all) are “using other peoples’ money.”
    Well, there are lots of people doing that and not just hareidim and I’m sick of people complaining about hareidim. They have, for a long time, gotten by with less.
    I’m no great fan of Deri and Shas but the plan to get rid of tax on basic items(mainly food) should be on every Jew’s agenda, it’s not fair.

    As far as the ministries, I wish they’d just give in.
    If religion was so important to Bayit Yehudi they would have gotten the support of all the National Religious, they and Shas have almost equal numbers of seats, let them share the Religious Ministry.