Shas, Get Out!

Many parties have embezzled, but Shas has outdone them all: Corruption, impersonation, nepotism, incitement and betraying trust.

Yossi Sarid
Yossi Sarid
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Aryeh Deri, left, was behind the appoinment of Rabbi Shalom Cohen to head the Shas Council of Torah Sages, filling the void left by the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, right, last year.
Aryeh Deri, left, was behind the appoinment of Rabbi Shalom Cohen to head the Shas Council of Torah Sages, filling the void left by the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, right, last year.Credit: Reuters
Yossi Sarid
Yossi Sarid

And it will be at the end of days: The dead will arise from their graves and live; Elijah the Prophet will precede the Messiah by a day or two – and it will be fun. Will Shas in its two divisions disappear? Is the end of days already here? These and those are both swearing by the beard of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and brothers tell one another, in the words of Yosef: “Get out!”

As opposed to the castor oil and mushroom party, Shas has put down roots and cast its shade for over 30 years. Now the polls prophesize its withering. If only I was not afraid of hurting the feelings of Jews, I would write a requiem for it.

As the blessing goes, Blessed is the One who will free us from this punishment: The leech of corruption has more than two daughters, and Shas did not invent the barking; it only turned corruption into a culture. Seven ministers and Knesset members on its behalf were convicted of crimes: Yair Levy, Rafael Pinhasi, Yair Peretz, Ofer Hugi, Shlomo Dayan, Shlomo Benizri and Aryeh Deri, who blazed the trail for the thieves – “follow me.” Shas was not the only rotten apple in the political barrel, but it was the big apple; only Avigdor Lieberman and his tribe can be compared to it.

Shas sat in eight governments since its founding. It stubbornly represented the poor and battled to increase their numbers, so they would not feel lonely. The more they multiplied, the more they spread; and it did break forth as in olden times, the nonprofit soup kitchens filled the land while the governments threw bones into the pot. When Eli Yishai served as social affairs minister, the poor breathed a sigh of relief; and when Ariel Atias served as housing minister, the housing shortage was left as only a rumor.

The golden age became the silver coin age: Family businesses were built in the courts of the rabbi and his sons, which support the father of Israel. Only our Badatz, the Jewish rabbinical “Court of Justice” – the most dearest – will make your meat kosher, since the ruling dynasty also deserves its pound of flesh. And there are still rolls of paper left in the inventory, which Rabbi Yosef did not have time to use, and they are being offered for sale to the highest bidder and the one who misses him the most.

“Oh dear God,” where is the rabbi who entertained us on Saturday nights with his curses, which were always juicy like the finest watermelon from the shuk. He was the only one of his generation who knew how to connect the Beitarists and the hunks of meat, who cursed like an entire stadium of goyim. We will never forget his pearls of wisdom about Arabs, women, Ashkenazis, leftists and gays; and in doing so we will honor his legacy.

There is no need for full disclosure, everything is open and known: I, Amalek and Haman rolled into one, was forced to resign from my position as education minister because Yishai plowed on my back in an effort to grow red spices on his pale leadership. Shas at the time placed itself in a position of extortion, and enlisted the prime minister in its demand for 100 million shekels under the table for its educational system. I refused, and Ehud Barak made my life miserable until I left, and we did not part as friends.

My sins are remembered to me to this day: How I sabotaged Barak’s peace plan, which still lives on in the hearts of those with true imaginations. That is a sin I would repeat.

The Shas Ma’ayan Hahinuch Hatorani school system was infected throughout, and its wheeler-dealers gathered its honey with their stingers. The moldy Ma’ayan, the spring, needed to be purified; and the deputy minister from the “cream” of the movement was unable to guard its cats.

Last week the figures were revealed, ones I knew of already back then: The Shas schools enjoy budgets many times larger than those of the state schools, even though they are private institutions and do not teach the core curriculum. I did not take on my mission so as to nurture religious and backward education, and to short-change the secular public schools. I would not even further the coming of the Messiah with funds that did not belong to me.

Many parties have embezzled, but you have outdone them all: There has been none like Shas in corruption, impersonation, nepotism, incitement and betraying trust; it will be remembered in shame. There was once hope “to restore the past glory,” but the glory justified all the means.

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