Aryeh Deri

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Aryeh Deri
אריה דרעי.jpg
Date of birth (1959-02-17) 17 February 1959 (age 57)
Place of birth Meknes, Morocco
Year of aliyah 1968
Knessets 13, 14, 19, 20
Faction represented in Knesset
1992–1999 Shas
2013–2015 Shas
2015–2016 Shas
Ministerial roles
1988–1992 Minister of Internal Affairs
1993 Minister without Portfolio
1993 Minister of Internal Affairs
2015 Minister of the Economy
2015– Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galilee
2016– Minister of the Interior

Aryeh Makhlouf Deri (Hebrew: אריה מכלוף דרעי‎, Arye Makhlouf Deri; born 17 February 1959 in Meknes) is an Israeli politician. The leader of Shas, he is currently a member of the Knesset, Minister of the Interior, and Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galilee. He had previously held ministerial positions in the 1980s and 1990s, but was implicated in a corruption scandal at the start of the 21st century, and served two years in prison. He was reinstated as leader of Shas on 16 October 2012 after a thirteen-year hiatus.

Early life[edit]

Deri was born in 1959 to a wealthy, secular Moroccan-Jewish family in Meknes, Morocco, where he lived the first nine years of his life. After immigrating to Israel, his mother sent him to a religious boarding school to escape the poor conditions of the housing estate where they had been settled. He studied at the famous Porat Yosef Yeshiva in Jerusalem, where he excelled in Torah studies and was discovered by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.


Deri became involved in Israeli politics at a young age while studying in a yeshiva, and early on aligned himself with the Mizrahi-Sephardi Shas party under the tutelage of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

On 22 December 1988, he was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs at the age of 29, despite not being a Knesset member. He was subsequently elected to the Knesset in 1992. He remained Minister of the Interior until May 1993, when he became a Minister without Portfolio, before returning to the Interior Ministry in June. He left the cabinet in September 1993. He was re-elected to the Knesset in 1996.


After Deri was convicted of taking $155,000 in bribes while serving as Interior Minister, and was given a three-year jail sentence in 2000. He was replaced by Eli Yishai.[1][2] Due to good behavior, Deri was released from Maasiyahu Prison in 2002 after serving 22 months.[3]

Return to public life[edit]

In June 2011, he announced that he was planning to return to politics.[4] He was re-elected to the Knesset in 2013. However, on 28 December 2014, Channel 2 released video footage in which Ovadia Yosef, the founder of Shas, attacked Deri, calling him a wicked man and a thief. The same day, Deri handed a resignation letter to the rabbinical board of Shas, who refused to accept it. On the following day, Deri presented his resignation to the Knesset speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein,[5] with his seat taken by Lior Edri.

Despite his resignation from the Knesset, Deri headed the Shas list for the March 2015 elections, and was subsequently appointed Minister of the Economy and Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galilee in the new government. He left his post as Minister of the Economy on 3 November 2015, reportedly over an unpopular gas monopoly deal, and was replaced by Netanyahu, who promised to speed up the deal.[6] He was appointed Minister of the Interior on 11 January 2016. He resigned from the Knesset in October 2016 to allow Michael Malchieli to take his seat, whilst remaining a minister.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Deri is married, and has nine children. He lives in Jerusalem.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sontag, Deborah (September 4, 2000). "In a Divided Israel, Thousands Rally for the Ex-Shas Party Leader as He Goes to Jail". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2007. 
  2. ^ Kessel, Jerrold (September 3, 2000). "Israeli political leader goes to jail after emotional send-off". CNN. Retrieved October 10, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Former Shas leader to leave prison". BBC News. July 11, 2002. Retrieved October 10, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Former Shas leader announces intent to return to politics". Ha'aretz English. June 22, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011. 
  5. ^ Ettinger, Yair (29 December 2014). "After split with Shas, Yishai releases 'doomsday weapon' tape on Deri". Haaretz. Retrieved 2015-03-17. 
  6. ^ ‘Struggle over democracy’: Israelis protest Netanyahu’s gas deal with US energy giant Russia Today, 8 November 2015
  7. ^ Interior Minister Shal Leader Deri Resigns From Knesset Yeshiva World, 31 October 2016

External links[edit]