Aryeh Deri

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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[1] (Hebrew: אריה מכלוף דרעי; born 17 February 1959 in Meknes) is an Israeli politician. He is one of Shas founders,[2] and acts on its behalf as Minister of the Interior, Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galilee, and a member in the Security Cabinet of Israel. He previously served as Minister of the Economy. In 1999, Deri convicted of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. He was given a three-year jail sentence. At the end of 2012, ahead of the elections for the nineteenth Knesset, he returned to lead Shas party. He was placed in the 2nd position, and was re-elected to the Knesset. In May 2013, he re-appointed to the role of Shas chairman.

Deri is the only minister who was given a jail sentence and returned to serve as a minister in the Israeli government.

Early life[edit]

Deri was born on February 17, 1959 in Meknes, Morocco, to Esther (née Azougi) and Eliyahu. His parents lived in one of the new wealthy districts of the city, and were influenced by the French culture. His father owned a successful business of tailoring, and his family were traditional Jews, but not religious.[2] When he turned 5, he began to learn in Ozar Hatorah, a school for Orthodox Jewish education, and excelled in his studies. In 1968, as he turned 9, his family made Aliyah to Israel, as a lot of Jews who did so after the Six-Day War. They were sent to live in Bat Yam.

Deri was sent to learn in a religious education school in Rishon Lezion, but he left after a month, because of adaptation difficulties. After six months of inaction, while he almost hasn't went out of his house, because of the crime in his neighborhood, he was sent with his brother to a religious boarding school in Hadera. Three years later, in 1973, he joined Porat Yosef, a leading Sephardic yeshiva in Jerusalem. In May 1976, he moved to Hebron yeshiva, where he received his rabbinical ordination. In 1981, he married with Yafa Cohen. The young couple were financially supported by a couple of lonely Holocaust survivors from New York.

In addition to his Hebrew, Deri is fluent in Moroccan Darija and French.[3] His older brother, Yehuda Deri, is the Chief Rabbi and Av Beit Din of the city Be'er Sheva. He is also a member of The Chief Rabbinate Council. Another brother of Deri, Shlomo, is a lawyer.

After he finished his studies in the yeshiva, he began to work in some public jobs, such as the secretary of the Haredi settlement Ma'ale Amos, and a member in the council of the Gush Etzion region. In 1983, he was appointed as administrative manager of Lev Banim Yeshiva.

The establishment of Shas and the Interior Minister role[edit]

In 1984, he began to serve as a secretary to Moetzet Chachmei HaTorah of Shas. During 1985, he served as an assistant to Interior Minister, Yitzhak Peretz, and at the end of the same year he was appointed to the role of the Secretary General of Shas. In June 1986, he enlisted to a shortened time of 3 months in Israel Defense Forces. Immediately after he finished his time at the army, Deri was appointed as the CEO of the Interior Ministry, while he was only 27 years old. After the Elections for the 12th Knesset, he was appointed to the Interior Minister role in the government of Yitzhak Shamir, because of the refusal of Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz to receive this role. Deri was sworn in as the Interior Minister on December 22, 1988, and became the youngest minister in Israel history. He was only 29 years old.

After his appointment to Interior Minister role, Deri received a lot of attention from the Israeli media. He abolished the censorship of plays in theaters,[4] a popular act among the public in Israel.

The grand coalition suffered from instability, and the Labor Party tried to break up from the coalition and create a narrow coalition. Deri was part of those efforts. His friendship with Haim Ramon, a young and leading Knesset member from the Labor Party, brought negotiations between the sides, and at the end both parties agreed to overthrow the government and to create a government of Labor-Haredi instead. This agreement became practical with a motion of no confidence on March 15, 1990. This act overthrown the grand coalition, but 5 Knesset members on behalf of Shas party were absent from the vote. This agreement nicknamed "The dirty trick". Two strong rabbis, Menachem Mendel Schneerson and Elazar Shach, strongly opposed to co-operate with the political left, caused the deal to fail, and the Labor Party chairman, Shimon Peres, didn't succeed to create a coalition. At the end, Yitzhak Shamir, Likud chairman, established a government of Likud-Right-Haredis, where Deri continued to serve as Interior Minister.

After the Labor Party, led by Yitzhak Rabin, won the elections in 1992, Shas party joined the coalition and Deri continued to serve as Interior Minister, and for the first time, as a Knesset member.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dayan, Aryeh (1997). The Story of Shas. p. 66. For many years, Deri was known as "Aryeh Deri", and he signed with this name in the Book of Laws when he became the Minister of Interior, even that in the candidates list to the Knesset his name written as "Aryeh Makhlouf Deri". During the elections for the 20th Knesset, he placed a lot of emphasis on sectarianism, and began to be presented in his full name, "Aryeh Makhlouf Deri". 
  2. ^ a b Dayan, Aryeh (1999). The Story of Shas. 
  3. ^ "Personal details". Knesset website. 
  4. ^ יודילוביץ', מרב (2009-05-27). "תבוטל הצנזורה על סרטים". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2017-01-01. 

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