Aryeh Deri, former minister, MK and leader of the ultra-orthodox party Shas, announced today he has decided to run for mayor of Jerusalem. Small problem: he was convicted and sent to prison 9 years ago, and the offences carried moral turpitude which prevent him from running for public office until next year. So he’s asking, nicely, to let him run anyway and if that won’t work, he will likely go to the President to ask for pardon.
Reminder: Deri was found guilty of corruption, breach of trust and taking bribes. He waged a campaign against the legal system for years, procrastinating at every possible junction while blaming the “ashkenazi elites” for political and racial persecution. He has never admitted guilt.
The Israeli public has a very short memory and an astonishing tolerance for chutzpah. Whilst this criminal has paid his debt to society, his asking for leniency on the ban to run for public office is unacceptable. It is inevitable (almost a law of nature) for Deri to come back to politics eventually, but he should not be allowed back by using the same old mixture of an attitude of self-entitlement coupled with shady dealings behind the scenes. Some humility and integrity are in order.