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How this minister may take down Netanyahu's government

Seventeen years after being convicted of bribery and corruption, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri is being investigated and might leave the government, which would endanger the whole coalition.
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Interior Minister Aryeh Deri is one of Israel’s most intriguing politicians. He was CEO of the Ministry of Interior at age 27, interior minister at 29, one of the founders of the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Shas Party, and a favorite of the party’s all-powerful mythological leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. Deri was a boy wonder in Israeli politics, and even though he was affiliated with an ultra-Orthodox party, he won over hearts and minds among nonreligious Israelis as well. Deri speaks the language of the man on the street, loves to stir up the media and understands the voice of the masses more than most others.

Under his leadership, Shas allowed late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to pass the 1993 Oslo Accord in the Knesset in 1993. The party demonstrated moderation and even diplomatic pragmatism in the 1990s. But then came the criminal investigation against Deri, followed by a bill of indictment for taking bribes. A long court case ensued, leading to a resounding conviction in March 1999.

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