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The rise and fall of Israel's ultra-Orthodox party

Under the renewed leadership of Aryeh Deri, the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party has abandoned its roots and is now facing its demise.
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In the summer of 2011, ultra-Orthodox politician Aryeh Deri stirred up a media storm when he announced his plans to return to politics with a new party.

His home party, Shas, was still considered a stable and important part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's second government. At the time, the party was controlled by its spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and his protege and confidant Eli Yishai. There was no question that Yishai was on solid ground. But Deri worked overtime in an effort to reconcile with Yosef. His goal was to return to the party's leadership, which he headed until 1999. Back then, he was forced to leave following his conviction for corruption, including charges of bribery and fraud.

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