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Just the very best!

David Yosef is seen as Deri's successor

By Shahar Ilan, Amira Segev, Yossi Verter and Mazal Mualem, Ha'aretz Correspondents

Rabbi David Yosef, the son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, wants to become not only the deputy chairman of the Shas Party, but also the new minister of religious affairs. Contrary to claims by associates of David Yosef and outgoing party chair Aryeh Deri, Yosef is apparently no longer deliberating whether to become Shas's political leader: He wants to. It is not clear, however, whether his father supports the move.

Last week it appeared that outgoing Labor and Social Affairs Minister Eli Yishai would be the heir to the Shas throne. However, in recent days it has become clear that while Yishai was favored by the elder Yosef, Shas activists on the street remained loyal to Deri, not accepting Yishai's ascendance. Dozens of activists informed Rabbi Yosef they were retiring from Shas until Deri returned.

There are several versions of how David Yosef was offered the position of heir. Yosef himself says the offer came from his father. "On Saturday night, Rabbi Ovadia and David thought about it at length," a source close to both rabbis said. "On Saturday the rabbi told David that it would be best if he would be the heir."

Until now, David Yosef has refused to enter politics, claiming that he aspired to a rabbinical career and did not want to be stained by politics. According to the source, Rabbi Ovadia explained to his son that he has already been stained because of his controversial speeches at Shas rallies and his involvement in the management of the party.

Other sources say that the offer came from other members of the Yosef family, but not from the rabbi himself. A source close to the younger Yosef explained that David's advantage was that the street would accept his authority and Deri wouldn't be threatened by him. "This will prevent unnecessary struggles," the source said.

Several sources in Shas claimed that David Yosef's appointment has already been settled. But a senior party member who opposes Deri said, "the appointment will not go through because David Yosef is not a serious person, he speaks without thinking. This is an egg that has been laid, but might not hatch.

Just the very best!

A rift in the Yosef household

By Avirama Golan

Rabbi David Yosef arrived from London late Wednesday night unable to hide his anger. "What do I care about Shas," he grumbled. "All I ever had was Aryeh Deri. Now that Aryeh is gone, nothing interests me." But because of his respect for his father, who openly supports MK Eli Yishai, he said no more. As of Thursday, however, David Yosef's associates were spreading the word that "the streets were on fire," and that given the chance they would oust Yishai.

This is more than just David Yosef's famous short fuse. It is also not the inheritance battle between Deri and Yishai. The rift is many times worse and is taking place in the Rabbi's very home. David Yosef's battle is directed, supposedly, against Yishai. In practice, however, in the name of Deri's lost honor, he is running a campaign against his own father and master, the movement's spiritual leader.

© copyright 1999 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved

17.Mai 1999 17.Mai 1999


Die hier archivierten Artikel stammen aus den "Anfangsjahren" der breiten Nutzung des Internet. Damals waren die gestalterischen Möglichkeiten noch etwas ursprünglicher als heute. Wir haben die Artikel jedoch weiterhin archiviert, da die Informationen durchaus noch interessant sein können, u..a. auch zu Dokumentationszwecken.

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