Exposé: Shas jobs ‘all in the family’

May 17, 2016  

Several government advisers, secretaries, and assistants owe their jobs to Shas chairman and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, one report revealed Tuesday – as he slowly has woven a web of contacts around him since returning to politics four years ago.

Walla! News exposed a short list of the many relatives and friends Deri has appointed – nearly all of whom have attained their positions since Deri wrestled chairmanship of the party from former Shas chairman Eli Yishai. 

Among them: 

  • Chana Alouz, the secretary to Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay (Shas), is Deri’s in-law;
  • Efrat Cohen, another secretary for Azoulay, is Deri’s niece; 
  • Avihai Yosef, the son of one of Deri’s closest associates, serves in a student internship in the Ministry; 
  • Chana Ben-Naim, a senior official in the vast Shas educational network, is Deri’s sister;
  • David Cohen, an assistant in the office of MK David Vakhnin (Shas), is Deri’s wife’s nephew – and responsible for public complaints about Shas’s finances;
  • Yinon Azoulay, David Azoulay’s son, officially served as part of the staff for the Periphery Ministry when Deri was at the helm – but actually serves as Deri’s personal adviser, an insider revealed to Walla! News. 

Nepotism is somewhat common in Shas, which responded Tuesday night that the close relationships between Deri and his staffers do not prevent them from doing their jobs. 

But the close network Deri has created draws attention due to the many accusations of corruption which have been levied against him over the past several years, including one conviction and sentence, and one recent report that he neglected to report all of his assets to the Knesset. 

Deri was infamously convicted of taking $155,000 in bribes in 2000, during his previous stint as Interior Minister. He was sentenced to three years in prison, but was released for good behavior after 22 months. 

He is currently the subject of yet another corruption probe, along with his brother.

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