aryeh deri 224.88 AJ.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Former Shas chairman Aryeh Deri announced Monday that he would not appeal a court decision that blocks him from running for the Jerusalem mayoral elections.
In a press release, Deri said: "I have consulted in recent days with great sages of this generation, with legal experts, with friends and family and I have reached the conclusion that the Jerusalem District Court's decision finished my chances of being a candidate for the upcoming mayoral race.
"Despite the recommendations of my legal advisers I have chosen not to appeal the decision. I have also rejected the recommendation that I ask for clemency from the moral turpitude attached to my sentence.
"I have no intention of returning to politics via a shortcut, even though I know and others are convinced that my conviction was not justified. I have resolved to finish off my imposed political exile to the last minute and pay my debt to society."
Shas Chairman Eli Yishai's spokesman Roi Lachmanovitch said in response that Shas was sorry about Deri's decision.
"It is too bad he did not appeal. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef told him to appeal, his legal advisers told him to appeal... We are sorry about the whole situation."
Deri said that he was convinced that from a legal perspective justice was on his side and he should have been allowed to run.
"The rabbis taught, 'Jerusalem was destroyed because judges did not judge leniently.'"
"From a democratic perspective I still am convinced that Jerusalem's residents should have been given the opportunity to decide for themselves.
"Although I am disappointed by the court decision, I respect it and call on my supporters to respect it. I aspired to return to politics peacefully, as a man with a worthy goal, not as a combatant. Anyone who does adopt such a combative approach does so against my wishes.
"I would like to thank Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv for their faith in me and for sending me on this mission. I am sorry that I was unable to follow through.
"I would like to thank all of my friends and supporters, especially in Shas, a movement that accompanied me during these past few weeks. I would also like to wish the candidates success and a good New Year to the Jewish people."