MK Yigal Gueta formally submits his letter of resignation as a member of Knesset to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.
(photo credit: OFFICE OF KNESSET SPEAKER YULI EDELSTEIN)
Shas MK Yigal Gueta formally submitted his letter of resignation as a member of Knesset to Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Sunday morning, ostensibly ending a two-week saga over his attendance two years ago at a gay wedding.
Gueta met with Edelstein in the Speaker’s Office and presented him with his letter of resignation, saying: “It was a merit for me to serve the Jewish people in the Knesset of Israel. I will continue to serve them out of the Knesset, as well.” He concluded by wishing the entire Jewish people a Happy New Year.
Sources close to Shas chairman Arye Deri told The Jerusalem Post
Saturday night the most likely scenario was that Gueta would indeed quit, but that Deri would work out a compromise before the resignation becomes official 48 hours later.
One proposal is for Gueta to write a letter emphasizing that homosexual activity is forbidden by the Torah while not addressing his attendance at the wedding for which he is not willing to apologize.
There is, however, disagreement within Shas’s Council of Torah Sages as to whether or not to allow Gueta to return to the Knesset, with the head of the council, Rabbi Shalom Cohen, reportedly still opposed to such a move.
Deri was set to return to Israel Sunday night following a visit to Ukraine at the invitation of the Ukrainian interior minister. Deri, in a rare move, traveled on a Ukrainian military helicopter.
Earlier on Sunday, Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett said that, in a similar situation, he would not have acted like Deri, who accepted Gueta’s resignation after he came under pressure from prominent haredi rabbis that the MK quit or be fired.
Bennett went even further, saying he would consider having a gay candidate on Bayit Yehudi’s electoral list.
“From my point of view, we haven’t established any limits for MKs, and we in Bayit Yehudi are always thinking about such a step,” he said on Army Radio.
“I think there is a process of societal change in Israeli society. I was attacked two months ago on this issue, there are a range of opinions in religious society and all of them need to be respected,” he said, referring to his refusal to fire his spokeswoman because she is lesbian.