Deri upset at Facebook fraud

Former Shas leader Aryeh Deri has a lot of “friends” he doesn’t know about – at least on Facebook.

August 30, 2010 02:32
1 minute read.
Arye Deri speaks at Herzliya Conference

Arye Deri speaks at Herzliya Conference . (photo credit: Ori Porat)

Former Shas leader Aryeh Deri has a lot of “friends” he doesn’t know about – at least on Facebook.

Many Israeli politicians maintain pages on the social-networking Web site that they update regularly. But if you happen to be “friends” with the Facebook version of Aryeh Deri, the man you “like” is not who you think he is.

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Sources close to Deri said he was angry that his identity was being used by someone. His associates said he personally asked them to get the Facebook profile removed but they have not found who was behind it.

Deri’s Facebook page includes 45 photos and two videos of the former Shas leader and accurately lists his birthday. A quote from Deri on the site promises his friends to lead a Sephardi revolution together.

It says he has 800 friends, including Vice Premier Silvan Shalom (Likud), MKs Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), Alex Miller (Israel Beiteinu), former IDF deputy chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan, and Jewish Agency spokesman Haviv Rettig Gur.

The amount of friends Deri has fell drastically by some 2,000 since a report about the Facebook fraud was published over the weekend in a local Jerusalem weekly newspaper. Since then, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud), Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), and National Union MK Arye Eldad revoked their friendship.

Hotovely said she would also remove Deri from her list of friends. She said her assistants run her very real Facebook profile and she did not know why they accepted a friend request from him. Hotovely, who was once a regular panelist on a television show with Deri, has since authored a bill that could end his political comeback.

The bill says that anyone who was convicted and served more than a year for a crime related to his job that involved moral turpitude cannot be elected to the Knesset or appointed a minister. Deri served two years in jail for bribery.

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