The Labor Party presented a bill to the Knesset to place Shas head Arye Deri "above the law" and edit the Basic Law - the Government to allow him to serve as a minister, in response to a bill proposed by Deri to implement criminal penalties against the Women of the Wall on Thursday.
The proposed bill would exempt specifically Deri from the section of the Basic Law - the Government concerning issues that would disqualify a person from serving as a minister and would allow him to serve "in any situation."
The proposed bill would also edit the law to state that Deri could not be tried for theft, corruption or tax offenses.
"Recently, we have witnessed repeated attempts by the coalition to enable Arye Deri to be appointed as a minister, with all means acceptable in achieving this end: lying to the court in a plea bargain, fast-tracked personal legislation and now legislation to bypass judicial review," wrote the party in the explanatory notes of the bill.
"Since it is clear that this government will not stop until Deri is appointed minister, it is proposed to create an arrangement under which Arye Deri will be officially above the law, and he will be allowed to commit any property crime that is prohibited to all other mortal citizens. Thus he will be able to serve as a minister and the coalition will be able to stop changing every aspect of the rule of law and the relationship between the branches of government just for the appointment of one man. In this way, the rule of law will be protected and Arye Deri will be able to continue to steal from the public without interruption - in accordance with the will of the coalition."
While the Labor party's bill was portrayed as satire, the coalition has discussed amending the same Basic Law to forbid the High Court from reviewing any ministerial appointments, which would allow Deri to serve as a minister without the court being able to intervene.
The coalition has already amended the law to allow individuals who received suspended sentences, like Deri, to serve as ministers. The appointment of Deri as health and finance minister was shot down by the High Court last month on the grounds that the appointment was "unreasonable" and that Deri had committed in his plea bargain to not return to public life.
Shas withdraws bill to penalize women at the Western Wall
Earlier on Thursday, the Shas Party proposed a bill that would penalize women deemed to be wearing immodest clothing with six months in prison or a fine of NIS 10,000. The bill also created a series of other offenses, including banning any music that doesn't receive explicit permission from the rabbi of the Western Wall.
On Thursday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and soon after the Shas Party itself, dismissed the outrage that the bill sparked, claiming that it never would have progressed in its current form.
The Shas Party stated that it had pushed forward the bill after the High Court of Justice refused to postpone a hearing concerning the activities of the Women of the Wall at the Western Wall.
According to the party, Netanyahu informed the heads of the coalition that he intends to submit a response in the case which will lead to a postponement of the hearing, Shas agreed to withdraw the bill.