There is nothing that would give me more pleasure than seeing Eli Yishai disappear from Shas and the political arena. This spineless, failed minister is filled with racism and promotes his own interests. There is no one more qualified to replace him as Shas chairman than Aryeh Deri. But the experienced, wise and charming Deri committed severe offenses, was caught, stood trial and served time.
Deri was absent form the political scene for a long time before he decided on a comeback, though his decision still requires Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's approval.
As opposed to Yishai, who, because of his weakness, became a cruel and cold-hearted man, Deri, perhaps because it was the era of wise and moral statesmen, voiced independent opinions that contradicted Shas' positions. He had the ability to distinguish good from evil and was attentive to other people's needs. Unlike Yishai, Deri refused to be led by PR people and sycophants.
But now his decision to return to politics faces another test; the test of someone who has sinned and has been permanently disqualified. Today, as Olmert also considers his return to politics after a court acquitted him of the main corruption charges, and as other suspects, such as Lieberman, continue to serve, we cannot allow a former minister who was punished after he betrayed the people's trust to return to politics. Think of it as a sort of deterrence and purging measure.
So, we have two conflicting points of view, each with its own logic: One calls to allow Deri to serve as interior minister in place of Yishai, who commits grave sins such as expelling foreigners and sending them to their death. According to the other point of view, Deri must not be allowed to return to politics, despite the fact that he has already paid for his crime, so that the road back to politics will remain permanently blocked to all politicians who committed crimes. From this standpoint, I believe Deri should be left out of the game.