JERUSALEM (Sep. 17)
Embattled Interior Minister Arye Deri scored some points this week.
His closest aide and confidant, Zvi Jacobson, was released from jail on 500,000 shekels bail (or $256,400) Monday.
Jacobson was arrested Sept. 10 on suspicion of fraud, theft and breach of trust. The police originally opposed bail but withdrew their objections over the weekend.
But national Police Chief Ya’acov Terner on Sunday said the inquiry would not be ending soon. Circles close to Deri took this to mean that the police still do not have a case against the interior minister.
Terner said the team assigned the case will be enlarged to over 50 detectives.
Deri denied last Friday that he had threatened to pull his ultra-Orthodox, largely Sephardic Shas party out of the Likud-led coalition unless Jacobson was home for Rosh Hashanah.
He acknowledged having had a lengthy private meeting with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir that afternoon. But he said they had discussed the need to prevent the “Deri affair” from becoming a source of ethnic strife among Israelis.
Deri’s supporters have accused the news media and the police of anti-Sephardic and anti-religious bias.