On Monday, the haredi political parties Shas and United Torah Judaism held a joint meeting in order to discuss their coordinated opposition to the government, with MKs offering a number of suggestions for the future.

One interesting suggestion, put forward by UTJ MK Meir Porush, was that of imposing an economic boycott on the state in order to exert pressure on Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and persuade him to back down on steps he has taken that disproportionately affect the haredi community.

According to Behadrey Haredim, Porush proposed that the haredi community should make a display of its economic might, given that it numbers over a million consumers. If, he suggested, the entire community committed to purchasing just a few basic goods (for example, bread and cheese) for an entire month, the impact of this quasi-boycott on the economy would be immense.

Given that many of the supermarket chains where haredim make their regular purchases are owned by secular businessmen, Porush suggested that such a course of action would lead to these businessmen putting pressure on the Finance Minister to reverse reforms he has undertaken that have caused severe financial harm to the haredi community, such as the massive tax recently imposed on disposable goods. Even if only one supermarket chain were to be targeted, Porush said, the impact on the economy and thus on the government would still be significant.

This is not the first time that MK Porush has made such a proposal. Back in 2014, when current Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was Finance Minister and imposed economic policies which negatively impacted the haredi community, Porush met with several key industry leaders in an attempt to persuade them to exert pressure on the Finance Minister to cancel several of his regulations, pointing to the economic might of the haredi community to illustrate the community’s ability to impact the economy, if it so chose.