Common sense dictates that Liberman and Netanyahu cut a deal

Both sides can find a way to compromise and prevent a government backed by anti-Zionist Arab parties.

Ted Belman, | updated: 10:30

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Although Liberman is pushing for a Unity Government without what he has oddly labeled the "messianic right", what he campaigned on was the need for a new social contract between the religious and the secular. His demands were extreme if Israel is to continue to be a visibly Jewish state in the public arena and one where Jewish continuity is insured in conversion and marriage laws, but not completely outrageous. He repeated from time to time,

“We will not concede on passing the haredi conscription law, in its original format,” he wrote. “We will not concede on [the demand to] repeal the mini-markets law. We will not concede on [demands for] public transportation on Shabbat. We will not concede on [demands for] civil marriage, and we will demand the inclusion of core curriculum studies in the haredi education system. These are our preconditions, and until we hear words in this spirit, there is nothing to talk about.”

On the other hand, Netanyahu's wish list is that 1) he be the next PM, 2) that the government passes an immunity bill to protect him.

 The solution to this impasse is that both sides should find a way to compromise on what the other wants.

Yes UTJ and Shas - as well as the Religious Zionists on some of the issues - are the stumbling blocks but what choice do they have.  Neither they, nor Netanyahu, believe that a third election will change anything for the better. Thus they should cut the best deal they can and find a way to accede to some of Liberman's demands. Whatever it takes. If they are excluded from the government, they will fare even worse.

Haredim currently constitute about 12% of the country’s population, the Central Bureau of Statistics says, but the statistics agency projects that by 2065, they will be 32% of the population.  

As their numbers grow, they will be called upon, even more so, to join the IDF and the workforce in greater numbers.  There will be no political stability until they do. They will also have more political clout for keeping Israel an obviously Jewish state.

As for Netanyahu's legal woes, chances are that he won't be indicted on all the cases. Some will be dropped and some will be lessened.  Besides, there is no Israeli law that says that he must resign if indicted.  Remember, in law, an accused is innocent until proven guilty.

Netanyahu has reached out to Liberman and suggested that they meet. Let's hope.




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