Source: No PM-Hareidi Deal in the Works Right Now

There is no “deal” brewing now between Binyamin Netanyahu and hareidi parties, a top hareidi political source told Arutz Sheva.

Moshe Cohen ,

Shas faction meeting
Shas faction meeting

Reports notwithstanding, there is no “deal” brewing right now between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and hareidi parties, a top hareidi political source told Arutz Sheva Thursday. “We have a 'green light' to talk to him, but we have not yet heard his opinions on our demands,” the source said of Netanyahu, after reports said that he had met with hareidi party leaders earlier this week.

According to reports, Netanyahu, whose coalition appears to be on the ropes over the controversial Jewish State Law, has offered hareidi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism (UTJ) a deal, according to which they will recommend that he form the next government, and he in turn will announce early elections. The deal reportedly does not require a public statement from the hareidi parties, but rather a personal commitment to Netanyahu that they will recommend him to head the next coalition.

A highly-placed source in the hareidi political world told Arutz Sheva Thursday said that while there may have been initial discussions, “there is no practical proposal on the table right now. He wants us to promise to support him before he calls for new elections, but he has not told us that he will support our demands,” the source said.

According to the source, Shas is more likely than United Torah Jewry to agree to a deal with Netanyahu, because polls show the party losing considerable strength in the next elections. Publicly, Shas leaders have said that they would agree to join the current coalition only if the government supports raising the minimum wage to NIS 30, from its current level of NIS 23, but the source said that Shas was “under a great deal of pressure” to make a deal with Netanyahu.

Earlier, UTJ MK Yaakov Litzman said that the hareidi parties were in no rush to join Netanyahu because they are “tired of being used as a 'balance' against other parties in his coalitions. We do not like to be placed in this position. It is not good for our public image, for our parties, and for the country.”