'Liberman loads demands that preclude implementation'

Haredi commentator believes in recent months Liberman added requirements on issues of religion and state that haredim can't fulfill.

Shimon Cohen ,

Kobi Richter/TPS

On the ability of the haredi Knesset Members to negotiate possible re-establishment of a Right-leaning/haredi government, Arutz Sheva spoke to haredi commentator and journalist Yisrael Cohen.

"The haredim expect from Netanyahu that if they do not reach a position of understandings and an agreement with Liberman, knowing that Shaked has been trying to settle this for a long time, that Netanyahu and the bloc will continue their loyalty to them, even if there are tempting offers including the price of going to the opposition," Cohen begins.

As to possible or impossible concessions by the haredi factions, he makes it clear that there is a significant difference between the likelihood of giving up semantics and giving up principles. Yesterday, Cohen was present at the event at the Tzavta Club in Tel Aviv, where Deputy Minister MK Yitzhak Cohen and Yisrael Beyteinu MK Liberman appeared. In his address, Cohen made it clear that in matters of halakha, it is impossible to bend.

Liberman, who did not hear Cohen's remarks and appeared after him, presented in his own speech a list of religion and state requirements, including public transportation on Shabbat, the Supermarket Law, recruitment, conversion, a core curriculum. "This is a huge list of topics. I asked Liberman on the side: 'A year ago, you were led to the election on the issue of recruitment. If they agree with you on the recruitment issue, are you okay?' He said there are already more issues today," Cohen says.

Cohen said that in recent months, Liberman's demands have increased to the level of one demand that could possibly be fulfilled into a series of material issues that are unlikely to be flexible to the haredim.

"If Liberman addresses these issues, none of the haredim will be able to approve such compromises on matters of principle. If Liberman asks for a semantic achievement or a sense of victory or achievement, it's uncertain that Shas and United Torah Judaism won't join and possibly Agudat Yisrael. The haredi factions understand that it's worthwhile to join the government and that Liberman will be in it."

However, Cohen comments, noting that sitting in the opposition under the Netanyahu-Lapid government forged the haredim and showed them they could succeed in opposition periods as well. In his estimation, the great concern is not Meretz who does not act against the haredim out of spite, but Lapid who has already acted in such a way.

"Obviously, opposition is not a place to be in the first place. If Liberman seems to be looking for a semantic achievement, I believe some or all of the haredi parties will go for it. The question is whether we are there. Right now he's talking about a list of achievements."

Nonetheless, Cohen adds the distrust between the haredi factions and Avigdor Liberman who after long years of cooperation became bitter political enemies, "there's a feeling of betrayal and the level of trust is not high." However, he notes that it is not only the next two days but also the twenty days that follow, days in which an upheaval can also be achieved.