Rabbi Yaakov Ariel
Rabbi Yaakov Ariel Yoni Kempinski

Minister Naftali Bennett, Chairman of the Bayit Yehudi party, has been making an effort to pass a law that would make it possible to appoint Rabbi Yaakov Ariel as Chief Rabbi, as part of the deal with Shas known as the Ariel-Amar deal.

Arutz Sheva has learned that in recent days, Bennett has met with at least three senior officials and asked them to support the law: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, MK Avigdor Lieberman, and Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron.

It is not known what the three men's position is, although Minister Piron has, in the past, said that the Yesh Atid party strongly opposes any kind of deal for appointing the chief rabbis.

It is not clear whether the bill would have a majority in the Knesset, or in the body that selects the candidates for chief rabbi.

A source within the Bayit Yehudi told Arutz Sheva that Bennett thinks Rabbi Ariel is the best candidate for the job, and that media reports that he opposes the appointment are misleading.

"Minister Bennett is making all possible efforts in the matter, just as the religious Zionist rabbis expect him to," the source said. "If the move involving Rabbi Ariel fails, Bennett will pronounce his position in the matter, but right now, the efforts are around the candidacy of Rabbi Ariel."

Bennett's bureau refused to comment.