Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Knesset's haredi parties are trying to help Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu form a coalition, by convincing MK Bezalel Smotrich, head of the Religious Zionism party, to join them despite his promise not to be part of a government which relies on support from the United Arab List (Ra'am).

According to a Channel 13 News report on Tuesday night, the haredi parties are planning to ask their Councils of Torah Sages and hasidic leaders to speak to Religious Zionist rabbis, asking them to pressure Smotrich into joining a right-wing government under Netanyahu.

If the haredi rabbis succeed in convincing the Religious Zionist rabbis of the urgency of the matter, it is expected that Smotrich will drop his opposition to sitting in a government supported from the outside by the United Arab List (UAL) and agree to join the rest of the pro-Netanyahu bloc.

In such a case, Smotrich would be unlikely to face backlash from his voters, since the majority respect their rabbis' opinions and would not see Smotrich as to blame for breaking his promise.

According to Kikar Hashabbat, Netanyahu himself will be the one to turn to the haredi rabbis, asking them to press their Religious Zionist counterparts to pressure Smotrich to join his coalition.

In order to convince the rabbis to agree to his request, Netanyahu would exploit the haredi fear of a center-left government with Yisrael Beytenu's MK Avigdor Liberman and Yesh Atid's MK Yair Lapid, pointing out that a center-left government would harm the religious status quo in Israel and that working with the UAL would help avoid that.