A leaked document reveals a pact between Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party and Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu to dismantle large parts of the national status quo on religion.
The agreement would lower standards for state-recognized, halachic conversion, approve an egalitarian section at the Kosel, allow civil marriage, condone public transportation and business on Shabbos, and more, according to a report on Channel 12.
Gantz had already come out in favor of much of the agenda during the election campaign. But some of the items appear to bear Liberman’s signature. For example, authorizing all municipal rabbis, not just the chief rabbinate, to conduct conversions, and allowing applicants to choose any municipal rabbi. Such measures have long been opposed by the chief rabbinate and chareidi MKs as opening the way to dangerous leniencies.
The disclosures contrast with reports that Blue and White has been offering chareidi parties a range of concessions on religious matters, besides ministerial portfolios, to join their coalition.
Neither Blue and White nor Yisrael Beytenu has commented on the story.