Rabbi Shlomo Aviner Shlita, Mora D’asra of Yishai Beit El and Rosh Yeshivat Ateret Kohanim spoke with Kol Berama Radio on Monday morning 6 Shevat. The rav was asked if he still backs the Yachad party headed by MK Eli Yishai. The rav has spoken out and expressed his support for the party in the past, but now, as a result of a deal that may be signed to include Baruch Marzel and Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, he points out his conditions for continued support.
Rabbi Aviner explained he cannot support the party if it does not comply with piskei halacha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, namely adherence to the prohibition to visit Har Habayis. The rabbi’s statements come on the heels of reported negotiations to include the Otzma Yisrael party headed by Dr. Michael Ben-Ari and his assistant Baruch Marzel.
Rav Aviner remains confident that all concerned will reach agreement since as he put it, they are all “religious G-d fearing people”. The rav’s comments come on the heel of talks with Otzma Yisrael’s Dr. Michael Ben-Ari and Baruch Marzel. While the party has indicated a willingness to join with Yishai, Yishai has avoided meeting directly for fear of being labeled a “right-wing extremist” by joining with Ben-Ari. Ben-Ari has already met with the party’s spiritual leader HaGaon HaRav Meir Mazuz Shlita. The Mazuz reportedly gave the go-ahead for his inclusion but the Har Habayis remains a big one.
Reports state that Yishai demands that Ben-Ari refrain from Har Habayis issues until after elections, when the parties will split and go their own ways in Knesset. It is unclear if Ben-Ari is agreeable to this. Rav Aviner stated that if the party does change its position on Har Habayis he can no longer support it.
It is reported on Monday morning, 6 Shevat, that talks between Yishai and Ben-Ari broke apart, seemingly over the Har Habayis issue. The sides are also disagreeing over Ben-Ari’s position on the Yachad list. He is unwilling to accept the sixth slot offered by Yishai despite the fact Yishai insists that seat is realistic too.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)