Following a stormy discussion in the Ministerial Sub Committee for Legislative affairs, Shas sources on Sunday told Ynet that coalition members attempted to reach a deal with them – passing the Chametz (leavened food) Law in return for supporting a civil marriage law.
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beiteinu) said during the sub-committee meeting that his party will not have anything to do with such a law, which "rids of the coalition and not of the chametz".
The suggested law amendment is meant to prohibit the sale of chametz, even if it is not publicly displayed – as opposed to a ruling from two years ago that allowed the sale of non-displayed items.
According to a senior Shas member, his faction rejected the "deal" that was presented to them, "This is non-negotiable. Yisrael Beiteinu voters should be aware that their supposed representatives are willing to barter their world views."
The source noted that his party insists on passing the law, which he claimed was "the majority's aspiration – we view with contempt a deal that reeks from miles away."
Yisrael Beiteinu denied Shas' allegations, calling it "a barefaced lie that never existed." Party sources added that they unequivocally object to changing the status quo and that if such a deal received a majority vote at the Knesset plenum – they will feel obliged, regardless of the government and coalition's position – to unilaterally bring the Civil Marriage Law to a vote.
As first revealed by Ynet, sources in Shas were going to attempt passing the Chametz Law in a quick proceeding, prior to the Passover holiday, and even managed to solicit the support of one third of Kadima members of Knesset.
The sub-committee was established last week as part of the Committee for Legislative affairs. It has yet to submit its recommendations on the matter.
Ronen Medzini, Aviad Glickman and Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report.