JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Will a secular Israeli government be established? The 28-day limit for the establishment of  a government led by Benny Gantz will expire Wednesday evening and it is unclear whether he will form a narrow secular government. Yet even the fact that such a government, devoid of religious parties and supported by members of the anti-Zionist Joint Arab List, is even being considered at all is a source of worry and concern for religious Jews in Israel.

The likelihood of such a government is very slim. It is hard to see Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Liberman sitting in a government with rabid left-wingers like Ofer Kasif, who deemed the targeted elimination of Islamic Jihad terrorist leader Baha Abu El-Ata “murder”, and it is even harder to see him sitting in a minority of 56 MKs supported by Arab MKs. Yet Liberman, having singlehandedly dragged Israel into a second futile election, has stressed that he will do everything possible to prevent a third round. Even if this does not mean sitting in such a minority government, it does mean that Liberman may still hold the key to a unity government.

Such a government if established would probably include Blue-And-White, Likud and Liberman himself at the expense of the religious parties. Netanyahu, who likely will not continue his political career after the current term even if his legal woes are solved, may throw caution to the wind and break away from the grip of the Chareidim and right-wingers to join a centrist, secular government. In such a scenario Bennett could either hold on to his position as Defense Minister but largely be marginalized by the three former chiefs of staff in the Blue-And-White party, or he could choose to leave the Likud but would happily be replaced by one of those generals.

Liberman stressed in talks with Blue-And-White that he wishes to pass a string of secular laws. The Supermarket Law is designed to allow urban supermarkets to open on Shabbat. At present these supermarkets can only watch longingly as streams of Israelis leave the towns to visit outlying shopping centers where Shabbat bylaws are not enforced. The proposed law might help these merchants but at the same time would destroy the peaceful nature of Shabbat inside cities.

The Recruitment Law would require Chareidi youth to reach specific targets (numbers of recruits) in order to allow Yeshiva students to continue to defer their enlistment. If it were legislated by a secular government, the law would include financial and criminal sanctions in the event that the targets would not be reached.

The Conversion Law would allow for the establishment of independent orthodox courts which would not be under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate and would register converts regarding their marriage and divorce as well as regulating pre-conversion studies.

The Western Wall Law would allow for the establishment of a separate zone south of the Kotel where Reform and Conservative elements, including the Women of the Wall, could conduct their services.

The Transport Law would allow for public transport in any city which votes for it and the Interior Ministry could not veto such municipal bylaws.

Thus the main reason that Liberman is working for a unity government is to try and promulgate all of these laws, which were the reason he was elected in the first place. This could be a very challenging term for the Chareidi parties which despite maintaining their strength could be eclipsed by the rampant secularists in the Knesset.

At present however the ball is in the court of Benny Gantz. He could accept the presidential framework and be prime minister in less than a year in a government with Likud. Alternatively he could capitulate to the demands of his fellow leaders Lapid and Yaalon, who refuse point-blank to enter a government with Netanyahu, whom they view as a felon even if he is as yet an unconvicted felon. Gantz could also establish a minority government with Lieberman and the left, or he could simply part ways with Lapid and Yaalon but will then find himself with a minority party inside a large right-wing bloc.

What Gantz is sorely lacking, and what Netanyahu clearly has is the ability to lead. A true leader would not vacillate in these circumstances but would take a bold decision, whether or not it is the correct one. Naftali Bennett for example chose a year ago to leave the party he had energized and create a new political entity. It was not a success but at least he demonstrated leadership and somehow succeeded in bouncing back to become the Defense Minister. Similarly Netanyahu showed leadership in swiftly uniting the right-wing after the elections. Gantz has yet to show such decisiveness in his own party and may yet pay the price for his uncertainty.