Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu At The Western Wall

Most Jews React To Netanyahu’s Western Wall Decision With Outrage

Seventeen months after a historic deal was reached that would allow egalitarian and non-Orthodox prayer spaces at the Western Wall, Israel’s governing cabinet suspended the agreement, bowing to pressure from Haredi parties in the government who wish to maintain the status quo.

Reaction throughout the Jewish world has been swift and loud. Diaspora Jews, particularly those of Conservative and Reform backgrounds, have expressed near universal outrage over the move for excluding their religious practices and ignoring progressive calls for egalitarian spaces. In Israel, some commentators believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is alienating core Diaspora supporters of Israel for the sake of preserving his own political skin. But defenders of Netanyahu have surfaced within more religious and nationalist circles.

Here’s a sampling of opinions from Jewish leaders and writers.

Jane Eisner, The Forward: “How Bibi Just Gave Liberal Jews The Finger — And What We Can Do About It”

Rabbi Dr. Haim Shein, Arutz Sheva: “Western Wall Belongs To All Jews — But The Decision Is Israel’s”

David Horowitz, The Times of Israel: “Netanyahu To Millions Of Jews: We Don’t Really Want You”

David Israel, The Jewish Press: “Kotel Stays Divided, If You Don’t Like It Make Aliyah and Change Government”

Yaakov Katz, The Jerusalem Post: “Shameful Day For Israel As It Freezes Plan For Pluralistic Prayer Site At Kotel”

Chemi Shalev, Haaretz: “Netanyahu To American Jews: Drop Dead”

Steven Davidson is an editorial fellow at The Forward.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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Most Jews React To Netanyahu’s Western Wall Decision With Outrage

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