Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Parties Aim To Block Egalitarian Section At Western Wall
The ultra-Orthodox parties in Israel’s governing coalition are pushing a resolution that will repeal the decision to create an egalitarian section at the Western Wall, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.
The move by Shas and United Torah Judaism would continue to allow egalitarian prayer at the Robinson’s Arch complex, but would not approve the creation of an an access point connecting it to the Kotel or of a management authority that included liberal Jewish leaders — two key demands from critics of the status quo.
The Israeli Cabinet voted last year to create an egalitarian prayer section, but the plan was frozen almost immediately due to backlash from Haredi leaders.
Women of the Wall, the leading Israeli group pushing for an egalitarian prayer section, criticized the news.
“Israel’s Prime Minister, who encouraged the various parties to reach an agreement, has yet to harness the courage to enforce it,” the group said in a statement.
Rachel Azaria, a member of Knesset from the centrist party Kulanu — which is also in the coalition — also had concerns.
“This is unbecoming, because such things should not be done to your brothers, and they are our brothers,” she told the Post, adding, “We must not lose U.S. Jewry, and this proposal is a threat to this support.”