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Netanyahu Says Non-Orthodox Jews Using Western Wall For Leverage

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called out the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel for using their partnership in the Western Wall agreement as a clandestine way to gain recognition.

Netanyahu told reporters in New York on Monday night that the Reform and Conservative movements wanted to get recognition “via the backdoor, secretly, under the pretext of a technical clause of joint administration of the Western Wall,” Army Radio reporter Ilil Shahar said in a tweet.

רהמ בתדריך לכתבים: במתווה הכותל הרפורמים והקונסרבטיבים רצו לקבל הכרה בדלת האחורית, בהחבא, באמתלה של סעיף טכני לשותפות בניהול הכותל.

— ilil shahar (@ilils1) September 19, 2017

Amid pressure by its haredi Orthodox coalition partners, the Israeli government in June suspended the agreement to expand and upgrade the egalitarian prayer section at the southern end of the Western Wall after passing the deal in 2016.

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, director of the Reform movement in Israel, said in a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon that Netanyahu was now fully in the haredi camp and his “Stockholm Syndrome” has extended from his being a hostage to the religious parties to speaking on their behalf.

“The State of Israel does not belong to you and your haredi Orthodox partners, but to all citizens and citizens of the state, and to all streams of the Jewish people,” he said.

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