Gov’t Committee to Meet on Kosel Controversy

YERUSHALAYIM -

A day after an unprecedented police shutdown of the Kosel plaza denied thousands of people access to the holy site in order to enable a small group of women to gather there in tallis and tefillin, no answers were yet forthcoming from the government about the handling of the situation.

In an interview on Monday evening with Hamodia, Deputy Mayor of Yerushalayim Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Pindras (UTJ) indicated that the way forward to finding a solution to the Kosel controversy remained to be found.

“A government committee to find a solution will sit on Tuesday afternoon, to try to solve the problem by the end of this month,” he said. “If, in two weeks or so, there is no action taken, we’ll have to get together to plan the next step.” The committee, made up of government officials, does not include any chareidim, though it might consult with chareidi representatives, he said.

When asked what further actions the chareidi community might take if no solution is forthcoming, Rabbi Pindras said that comment on it would be “premature.”

Regarding the massive police escort for Women of the Wall, which entailed keeping thousands from entering the area and prevented all those who were there before the closure from leaving or even going to the washroom, Rabbi Pindras said that the police acted the way they did because they were afraid there would be violence, after some incidents occurred the last time the women were there.

“They were very frightened from last time, but that’s not an excuse [for what they did]. And that will be said very clearly by our representatives at the Knesset.”