Kosel Prayer Plan Runs Into Trouble

YERUSHALAYIM -

After the Israeli government’s contentious plan to create a special section for heterodox worshippers at the Kosel has run into vigorous opposition, it was announced on Sunday that implementation of the plan will be postponed for another two months or more.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that “due to several difficulties” that have arisen over the Kosel scheme since its airing several weeks ago, he has decided to send the matter to a committee for recommendations on how to proceed.

At the direction of Gedolei Yisrael, leaders of the chareidi parties in the coalition, United Torah Judaism and Shas, voted against the plan and have protested the related recent attempts of the Reform and Conservative movements to gain official recognition in Israel. Should the government disregard the religious parties’ opposition, there have been indications that the coalition could fall as a result.

Netanyahu said that his bureau chief David Sharan will present him with recommendations on how to move forward within 60 days, after consulting with the relevant parties.

”We are working to find a solution,” he said. “I would like to reiterate my commitment to resolve the issue of prayer arrangements at the Kosel in the aforesaid direction.”