Health Minister UTJ MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman has warned that if the government’s decision to freeze the Kosel plan is rescinded, the chareidi parties will leave the coalition.
Rabbi Litzman denounced the Reform attempt to interfere with the workings of the Israeli government as undemocratic and illegitimate.
“The Reform need to understand that before we will show respect for them, they have to show respect for Israel democracy, which sets the country’s agenda through the Knesset and the government.
“They don’t compete here in a democratic fashion like myself and my colleagues. If they would run candidates in the elections, I am certain they would not get a thousand votes.”
Rabbi Litzman noted once again that the coalition agreement commits all parties to upholding the status quo, which includes the traditions of the Kosel and the process of giyur, under the authority of the Chief Rabbinate.
“It is there, written explicitly, for all to see, and they want to destroy it. We will not let them. If necessary, we will leave [the coalition].”
Meanwhile, MK Dovid Amsalem (Likud), chairman of the Knesset Interior Committee, joined the chareidi parties in rejecting Reform interference in Israeli domestic matters.
“It’s brazen impudence [chutzpah].” Addressing the Reform leaders, he said, “Who are you to dictate to us?”
In the Knesset, Amsalem declared that “I am happy with the government’s decision.” The Reform, he said, are not being denied or excluded, as they claim. “Their rights are exactly the same as mine — to pray at the Kosel in separate sections for men and women.
“What is the problem with going to the Kosel and conforming to the rules? Where do they get the chutzpah to interfere with us? Almost none of them live here.
“It hurts me that they say they would harm the state of Israel because of the Kosel issue. Is it logical that Jews should behave this way?”
In conclusion, he said that “we don’t have to violate our traditions for fear that they won’t contribute to the state of Israel.”