White House Seeks Resolution to Kosel Crisis

YERUSHALAYIM -
White House, Resolution, Kosel, Crisis
President Donald Trump at the Kosel in May. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Kosel controversy which has engulfed the Jewish world in recent days has now reached the White House.

The Trump administration has urged Israeli leaders and American groups to bring the matter under control, a U.S. official told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has “urged the parties to re-engage with each other” and to “resolve this matter consensually,” the official said.

“We recognize that the issue of egalitarian prayer services at the Western Wall is a source of tension between various segments of the Jewish community, and we would encourage continued dialogue on this issue.”

The report did not say why the White House has become concerned about a religious issue within the Jewish community.

Meanwhile, members of Congress have stepped into the picture, as well.

Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York, reportedly called on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to revoke the decision made on Sunday to freeze the plan for an egalitarian prayer space at the Kosel.

“I typically refrain from weighing in on internal Israeli government decisions, but the recent developments affecting Kotel prayer and conversion have deeply affected the entire Jewish community, including communities in my district,” Engel said. “Certainly, the Jewish community is stronger when united rather than divided. I implore the Israeli government to reverse these decisions and engage in a dialogue with the diverse diaspora Jewish community on how to move forward.”

Engel told the Post that he was responding to pressure from his constituents.

Two other New York Democrats, Nita Lowey and Jerry Nadler, joined the ranks of those who want the Israeli government to reverse itself.