Reform Groups Fume Over Coalition Backdown on Kosel Plan

Davening at the Kosel on a snowy day last week. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Reform and Conservative groups have blasted the government for backing down on promises to implement a plan for an egalitarian section at the Kosel.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying that he would not be able to follow through on it because of opposition from within the coalition, including from within his own Yamina party.

Bennett said that they’ve backed away from the 2016 plan, which Bennett himself helped to draft as Diaspora minister, saying that it’s a “controversial topic in this coalition.”

“We knew in advance that we cannot advance everything,” he said. “We will only act with consensus….This government is meant to save the country and bring it back to function. It cannot fulfill everyone’s wishes.”

Members of Yamina and New Hope are against the proposal to expand the egalitarian section and create a joint management committee with leaders of the Conservative and Reform movements.

Blue and White MK Alon Tal, who identifies as Conservative, said that “it is unimaginable to me that the present government, which does not include chareidi parties, would not expeditiously implement the Kotel agreement that was approved by those parties just a few years ago,” Tal said, omitting to mention that the chareidi parties subsequently withdrawal that approval when the details were clarified.

Yizhar Hess, the former executive director and CEO of the Masorti (Conservative) movement in Israel, said he is “extremely disappointed” by what he called “a painful, gross violation of clear promises he made in the past.”

He noted that coalition party heads Yair Lapid, Avigdor Liberman, Benny Gantz and Merav Michaeli also made such promises.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!