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According to all surveys, a majority of Israelis favor religious options other than what the Orthodox religious authorities are offering. They favor civil marriage (see http://www.hiddush.org/), the equal rights of women and the equal treatment of all religious streams including Reform and Conservative synagogue centers and rabbis.

The following offer greater understanding of the politics at play as well as the vitality of non-orthodox Judaism in the state of Israel.

Today’s News – It seems that the Rosh Hodesh prayer at the Kotel by Women of the Wall (WOW) this morning on Rosh Hodesh Tammuz went forward without incident. I have found nothing in the Israeli press today to suggest otherwise, and it would have been reported had there been an altercation.

The video by WOW reveals the numbers of Hareidim who turned out to either protest or gawk behind police lines at the strange site of women actually praying with full hearts out in the open! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUmxZT9PWY0

The op-ed in Haaretz in recent days written by Rabbi Gilad Kariv, the head of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (i.e. Israeli Reform) and a former Knesset Candidate with Labor (he was #27 on the list), pulls the veil from off the face of the National Religious Party movement’s denial of what Israelis really want relative to religious pluralism, civil marriage, and the rights of non-orthodox Jews, rabbis and Judaism in the State of Israel. http://www.reform.org.il/eng/About/NewsItem.asp?ContentID=1408

In the New York Jewish Week, IMPJ Executive Director, Rabbi Gilad Kariv dismissed Minister Naftali Bennet’s “revolutionary” proposals in their insightful article “Chipping Away at the Orthodox Monopoly.” But he also added “We can celebrate the fact that the new government will probably not push forward a new conversion bill and try to overrule old court decisions dealing with religion and state.” (from “What’s New” from the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism)