Note: Unfortunately, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has caved in to the Ultra-Religious Political parties that are part of his ruling government coalition. It is now up to world Jewry in support of Women of the Wall, the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel and Diaspora Jewish communities, and the Jewish Federations of North America all of which were engaged in good faith with Natan Sharansky, a hero of the Jewish people, to find a way to unify the Jewish people at the holiest site in Judaism, the Western Wall (i.e. The Kotel). The Ultra-Orthodox parties wishes cannot stand.
The following is Natan Sharansky’s statement from Jerusalem this morning:
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky has released the following statement:
“As Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel, and on behalf of our partners, I must express my deep disappointment at today’s decision by the Government of Israel to suspend the implementation of its own decision to establish a dignified space for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.
“Five years ago, the Prime Minister asked me to lead a joint effort to bring about a workable formula that would transform the Western Wall into, in his own words, ‘one wall for one people.’
“After four years of intense negotiations, we reached a solution that was accepted by all major denominations and was then adopted by the government and embraced by the world’s Jewish communities.
“Today’s decision signifies a retreat from that agreement and will make our work to bring Israel and the Jewish world closer together increasingly more difficult.
“The Jewish Agency nevertheless remains staunchly committed to that work and to the principle of one wall for one people.”
Rina Etkes said:
American Liberal Jews should read and internalize the article in Haaretz by Chemi Shalev, entitled Netanyahu to American Jews: Drop Dead! It is crystal clear that the liberal view must not be compromised and trampled on by duplicitous politicians. There are many liberal voices in Israel who are worthy of our support!
Geraldine Mund said:
Unfortunately this is not a surprise. When the URJ Leadership Mission met with Netanyahu in March and also with Sharansky, we were told that Bibi would not risk his coalition for this. Only a new election with different results may solve the problem.
BTW, Bibi is likely blaming the WOW and the liberal streams for going high profile. Hard to watch the new from Israel or from Washington in this atmosphere. Always blame the victim.