(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
It boggles the mind that the controversy between haredim and Jewish “pluralists” is focused on the entrance to the Western Wall plaza (“Shared entrance to Western Wall brings haredi, progressive clash,” June 1).
Besides the absurdity of both sides’ reasoning, apparently neither one realizes, or perhaps cares, about the larger implications.
For the Reform, Conservative and others to see a common entrance as some sort of “equal standing” and “legitimacy” for non-Orthodox Jews is ridiculous. The Western Wall has always had more than one “shared” entrance to the plaza because of obvious security concerns, where everyone must enter.
As for the haredim, “baseless hatred” for other Jews has been taken to a new extreme with United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni’s statement that “we don’t want them [the Reform] next to us,” as well as the fact that a shared entrance to the plaza has absolutely nothing to do with recognition of anything except for the need to allow people access while maintaining proper security.
Is the government now expected to double the number of entrances to the plaza from both within and without the Old City, lest Reform or pluralistic Jews manage to – God forbid! – infiltrate the holy area? What about the myriad of non- Jews who use those entrances? Might it be forbidden to share an entrance with them as well, since some may be idol worshipers?
There is no end to this nonsense, not to mention the even sadder irony that just before Jerusalem Day, which celebrates the unification and liberation of all of Jerusalem from foreign hands, we are witnessing an attempt to essentially redivide the very place that symbolizes this unification like no other.
Hatzor Haglilit ‘Official’ position?
Yaakov Katz, in “The remaking of Danny Danon” (Editor’s Notes, May 27), says “the government’s official position [is] that it seeks two states for two peoples.”
There is no such official position, as much of Israel’s Right opposes the two-state “solution.”
• The ruling Likud party has an official position – against Palestinian statehood.
• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2009 speech about a Palestinian state didn’t express an official government position. This stance was never brought to a government vote. Also, as covered by myriad major news outlets, Netanyahu made an explicit campaign promise in 2015, reversing the stand he took in his 2009 speech and stating he would never allow the establishment of a Palestinian state.
• Basic Law: The Government stipulates that official Israeli positions are those of the government, not the prime minister. (In contrast, the US Constitution stipulates that official American positions are those of an individual: the US president.)
The writer is a professor and the academic liaison for Mattot Arim.
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