We shall overcome the wrong Western Wall decision

We cannot allow ourselves to give up now. The Israeli government has made a mistake, but the Jewish People has not.

By
June 28, 2017 22:44
2 minute read.
Western Wall

The Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

On June 25, 2017, the government took another wrong turn. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers decided to freeze the pluralistic Western Wall agreement and not to promote any plans to build and renovate the egalitarian prayer area at the Wall.

The irony in this decision speaks for itself. A year and a half ago, this very government decided to establish the mixed-gender area at the Western Wall. Netanyahu himself explained on January 31, 2016, saying that this solution was appropriate and could finally unite the Jewish People.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


So you might be wondering what has happened here exactly. How come the prime minister and his government flipped-flopped so rapidly and so radically? Well, nothing happened. Even after the government accepted the historic pluralistic agreement last year, it did nothing to implement it.

Once again, as it already has done at countless other opportunities, this government has failed to keep its word and has proven rather inefficient and irresponsible. Netanyahu’s government, much like Netanyahu himself, is perpetually afraid of coalition disagreements and paralyzed by the smallest signs of coalition crisis. As a result, whenever this government finds itself on the edge of deciding or implementing a major decision, it backs down and abandons any of its former principles.

This tragic pattern might actually be the good news for the Jewish Diaspora.

The massive political pressure that was put on this government by the ultra-Orthodox parties clearly did its part. Lacking any real vision for the future and just yearning to stay in office, Netanyahu gives in whenever some pressure is put on him, by anybody.

Already today, many of the leading worldwide Jewish progressive organizations, the Jewish Agency and the Israeli opposition have loudly denounced the government’s decision and urged the government to reinstate the Western Wall deal as soon as possible. In the days and weeks to come, this pressure must get stronger so the government can realize its mistake and change its unjust and unfair decision.



We cannot allow ourselves to give up now. The Israeli government has made a mistake, but the Jewish People has not. If we keep working together, both in Israel and around the world, I am certain that we will be able to change this decision and finally create a future in which every Jew will be free to practice his or her belief in heart of Jerusalem, in the holiest place of the Jewish faith, the Western Wall.

The author is a member of Knesset for the Zionist Union Party.

Related Content

Men pray at the Western Wall, Tisha B'av, 2018
July 22, 2018
Tisha Be’av 5778: The heart lives on

By ZVI GLUCK