Herzog and Livni Pledge to Keep Western Wall

"Tzipi and I are committed to guarding our capital Jerusalem," says Labor leader at candle-lighting at the Kotel.

Hezki Baruch ,

Herzog, Rabbi Rabinowitz and Rabbi Lau
Herzog, Rabbi Rabinowitz and Rabbi Lau
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation

Labor chairman MK Yitzhak Herzog and former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni vowed on Sunday that they will keep the Western Wall under Israeli sovereignty, rejecting criticism of them from the nationalist parties.

The two attended a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony at the Western Wall, which was also attended by Rabbi David Lau, the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi, and Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rabbi of the Kotel.

"Tzipi and I are committed to guarding our capital Jerusalem, to guarantee and its future and preserve this holy place," Herzog said.

"We came, Tzipi and I, to say on this Festival of Lights that we are committed to the most elementary principles which are essential to the future of the Jewish people," he added.

Livni said during the ceremony that "the paratroopers who cried at the Western Wall in 1967 caused all of Israel to weep with happiness. These paratroopers were traditional, religious, and secular. Members of kibbutzim, residents of the center and the periphery. And everyone felt a sense of returning home. In this holy place, we commit ourselves that in any situation this place will remain ours, the people of Israel, it will remain under Israel's sovereignty.”

Livni and Herzog recently signed a unity pact, forming a center-leftist bloc ahead of the upcoming elections.

Under the pact, if the joint list wins the elections and forms a coalition, Herzog would become Prime Minister for the first two years, and Livni would serve the last two years.

Livni in particular has come under fire from the Likud and the Jewish Home in recent days, the most recent criticism coming on Saturday after it was revealed that Livni asked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to shoot down a unilateral Palestinian Authority (PA) UN bid so as to help the left in elections.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) on Sunday hit out at Livni over her actions, calling her move "invalid to its core, because you can't involve foreign sources in Israeli political matters."

"It's clear to all of us that if Tzipi Livni and Buji Herzog were in power, there would have been Hamastan in Judea and Samaria for a long time already," said Ya'alon.