'Cancel the Western Wall reform plan'

Haredi parties and Chief Rabbinate call on government to cancel deal granting Reform movement prayer space at Western Wall.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Uri Ariel
Uri Ariel
Knesset spokesperson/Itzik Hariri

The leaders of the haredi parties in the Knesset held a meeting with the Chief Rabbis of Israel Sunday, where they decided to demand that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cancel the 'Western Wall Plan' granting a space at the Western Wall for Reform and egalitarian prayer because "it is not compatible with the position of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel."

It was also decided at the meeting that the haredi parties would insist that the Chief Rabbinate be granted a separate external legal representation to the Supreme Court in place of the Attorney General, to present the positions of the rabbinate to the court.

The meeting was attended by Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl, the Rabbi of the Old City of Jerusalem, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rabbi of the Western Wall, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay and Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni.

Minister Uri Ariel said during the meeting: "We are not giving up on eliminating the government plan permitting Reform [prayers] at the Western Wall. The government plan recognizing the Reform at the Western Wall is problematic and it is important to fix it as soon as possible. Along with the decision to cancel the government's plan, it is also important that the Chief Rabbinate receive independent legal representation before the Supreme Court, so that the Torah's position will be heard fully and clearly."

The plan reached by the government last year would establish a separate prayer section for the at the southern end of the Western Wall near Robinson's Arch. Prayers in that section would be conducted according to the customs of the non-Orthodox movements. In exchange, the non-Orthodox would refrain from seeking to change the status quo at the Western Wall, where prayers are conducted according to halakha, and from causing disturbances at the holy site.