Agriculture Minister decries removal of Regev's authority

Minister Ariel blasts PM's decision to strip Miri Regev of committee chair over refusal to approve upgrades to Kotel mixed prayer section.

Mordechai Sones ,

Uri Ariel
Uri Ariel
צילום: יונתן זינדל, פלאש 90

National Union Chairman Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel referred this morning to Culture Minister Miri Regev's removal from her position as Holy Places Committee Chairwoman, following her refusal to approve plans to upgrade the mixed-gender prayer section at the Western Wall (the Kotel).

"The reality that improper and threatening pressures on the Prime Minister are causing a government minister to resign from her ministerial committee duties is illegitimate," said Minister Ariel.

Minister Ariel added, "I will oppose any change in the existing situation and won't lend a hand to harming the Western Wall plaza. The Chief Rabbinate must remain the sole authority to determine prayer arrangements at the Western Wall."

Minister Regev also referred to her cancelled authority this morning, noting that Netanyahu did not force her to take this step.

Regev explained in an interview with IDF Radio, "The Prime Minister didn't force me to resign and I didn't resign from the position. I had many conversations with the Prime Minister on the Western Wall plaza that the Reformers wanted. I said that as Holy Places Committee Chairwoman, I cannot approve the plan because it contradicts my values."