Women of the Wall demand Gantz 'fulfill his promise'

Radical women's organization demands Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu, refuse to join government unless Western Wall reform is implemented.

Hezki Baruch, Chana Roberts,

Women of the Wall
Women of the Wall
Adi Gefeh/ TPS

Women of the Wall (WoW) sent a letter to Blue and White's MKs Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, as well as to Yisrael Beytenu Chairman MK Avigdor Liberman, demanding that each of them promise that there will not be a government unless the "Western Wall plan" is implemented.

On Wednesday, WoW will hold its monthly prayer session in the women's section of the Western Wall, ignoring the existing egalitarian section, which the Plan focuses on but which stands empty most of the year - including when Jews traditionally mourn the Holy Temple. The session will be joined by supporters from Israel and abroad, and focus on putting the Western Wall Plan on the table.

Previous WoW prayer sessions have seen members hiding Torah scrolls in public bathrooms, as well as disassembling Torah scrolls. They have also pushed and verbally abused religious women who pray at the Wall, and purposely provoked other worshipers.

In a letter sent to Gantz, Lapid, and Liberman, WoW members wrote: "We, the Women of the Wall, have been disappointed by government promises which were broken - and the Western Wall Plan, which was canceled after the government already agreed on it, is first and foremost among them. Especially at this time, we call on you not to give in to political pressure and not to give up on implementing the Western Wall Plan during the efforts to form a government. We request that you announce that you not allow the formation of a government unless there is an explicit commitment to advance the Western Wall Plan."

"These are critical days for the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora. The implementation of the Plan is crucial to the connection between the Jews of Israel and [those of] the Diaspora, and to Israel's becoming a pluralistic state."

WoW's Executive Director, Yochi Rappaport, said: "We will not give up and we will not give in. We will bring the Western Wall Plan back to the table and ensure that the government which is formed in Israel will be one which will take care of the pluralist sectors and women, and end the discrimination and segregation in the Western Wall Plaza."

Meanwhile, just 3% of Israelis back Women of the Wall, and just 7% support official recognition of non-Orthodox streams of Judaism. In 2018, archaeologists warned the implementing the Western Wall Plan would "definitively and completely" destroy an ancient archaeological site.




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