MK Kariv joining prayer session of Women of the Wall
MK Kariv joining prayer session of Women of the Wall Spokesperson

The chairman of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law, & Justice committee, MK Gilad Kariv (Labor) has sent a letter requesting of the Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, that he hold a meeting on the advancement of the Kotel Plaza reform plan, an outline that was developed during the Netanyahu government's tenure, but was since frozen.

Kariv also requested a meeting between the heads of the various “streams” and organizations that were involved in the drafting of the outline, along with the leadership of the Jewish Agency. Kariv’s letter was sent expressly on the eighth anniversary of Bennett’s original announcement of the outline, made when he was Diaspora Affairs Minister under Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“To our great regret, in recent years there has been a total disconnect between the Prime Minister’s Office (which supervises the site) and the partners to the outline – the leadership of the various movements and organizations that represent those who utilize the Plaza,” Kariv wrote.

“The previous government also refrained from taking any step that would have prevented the continuous disturbances to prayer at the site, some of which were led by rabbis who hold official and government positions, as we saw to our distress on the night of Tisha b’Av.”

Kariv also referred in his letter to what he calls neglect in protecting the status of the “egalitarian” section of the Kotel, known as the Ezrat Yisrael.

“Along with the request to revive the Kotel outline, I would like to ask the Prime Minister to see to the appointment of someone who will act on his behalf with regard to the Ezrat Yisrael, someone who will act swiftly to improve the situation there and solve the various issues that arise, until such time as the full outline for the Kotel is implemented.”

Kariv also asked for Bennett to see that “regular meetings will be held between his special appointee and the representatives of the various organizations that are party to the outline. I would also like to remind the Prime Minister that at the end of October, 2021, the government is required to report to the Supreme Court on the situation at the Ezrat Yisrael and on progress made toward improvements at the site. It would be fitting for a government that proclaims itself to be one of change, ethics, and compromise-seeking to be able to present its achievements in these areas to the Supreme Court, in order to finally drag the cart out of the mud.”

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