Cabinet Freezes Kosel Arrangements – De Facto Cancelation Of Egalitarian Prayer Area


The cabinet on Sunday 1 Tammuz decided to freeze the Kosel arrangement and any request to implement a change will demand cabinet intervention.

This refers to the egalitarian prayer area near the Kosel, the area known as Robinson’s Arch. The cabinet originally approved it and then the chareidim regretted the move and have pressured Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, explaining if he moves ahead to implement it they will topple the coalition.

It was originally explained by chareidi elected officials they felt supporting the plan was the least of two evils, fearing the High Court would permit such an arrangement at the Kosel if petitioned. Hence, the decision to support it, which has since been retracted. Now they are threatening to topple the coalition if the decision is implemented. The chareidi parties launched a tenacious battle to undo the decision, warning there would be no compromise regarding the Kosel and the Chief Rabbinate’s exclusive Orthodox control of the holy site.

PM Netanyahu has appointed Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and Cabinet Secretary Braverman to work towards implementing a new arrangement in a move seemingly directed at Reform and Conservative leaders, who are undoubtedly angered by the cabinet decision.

While the chareidim prevailed in their demand to maintain the religious status quo, Minister (Likud) Yuval Shteinman and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman opposed halting the preparation of the egalitarian prayer area. None of the ministers abstained.

The chareidi parties praised the decision as did Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau Shlita, who points out the plan would have resulted in dividing the Kosel, and it is good the plan has been abandoned to maintain is undivided integrity.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. What a surprise….Netanyahu shows zero political backbone and reneges on an agreement he supported just over a year ago. Such a man of principle….