Reform Movement officials responded angrily to the cabinet decision to freeze the Kosel arrangement vis-à-vis the egalitarian prayer area.
The cabinet on Sunday, 1 Tammuz, decided it was freezing the current situation in line with the religious status quo and any change will demand cabinet approval. Hence, the planned egalitarian prayer area is on hold indefinitely.
In response, members of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors canceled a dinner scheduled for Monday evening with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The board is holding its conference in Jerusalem and in light of the cabinet’s decision, the decision was made in a showing of protest against the cabinet’s ruling, which many view as “surrendering to the chareidim”.
It is noted that among organizers of the conference there was disagreement over whether to cancel the dinner or not. It would appear this is a first step of many that are likely to follow determined to pressure PM Netanyahu to move ahead with the egalitarian prayer area as he signaled Reform and Conservative leaders would be the case.
Major contributors affiliated with the Jewish Agency for Israel such as Abe Foxman have expressed anger of the decision made on Sunday, permitting the chareidi parties to dictate policy and preventing the Reform/Conservative foothold at the holy site as they expected would be the case.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)