Plans for Western Wall egalitarian prayer space indefinitely shelved

“The Western Wall compromise has become a focus for incitement and hatred,” said Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana. We’re freezing everything at the moment. We’re not touching it.”

By World Israel News staff

The agreement surrounding a state-recognized egalitarian space at the Western Wall has been indefinitely shelved, according to Zman Yisrael Hebrew-language news website.

Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana reportedly told aides over the weekend that the plan is not being implemented right now as it causes political contention with right-winged branches of the government.

Moreover, the area saw violent confrontations in early November between ultra-Orthodox and The Women of the Wall, a Jewish women’s group which runs a campaign for gender equality at the site. Clashes broke out between hundreds of ultra-Orthodox and police as the Jewish women’s group attempted to hold their monthly service.

“The Western Wall compromise has become a focus for incitement and hatred, especially by people from Likud, who are latching onto it. We cannot play into their hands. We’re freezing everything at the moment. We’re not touching it,” Kahana said.

The agreement would have allowed for construction to turn the now temporary platform atop the Davidson Archeological Park into a permanent space, in addition to giving would-be overseeing Reform and Conservative representatives a space on the Western Wall’s governing committee.

It has long since been a hot point of debate between the Israeli government and Diaspora Jewery since the agreement was passed in 2016 but was suspended in 2017 due to pressure by the ultra-Orthodox government parties.

Since then, the plan had not been touched until the new Bennet led unity government came along. However, in August, the government set aside plans to officially recognize the space until now in order to focus on higher priorities such as the state budget.