Press Release 6/18: Women of the Wall’s Response to Haredi parties’ initiative to cancel the Third Section’s autonomous administration and shared entrance:

Women of the Wall’s response:

“Following three years of negotiations with all involved parties* (including the Haredi parties and the Rabbinate who were updated regularly by the Kotel Rabbi), and reaching an agreement accepted by all, it is shameful that the government is even considering the possibility of backing out of its decision made on January 31, 2016, confirmed by 15  to 5 votes.

“Israel’s Prime Minister, who encouraged the various parties to reach an agreement, has yet to harness the courage to enforce it. Netanyahu now cowardly continues the discrimination and exclusion of women at the Western Wall.

“In submitting to the will of the Haredi parties, the PM is   sacrificing women’s rights to pray as they wish, be it egalitarian or traditional prayers.

“This new Haredi initiative to return to “status quo” makes the Kotel Agreement redundant and sends us back to the day before negotiations, as it cancels two of its major elements: First, establishing an autonomous administration that is not subordinate to the Rabbanut and the Western Wall Heritage Foundation; Second, a visible shared entrance enabling visitors to the Western Wall a choice of sections in which to pray.

*The parties who participated in the negotiations: PM’s Representative Avichai Mandelbliat, Esq., Women of the Wall, The Kotel Rabbi, Chairperson of the Jewish Agency and leaders of the pluralistic movements (reformed and conservative) in Israel and abroad.

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