Binyamin Netanyahu reneges on mixed prayers at Jerusalem's Western Wall

An El Al Israel Airlines aircraft is seen at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv

There is no intermingling.

"Israel today became the only democracy in the world where there is no equal rights for Jews", he wrote on his Facebook page.

Natanyahu echoed Dery's claim, but said the Israeli government would move forward in working out a new deal, this time accounting for ultra-Orthodox interests.

What's at stake here is who gets to determine both who is a Jew and what is legitimate prayer.

The parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, said the decision reflected "the will of most of the nation that seeks to safeguard the Western Wall's sanctity and status". That standard, since 1967, has been halacha, codified Jewish religious law.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman and Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi to formulate a new plan that will be acceptable to the religious parties.

"The Government of Israel's decisions have a deep potential to divide the Jewish people and to undermine the Zionist vision and dream of Herzl, Ben-Gurion, and Jabotinsky to establish Israel as a national home for the entire Jewish people", the resolution also said.

In a video message, Bennett addressed Reform Jewry's concerns, explaining that men and women belonging to the Reform movement may continue to pray together freely at the Israel Plaza next to the Southern Wall, which is an extension of the Western Wall.

Israel now recognizes Reform and Conservative conversions for the goal of Jewish immigration only if performed overseas.


But then nothing happened. They have already petitioned Israel's Supreme Court to implement the decision and still hold out hope it will overturn it. The haredi political parties have since pushed the government to scrap the plan entirely, which it came just short of doing Sunday. The government instead made a decision to indefinitely freeze the plan. His decision is being called a "freeze" but all reports indicate it is, in reality, a total unraveling of the idea.

Netanyahu's Cabinet voted Sunday to back out of the hard-won deal, provoking a flood of criticism and warnings it could damage Israel's relationship with the United States' influential Jewish community. "As far as I'm concerned, this is the abandonment of Zionism".

"Netanyahu has a constituency of one, and that's Netanyahu", said Susan Silverman, a rabbi and member of the board of Women of the Wall, a group that was pushing for mixed-gender prayer, according to the Financial Times.

Women and men now pray in separate areas at the site in Jerusalem's Old City, where religious affairs are overseen by Israel's ultra-Orthodox establishment.

Anat Hoffman, chairperson of Women of the Wall, called the decision "shameful to the government and its women ministers who were exposed using their vote against women".

In the past six years, there have also been a number of major cases revolving around the idea of segregating public buses by gender, in a nod to the dictates of the ultra-Orthodox.

Ultra-Orthodox rabbis strictly govern Jewish practices in Israel such as weddings, divorces, burials and conversions. In exchange, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation would maintain control of the main prayer section.

The question of women's rights to prayer at the wall has always been an issue in Israel. That peace was shattered, and the holy place turned into a place of protest in the guise of prayer, by Women of the Wall and its allies overseas. The landmark compromise, adopted by the Israeli Cabinet on January 31, 2016, recognized that the religious status quo at the Western Wall would continue under Orthodox authority.

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