One of those particularly incensed by the [Kotel] bill is Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky…
“This bill makes a mockery of all the efforts made by recent governments to ensure that the Western Wall is a place that unites, rather than divides, the Jewish people,” he said in a statement.
He told The Jewish Week Tuesday that “there is very little chance will pass — it contradicts positions of many in the coalition. … I don’t think they have the votes [to get it approved], but the very fact these ideas are circulated [is troubling].”
But Anat Hoffman, the chair of Women of the Wall, said she is not as confident the bill will be rejected.
“It stands a chance,” she told The Jewish Week. “I would assess its chances at 50-50.”
Hoffman said she was particularly upset that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said nothing about the proposed measure.
“In the past, Netanyahu was able to stop members of his own party from voting for a bill,” she said, noting that three of the 16 Knesset members who introduced this bill on Monday are members of Netanyahu’s own Likud Party.
Hoffman also questioned how such a law could ever be implemented.
“Where are all the jails that would be needed for the hundreds of women who would be arrested after coming to the Wall wearing a tallit and praying out loud to challenge this?” she asked. “This bill stands in contradiction to the Basic Laws of Israel and in opposition to every international declaration Israel signed regarding equality and pluralism.”
See also quotes from:
* Rabbi Steven Wernick, CEO of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
* Yizhar Hess, Executive Director of Conservative Judaism’s Masorti Movement in Israel
* Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism