The Shas bill would make it official that Israel’s democracy is also a theocracy. Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky thinks it could put Israel on the same level as Iran: “If it passes,” he told The Jerusalem Post, “it means that Israel will become the first Western country where a woman who wears a tallit will be punished and sent to six months in jail.”
“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,” said Sharansky, who negotiated the Robinson’s Arch compromise, in a statement.
“This bill’s passage would have grave consequences for the relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jewry. Based on the prime minister’s strong personal commitment to strengthening the Israel-Diaspora relationship, it is my fervent hope that this damaging bill will be summarily dismissed by a majority of the coalition and of the Knesset.”