“Those who know me know that I am against imposing religious laws,” Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, who is the leader of the Shas party, said last Tuesday. “I once said that if there was a law in Israel for circumcision, we would see many fewer Jews performing the commandment.”
At the same time, addressing the Western Wall proposed law, he added: “You must know that any recognition or compromise with the Reform means a recognition of their way as a ‘stream in Judaism.’ Our struggle against them is uncompromising. They bring assimilation and destruction.”
“I hope that the prime minster will come out against this bill,” Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Michael Oren told The Times of Israel on Tuesday. “I will press upon him my position. I mean, who understands the Diaspora-Israel relationship and the importance of American Jewish support better than him?”
The [Kotel] bill will also likely face opposition from within the coalition.
A Kulanu party spokesperson said the party had not yet formulated its stance on the bill, as it was only submitted to the Knesset several days ago. However, two prominent lawmakers from the party, Oren and MK Rachel Azaria, on Monday lashed out at the proposal as a “fatal blow to the relations between the State of Israel and Jewish communities abroad.” Oren said the issue had come up in the Kulanu faction on Monday, where he and Azaria outlined their opposition.
“We will not allow Knesset members to sacrifice the relationship between Israel and world Jewry in a caprice stemming from a desire to control the Western Wall and bar every Jewish man and woman from praying in accordance with their custom,” the two said in a joint statement, adding that it would be a “blatant violation of the status quo” at the site.