American Reform and Conservative Jews are so upset at the Israeli government’s refusal to honor its pledge to build a state-funded egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall they plan to hold monthly gatherings [at the Western Wall Plaza] in defiance of the Orthodox establishment. […]
“We see this as exercising our rights and the right of any Jew to worship in the (Wall) according to his belief and custom of its community,” said Rabbi Gilad Kariv, CEO of the Reform movement in Israel. “As long as the government is not creating a possibility for us to exercise this right at the egalitarian prayer section, we will continue to do what is needed.”
Kariv said the Reform movement will hold prayer sessions in the Western Wall plaza at the start of every Jewish month unless the government “shows us it is moving toward implementation. But if we see that our silence is used to postpone the government’s commitment, we’ll have no alternative.” […]
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said he and his colleagues spent three years in respectful negotiations and that the time for quiet diplomacy has passed.
While Jacobs said he “deeply appreciates” the effort Netanyahu expended to reach an agreement, he is convinced that activism, not diplomacy, is the key to its implementation.
“If you look at the history of social change you see that no movement has accomplished its goals by simply waiting,” Jacobs said. “We understand the delicate nature of the government coalition but it is important for the haredim (the ultra-Orthodox) to understand we are not going away and that we have a legitimate right to be part of this sacred place and every other place in Israel.”