It is crunch time for the deal for the Kotel, the national holy site of the Jewish people, and Robinson’s Arch, the archaeological site on the Kotel’s southern extension.
Leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements are en route to Israel to press Prime Minister Netanyahu to implement the deal ahead of a Supreme Court date this week in a case I and other activists have brought to enforce the right of Jewish women to read Torah freely at the Wall. Israel’s Supreme Court has long recognized this right, which the haredi rabbinic administrator of the Kotel has blocked. […]
Here’s why the deal is terrible policy; why the haredi establishment agreed to it and may yet accept some version of it; and what the liberal movements should promote in its stead. […]
We, Original Women of the Wall, founders and core activists of women’s group prayer at the Kotel, remain committed to our founding purposes, accommodating women from all streams of Jewish life at the national holy site of the Jewish people, where we give Judaism female form, face, and voice. We wish any who prefer Robinson’s Arch well — as long as this does not come at the expense of our rights.
To the leaders of the movements we say: this is not the way. This deal is wrong — for appropriating our struggle to achieve your ends, and for empowering the fundamentalist forces that plague civil and religious life here.