The initiative aims to have the area declared as a sacred site under the jurisdiction of the Chief Rabbinate, which would have the ultra-orthodox establishment decide on the modes of prayer that would be deemed acceptable there.

Masorti Executive-Director Yizhar Hess, who has been fighting for the establishment of a new area of prayer for non ultra-orthodox believers, attacked the new bill. “This is nothing less than madness. We never imagined that the current government, the most nationalist of our governments, would take part in such a post-Zionist act. This law would tell the vast majority of Jews in Israel and the world that they aren’t Jews. We won’t let this slide. I call on the prime minister to stop this madness before it’s too late.”