Jewish Agency Cancels Netanyahu Dinner After Western Wall Decision To Nix Egalitarian Prayer Section

Women of the Wall members read from the Torah at the Robinson's Arch egalitarian prayer site, near the Western Wall plaza. Credit: Women of the Wall. The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Board of Governors cancelled a dinner scheduled for Monday night with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and convened an emergency meeting in Jerusalem in response to an Israeli government decision to freeze construction of a state-recognized egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall.

The Board of Governors unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Israeli cabinet to walk back its move, marking the first time the Jewish Agency has called for the reversal of a government decision.

“We deplore the decision…which contradicts the vision and dream of [Theodor] Herzl, [David] Ben-Gurion and [Ze’ev] Jabotinsky and the spirit of the Zionist movement and Israel as a national home for the entire Jewish people and the Kotel as a unifying symbol for Jews around the world,” the Jewish Agency said.

Women of the Wall praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90

“We declare that we cannot and will not allow this to happen,” the resolution asserted. “We call on the GOI (government of Israel) to understand the gravity of its steps and accordingly reverse its course of action.”

The resolution also condemned legislation approved Sunday by the Israeli government’s ministerial committee to revoke the state’s recognition of citizenship rights for individuals who underwent private Orthodox conversions, as well as the rights of Reform and Conservative converts to be registered as Jewish with Israel’s Interior Ministry.