In first-ever direct challenge, Jewish Agency urges Israel to reinstate Western Wall deal

Jewish worshipers performing the annual priestly blessing at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 19, 2016. (AFP/Gil Cohen-Magen)
Hours after disinviting Netanyahu from gala dinner in protest at ‘deplorable’ move, board of governors calls on government to reinstate previous compromise that would formalize a pluralistic prayer area

By Raphael Ahren | The Times of Israel

The Jewish Agency on Monday passed a resolution calling on the Israeli government to rescind its decision to halt the creation of a pluralistic prayer pavilion at the Western Wall, saying that the government’s move contradicts the vision of Israel’s founding fathers and the spirit of Zionism.

The resolution, passed unanimously by the agency’s Board of Governors in an emergency meeting in Jerusalem, marked the first time the institution — which predates the existence of the State of Israel — has explicitly called on the Israeli cabinet to walk back a decision.

“We deplore the decision of the [Government of Israel] which contradicts the vision and dream of Herzl, Ben-Gurion and 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 agency said.

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

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