Calling on Our Leaders to Lead
Ministers Shaked and Regev resignation – turning their backs on millions of Jews around the world and endangering the unity of the Jewish people
These ministers have turned their backs on millions of Jews around the world, and endangered the unity of the Jewish people
Following the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Culture and Sport’s resignation from the Ministerial Committee on Holy Places - IDI’s response to the latest development:
"Ministers Ayelet Shaked and Miri Regev announced their resignation from the Ministerial Committee on Holy Places so as to avoid working on a plan that would allot a dedicated egalitarian prayer space for non-Orthodox Jews at the Western Wall (Kotel). It is shameful to see how leading public figures avoid dealing with issues that are of national importance when it entails confronting the ultra-Orthodox community.
Background: In 2016, the government authorized the Kotel Agreement, which dedicated an egalitarian prayer space for non-Orthodox Jews at the Western Wall. Under pressure from the ultra-Orthodox parties the same government froze the aforementioned agreement in 2017. The Ministerial Committee on Holy Places, chaired by MK Regev and in participation with MK Shaked, was tasked with facilitating a compromise – one that would avoid Supreme Court involvement. The committee's plan was to develop and expand the prayer area near the southern part of the Western Wall for non-Orthodox Jews.
Prof Yedidia Stern, VP of Research and Dr. Shuki Friedman, Director of the Center for Religion, Nation and State at IDI commented:
The committee's proposal is a pale imitation of a just and equal agreement. Nevertheless, both Israel's Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, who is supposed to defend equality, and our Minister of Culture, Miri Regev, a self-proclaimed champion of multi-culturalism – were unable to withstand the pressures from the ultra-Orthodox and abandoned their posts. They failed to fulfill their responsibility to enable every Jew the opportunity to pray in accordance with their worldview and beliefs at the holiest Jewish site. These ministers have also turned their backs on millions of Jews around the world, and endangered the unity of the Jewish people."
- Judaism and Democracy,
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- The Ultra-Orthodox in Israel,
- The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for Shared Society