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Herzog meets with Reform, Conservative groups to discuss Western Wall

President Isaac Herzog meets with representatives of the Conservative and Reform movements at his office in Jerusalem on December 1, 2021. (GPO)
President Isaac Herzog meets with representatives of the Conservative and Reform movements at his office in Jerusalem on December 1, 2021. (GPO)

President Isaac Herzog meets with representatives of Reform and Conservative groups as well as the Women of the Wall to discuss the future of the egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall.

According to the President’s Office, Herzog “heard the opinions and suggestions of the different movements, and reiterated that he strives to calm the tensions in order to prevent senseless hatred” at the holy site.

The president also “condemns all manifestations of physical and verbal violence,” and says that the Western Wall “is a holy site to which the whole Jewish People look to, in Israel and around the world, and that there is a need for responsibility, restraint and efforts to find ways for all parts of our nation, in Israel and the Diaspora, to move forward peacefully.”

Labor MK Gilad Kariv, the former head of Israel’s Reform Movement, says that he is “looking forward to implementing the Western Wall plan, which will allow every Jew in Israel and in the Diaspora to pray at the site.”

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu struck a deal to create an egalitarian prayer complex at the Western Wall in 2016 after years of negotiations, but halted the plan a year later after pressure from ultra-Orthodox parties.

Kariv says that the groups “will not fall captive to Netanyahu” and will move forward with the plan.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has not publicly endorsed the deal, but members of his government have indicated that a compromise is in the works.

Kariv and Blue and White MK Alon Tal both attend the meeting along with other officials.

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