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Netanyahu shares call to block Women of the Wall’s prayers at the Western Wall

Labor MK Gilad Kariv hands a Torah to Women of the Wall activists on October 7, 2021. (Gilad Kariv/Twitter)
Labor MK Gilad Kariv hands a Torah to Women of the Wall activists on October 7, 2021. (Gilad Kariv/Twitter)

Opposition leader and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu shares a post from Shas leader Arye Deri calling on people to come to the Western Wall tomorrow to block the monthly prayer service held by Women of the Wall.

Netanyahu retweets a post by Deri, which reads: “Tomorrow, Friday, Rosh Hodesh Kislev, at 7 a.m., I and dozens of members of Knesset will arrive to pray at the Western Wall… I call on anyone who believes in the sanctity of the wall to come and pray with us, so that God forbid this holy place will not be desecrated.”

Women of the Wall, a progressive prayer group which believes that women should be allowed to pray with a Torah scroll at the Western Wall, holds prayers there each Rosh Hodesh, which marks the beginning of the Hebrew month. The group’s activities have long been opposed by ultra-Orthodox politicians, and their prayers are regularly disrupted by protesters.

In 2016, Netanyahu’s government approved a compromise deal to create a permanent pluralistic prayer pavilion at the Western Wall after years of negotiations between Israel and Diaspora leaders. But a year later, the then-prime minister capitulated to pressure from his ultra-Orthodox coalition partners and indefinitely froze the deal.

Members of the current government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett have indicated that they are looking to revive the deal.

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