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One year ago, we thought we had made history. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government passed the Western Wall agreement, for the first time granting official recognition to non-Orthodox Jewish streams and women’s rights at Judaism’s holiest site. We were proud of achieving a historic compromise because we knew it was the only way of instilling social change in society. The compromise was painful for us, but we thought it was a worthwhile sacrifice.
One year later, that document feels more like a bitter betrayal. Facing a rebellion from his haredi Orthodox coalition parties, Netanyahu shelved the agreement and now even allows talk, by his own ministers, of annulling it. For him, it seems that love of power has proven greater than his own integrity.
On Wednesday, the government has to provide Israel’s Supreme Court with good cause for the prohibition on women’s prayer with a Torah at the Kotel. It has to justify its failure to implement the Western Wall agreement we negotiated for three years. And it has to explain why we do not have a seat on the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.