Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Reactions to suspension of Western Wall plan

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Some critics of Western Wall plan still unhappy after freeze. Archaeologist says expansion of pluralistic prayer site may still harm antiquities; feminist religious activist who opposed agreement finds little joy in reversal (Melanie Lidman, Times of Israel).
The government decision to suspend a plan creating a pluralistic prayer space at the Western Wall brought little satisfaction to two non-Orthodox groups that opposed the original proposal: archaeologists and religious activists who had sought greater gains than the compromise afforded.

On Sunday, the government suspended a plan it had previously approved for a pluralistic prayer area, following calls by Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition allies to scrap the deal. The plan would have seen the establishment of a properly prepared pavilion for pluralistic prayer — as opposed to current temporary arrangements — under joint oversight involving representatives of all major streams of Judaism.

The government has said despite the deals being canceled, it will continue to expand the prayer space at Robinson’s Arch south of the main Western Wall plaza, leading to continued concerns over archaeological damage to antiquities there.

I have been following this controversy for some time, with particular attention to the concerns of archaeologists. Background here and links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.