The Israeli government has released its response to the Supreme Court regarding its rejection of the Kotel agreement: The judiciary does not have the authority to enforce the terms of the deal; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided not to discuss the matter further and the Women of the Wall will have to settle for praying outside of the Western Wall plaza.
Women of the Wall Photo Credit: Oshrat Ben Shimshon/ Channel 2 News
After Israel’s Supreme Court was petitioned three times with claims that the government was violating the terms of the Kotel agreement from June, the government finally released its response today: It no longer intends to discuss the issue. According to the agreement, the State of Israel would authorize a joint prayer section for all streams of Judaism in the Western Wall plaza.
The government’s statement claimed that Attorney General Avichai Mandelbitt said that the judiciary had no authority to enforce the terms of the deal due to the ‘Supreme Court’s lack of jurisdiction’ on the matter. Furthermore, it said, though the terms were indeed presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he ultimately decided to table the issue ‘for the time being’.
The agreement was never really official, the statement argued; the advice given by the advisory committee to the government regarding changes to the Western Wall complex included a series of recommendations- not administrative promises- thus rejecting the plan was perfectly legal.
Finally, the state also referred to the petition submitted by the Women of the Wall organization, who has been fighting with the government for years to set up a joint prayer section. The Women of the Wall will continue to pray where they have been holding services- in Robinson’s Arch outside of the Western Wall plaza.