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Israel: Reform and conservative Jews decry govt. decision on Western Wall and Conversion Law02:21

Israel: Reform and conservative Jews decry govt. decision on Western Wall and Conversion Law

Israel, Jerusalem
July 1, 2017 at 06:27 GMT +00:00 · Published

Reform and Conservative Jews gathered outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, Saturday, protesting government plans for a Conversion Law as well as the decision to backtrack their promise for a shared prayer space for both men and women at the Western Wall.

The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism Executive Director Gilad Kariv said that "the citizens of Israel were promised freedom of religion and conscience and equality" and therefore the creation of an egalitarian worship plaza on the Western Wall should be "obvious here in Israel".

"The government froze the agreement, and we are here in order to tell the Prime Minister, we are not willing to accept it together with the vast majority of Jews around the world," Kariv said.

Demonstrators also protested against the new Conversion Law, which would hand further power to the country's Haredi Orthodox Chief Rabbinate by stating that only the ultra-Orthodox set can perform conversions in Israel.

One protester stated that the decision was down to Netanyahu's wish to keep peace with ultra-Orthodox Jews.

"It's only because the Prime Minister, he keeps the ultra-Orthodox, he wants them on his side, so whatever they ask him or want him to decide, he does. It's very simple", she said.

Israel: Reform and conservative Jews decry govt. decision on Western Wall and Conversion Law02:21
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Reform and Conservative Jews gathered outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, Saturday, protesting government plans for a Conversion Law as well as the decision to backtrack their promise for a shared prayer space for both men and women at the Western Wall.

The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism Executive Director Gilad Kariv said that "the citizens of Israel were promised freedom of religion and conscience and equality" and therefore the creation of an egalitarian worship plaza on the Western Wall should be "obvious here in Israel".

"The government froze the agreement, and we are here in order to tell the Prime Minister, we are not willing to accept it together with the vast majority of Jews around the world," Kariv said.

Demonstrators also protested against the new Conversion Law, which would hand further power to the country's Haredi Orthodox Chief Rabbinate by stating that only the ultra-Orthodox set can perform conversions in Israel.

One protester stated that the decision was down to Netanyahu's wish to keep peace with ultra-Orthodox Jews.

"It's only because the Prime Minister, he keeps the ultra-Orthodox, he wants them on his side, so whatever they ask him or want him to decide, he does. It's very simple", she said.

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