In a single day, PM hands Haredim two major victories that will reverberate among world Jewry
The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall and the Kotel HaMa'aravi or Kotel in Hebrew, is the section of the western supporting wall of the Temple Mount, and is considered the sole remnant of the Second Temple following its destruction in 70 C.E.
Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall, built around 19 BCE by Herod the Great, has become the most sacred spot in the Jewish religion. It was returned to Jewish control during the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israeli troops captured the Old City from Jordan. A large plaza in front of the wall where Jews and visitors could congregate and pray was immediately paved.
Over the decades the wall has been visited by millions of tourists and pilgrims and is often on the itinerary of foreign heads of state who visit Israel. One of the customary traditions for visitors to the Western Wall is to place a small written prayer into one of the cracks in the Wall. It is also where many new IDF conscripts pledge their allegiance to the army and to Israel.
The Western Wall's religious and historic importance to the Jewish people combined with its extreme proximity to Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount, primarily the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, has been the trigger for many outbreaks of violence since 1967.
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, a key architect of the plan, calls the move 'a retreat that will make our work to bring Israel and the Jewish world closer together increasingly more difficult'
With Trump in office, the prime minister feels free to renege on Western Wall deal and stab liberal Jews in the back
Construction work on mixed prayer space to continue, but deal would be renegotiated with ultra-Orthodox; Reform leader: 'Anti-Zionist move that undermines Israel's ties with the Diaspora'
U.S. Reform Jewish Leader Warns of Crisis Between Israel, U.S. Jews if Western Wall Mixed-prayer Space Scrapped
Netanyahu 'likes to say he's the prime minister of the Jewish people, not just the State of Israel - if you want that role, you have to deliver here, not just talk about it,' says Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Ultra-Orthodox parties have told Netanyahu that they will continue to allow other sects to hold mixed prayer services under Robinson's Arch
Israel can live well without East Jerusalem and could live well without sovereignty over it
But 'The Temple Mount is ours, not yours,' Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub says on Israeli TV
Fifteen contractors were called for an urgent mission at the end of the Six-Day War: Demolish the Mughrabi neighborhood to provide access to the Kotel. Fifty years later, their stories have come to light
Western Wall ceremony usually reserved for Israel soldiers, leading critics to ask if 'bizarrely contrived loyalty oaths' are best way to connect young Diaspora Jews to Israel