Wednesday, June 28, 2017

World Jews Angry as Netanyahu Scraps Western Wall Mixed Prayer Plan

TEL AVIV, Israel — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government was under growing international pressure Wednesday after halting a project that would have allowed men and women to pray together in one of Judaism's holiest sites.

The move was a concession to right-wing Orthodox politicians in the country’s governing coalition, but has caused a schism with Jewish communities outside of Israel, particularly in the U.S.

It also comes as journalists, human rights groups and artists in Israel have come under fire from Netanyahu’s government for their opposition to its policies. In recent years, the prime minister has increasingly tried to pressure human rights groups critical of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

"What the government is doing is not only weakening Israel internally, but also weakening Israel with its relationship with the world, with the world of democracies," said Mordechai Kremnitzer, Vice President of the Israel Democracy Institute. 

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