The ultra-Orthodox Shas Party, a part of the ruling coalition, will introduce a law to make “inappropriate behavior” at the Western Wall illegal.
The law lists smoking, wearing indecent apparel, playing an instrument, leading the mixed prayer (men and women praying together), and conducting mixed prayer as inappropriate activities.
Any individual who violates one of the sections faces a $10,000 ($2,800) fine or a six-month jail sentence.
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation will discuss the Shas plan on Sunday, a coalition committee that determines if a measure would obtain government support.
According to the bill, there hasn’t been a specific rule that applies to the Kotel that governs the Western Wall’s status and the preservation of its holiness since it was freed. This occasionally results in a violation of the people of Israel’s fundamental principles.
As a result, it is suggested to establish legal requirements that would govern both the manner of praying at the Western Wall plaza and the status and sanctity of the entire Western Wall plaza.
Both coalition members and members of the opposition criticized the law.
“This legislation signifies one thing: The Wall is no longer for everyone,” wrote Yesh Atid Party leader Yair Lapid in a social media post. The Israeli people continue to be torn apart by the most extremist government in the nation’s history. Who is more or less Jewish won’t be decided for us by them.
“If this bill becomes law, Israel will no longer be a free nation. According to Lapid, the Wall will no longer serve as a symbol of unity but instead of the persecution of women, prejudice against non-Jews, and the rupture of our relationship with the global Jewish community.
Reform rabbi and Knesset member Gilad Kariv of the opposition Labor Party stated: “The ultra-Orthodox MPs are preventing the implementation of the historic compromise plan at the Western Wall and are also demanding that the Chief Rabbinate be given an overriding monopoly on the holy site.”
Miki Zohar, a coalition member and the Likud’s minister of culture and sports, is also opposed to the proposed legislation: “The Western Wall belongs to all of Israel’s citizens and is revered by every Jew and Jewess, thus there is no need for laws to uphold its holiness. For the country to remain together, the status quo must be preserved.
The “primary mission” of The Women of the Wall is to “allow women to wear prayer shawls, pray and read from the Torah, collectively and aloud, at the Western Wall.”
As they have for the past 30 years, “The Women of the Wall will continue to pray in their way.
The Western Wall must be preserved as the spiritual home of the entire Jewish people, and we must recognize that this is a time of emergency for everyone who cherishes a Jewish and democratic Israel.
According to a party source who spoke to Channel 12, Shas would probably relax the legislation’s provisions and eliminate the fine.