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IRF Condemns Disruption of Prayers at the "Ezrat Yisrael" and Calls on Israeli Government to Implement the Kotel Compromise

July 19, 2021

The International Rabbinic Fellowship expresses its deep dismay that Orthodox teenagers affiliated with the right wing Liba organization, aggressively disrupted the services of non-Orthodox communities on Tisha Be-Av eve at the egalitarian section of the Kotel known as Ezrat Yisrael.

These actions are disrespectful and display a lack of kevod haberiyot - respect for human dignity and ahavat Yisrael- a loving disposition towards all Jews . They also undermine the recognition that Jews affiliated with the non-Orthodox denominations are also, "people genuinely in search of the Ribbono shel Olam" as our great teacher and mentor, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt"l wrote, and that we should strive for "dignity and respect" in all of our interactions with our non-Orthodox brothers and sisters.

We affirm our previous statements here  and here  that all Jews should feel at home in the State of Israel and, especially, the city of Jerusalem.  As rabbis and educators, we are committed to fostering those feelings of solidarity and connection no matter how an individual Jew or Jewish community chooses to worship.

We call upon the Israeli government to swiftly implement the  "Kotel compromise" which was negotiated and endorsed by the Israeli government in 2017,  under the leadership of then Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The International Rabbinic Fellowship, is the only majority-diaspora Orthodox rabbinic organization that includes both men and women amongst its more than 250 members.

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