Ahead of a cabinet vote on opening up the Kotel compound to allow for egalitarian prayer services, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) voiced his staunch objection.
"The proposal is unnecessary and harms the Jewish tradition which is important for all of us," he declared. "Reform Jews in Israel, as well as those overseas, deliberately hurt our previous values and allowing them to pray at the Kotel would hurt Israeli citizens who guard tradition."
"The Kotel has always been the unifying factor of the Jewish people and the current proposal will only spur conflict and division," he charged. "Two years ago, a place for Reform Jews was approved, but in practice it is empty most of the time."
"Confiscating the new site from the hands of the Chief Rabbinate which was founded by Rabbi Kook is a slippery slope that threatens the future of relations between different sectors of the Jewish people."
Despite Ariel's opposition to Reform prayer at the Kotel, Jewish Home ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked are expected to vote in favor of the proposal to allow it.