Jun 16, 2016

give the Kotel to the Waqf

Chaim Epstein, the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem and representative of the Bnei Torah faction, had something interesting and unexpected to say about the situation at the Kotel with the Reform groups and Women of the Wall fighting for recognition.

Epstein took a bite at the Haredi MKs and said that the Kotel Plaza should be renamed "Miki-Sadan Plaza", after some people who [might have]  recently said anti-haredi things that threw [some of] the Haredi MKs into a rage and caused them to fight to the death over that (though they gave in pretty quickly), unlike their response to the Reform Kotel issue that hardly elicited a reply from them until they were forced into it.

Epstein recommended that the Haredi leaders and rabbonim announce a ban on the Kotel and encourage the government to hand over control of the Kotel to the Waqf. The world will see that the Israeli government chased away the Jews from the Kotel. Epstein said the Waqf will take better care of the Kotel than the Haredi MKs, and their appointment of a rav of the Kotel whose sole authority is to speak to a wall.
source: Radio Kol Hai

When you think about it, especially as they insist that the Kotel is part of Har Habayit rather than just a supporting wall of the complex (as seen in the recent fight with Yehuda Glick about this), why did they not encourage the government to turn over the Kotel to the Waqf the way they encouraged the government in 1967 to turn Har Habayit over to the Waqf?

I don't know that calling for a boycott of the Kotel will be perceived by the world as the Israeli government chasing the Jews away, nor why they would care or get upset about that, especially considering UNESCO recently declared Temple Mount as being a historical site to the Muslims and not the Jews. I think Epstein is putting too much hope and expectation into the responses of the world. I think they would be perfectly fine with it, and might even consider it an amazing gesture for peace.

And once you are going to solve the problem that way, to avoid some fighting, why not already state that we should give authority over all of Israel to the Waqf? If we do that, they will care for Eretz Yisrael far better than the government or specifically the Haredi MKs ever will. We should boycott Eretz Yisrael and the world will be upset that the Israeli government is preventing Jews from living in Eretz Yisrael. How far away from Satmar is Epstein's position?

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