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מסורת של התחדשות יהודית

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A Detailed Summary of August 31st Supreme Court Deliberations

‏יום חמישי ‏31 ‏אוגוסט ‏2017

Dear friends,


I want to share with you a further update from this morning’s Supreme Court deliberations.


During the complex deliberations, the Justices, headed by Chief Justice Miriam Naor, focused on a number of questions: has the State kept its obligation following the ruling of the 2003 Women of the Wall case in regards to the construction of a proper praying platform in Robinson’s Arch, which would serve as an alternative to the Kotel platform; can the Government withdraw from the resolution signed in January 2016 in the midst of a legal process and on what grounds; are both sides still interested in implementing the resolutions and still committed to it; and does the Supreme Court have legal power to force the Government to implement the resolution if it upholds its decision to freeze it.


The Justices pointed out that the Court cannot force a resolution or other arrangements upon Government, but nevertheless, will eventually rule on the case.


Throughout the deliberations, the Justices asked questions regarding the freezing of the agreed-upon resolution and the way the State has treated the process, all the while, pointing out that the resolution serves as a proper and respectable solution to the matter. The Justices’ questions and comments showed that they recognize the State’s responsibility to allow freedom of prayer and worship at the Kotel site, and that that believe that they Supreme Court has authority to deliberate the matter (unlike the claims of the Chief Rabbinate).


At the end of the deliberations and after a short consultation, the Justices asked the State representatives to answer two questions: would the government be willing to reconsider unfreezing the resolution, and if not, what is the State’s position in regards to the Supreme Court’s right to force the State to implement the resolution. The Justices explicitly said that a refusal to unfreeze the resolution exposed the State to legal risks.


We feel that the Supreme Court does not feel comfortable, to put it mildly, with the freezing of the resolution and is encouraging the government to reconsider its position. We cannot predict the future result at this point, and there are no doubt complex legal questions to be answered, with an emphasis on the Court’s ability to force the government to implement the resolution. However, the Justices’ questions and comments give us hope that the court does not accept the minor steps that the government is offering as a suitable answer, or as a substitute to the resolution, and criticizes the government for how it is dealing with the matter.


As we expected, today’s deliberations are far from a conclusion to the legal process. Over the coming weeks, according to the schedule decided upon by the judges, we will once again present our case to the Court. At the same time, we will continue our public campaign, calling upon the Prime Minister to once and for all, implement the resolution. This time, with support from the Supreme Court.


Shabbat Shalom,