Haaretz, Jun 28, 2017

The Passover holiday in front of the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem's Old City, Thursday, April 13, 2017.

The veneration of the Western Wall always struck me as a weird form of idolatry.

[...] A remnant retaining wall from a project of political self-aggrandizement likely started, though not necessarily finished, by the louche, murderous, and barely Jewish Herod, its holiness is a matter of proximity as much as anything else; it was part of the compound within which stood the Second Temple within which the Holy of Holies may possibly just once have been sited. Maybe.

[...] Having proposed and passed a plan to open a portion of the plaza to gender-integrated prayer groups, a particular sticking point for liberal Israelis and visiting American Jews alike, the Netanyahu government caved to its ultra-Orthodox partners and reneged on the promise.

from http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.798250