Seeing as everyone likes talking about this, I thought I might add my own observations:
1) “There wasn’t a mehitza in the Kotel in the time of the Mandate”
That’s because it was illegal to do so. British police were on the lookout especially on the High Holidays to make sure a mehitza was not erected. Those who doubt me can look up on the Betar struggles on the subject. It’s a strange irony that what was once considered a protest act for religious freedom is now considered oppressive.
2) “The campaign against WoW has backfired badly and given it more publicity and legitimacy”
Agreed. Protest movements like WoW need media attention and to get people angry, otherwise they shrink back to their natural size. Haredim and Religious-Zionists who conduct these demonstrations need to understand this.
3) “This is about religious freedom”
Not exactly; this is more about fights over administrative divisions of territory with little regard for the opinions of the public who uses it. It’s actually kind of funny how the Conservative and Reform movements are squarely in favor of complete Separation of Religion and State in the US, yet in Israel prefer a ‘spoils system’ where government divies out salaries and territory with no respect for the public’s desires. It’s almost as if they fear that in a situation of true free religious competition for the Kotel (or Israel in general), they’d lose.
4) “What do you care if some women want to pray how they wish?”
I don’t; it’s a free country and people may pray as they like. What I care about is the attempt to coerce others by invading their territory either physically or through administrative fiat. The overwhelming majority of Jews in Israel who are religiously inclined are either Orthodox or Orthodox fellow travellers. Compared to them, the number of Conservative/Reform/Egalitarian Jews either living here or visiting here is miniscule. I can think of no clearer case of the coercion of a minority on a large majority than this.
Those are my two cents on the matter.