Will the Real Women of The Wall please stand up?

Following very revealing yet disturbing coverage by Israeli-American investigative journalist Rachel Avraham on the nefarious associations of the leadership of Women of the Wall, many have been wondering what that organization really stands for. Is it really about freedom of religion and egalitarian worship or is there some hidden agenda that has been kept away from the thoughts of many good women, among them the supporters and members of the organization

Subsequent to the well documented and well researched article by Avraham, some attacks and threats of lawsuits on the basis of libel and slander surfaced. Others, like Varda Epstein, who came out in support of Avraham, were likewise attacked. The disturbing question that keeps haunting us remains: Why are Women of the Wall so preoccupied with attacks and threats when all they had to do in order to satisfy many is simply to refute the allegations and convince us all that they are earnestly pursuing is freedom of religion accompanied by egalitarian worship and are not harboring or supporting some hidden agenda

However, no such refutations were ever offered or even attempted.  Instead, Women of the Wall continue to bash and attack those that accuse them, trying to discredit them and ruin their reputation.  Rachel Avraham was accused of engaging in a “McCarthy-esque crusade” against Women of the Wall, of lying about the threats that Women of the Wall gave to news organizations, and of possessing “political biases and associations which call into question her ability to report honestly on this subject.”    Varda Epstein was accused of making “blatantly false” statements, being a “grave threat to democracy,” pursing tactics similar to Im Tirtzu that have “fascist elements,” and of “personally attacking” the leadership of Women of the Wall

?One must ponder, why

Is it perhaps because they simply cannot handle the truth coming to the surface? Is it because they cannot rebuff that Batya Kallus, who is Women of the Wall vice chair, has ties to at least four groups committed to bringing down the State of Israel? The groups are Adalah, Ir Amin, Yesh Din, and Mossawa. Kallus assists these groups in obtaining funding in her role as programs officer for the Moriah Fund

While defaming her opponents herself, Sharon Meyevski in her article accuses them of demonization and claims these groups “are all organizations which should make supporters of Israeli democracy proud.”   She couldn’t provide a convincing reason as to why any of these organizations that support Israel’s destruction should make supporters of Israel as a Jewish state proud

Is it perhaps also the result of their inability to refute that Women of the Wall chairwoman, Anat Hoffman is chairwoman for the Domari Society of Gypsies in Jerusalem, which is part of the Al Aqsa Grassroots group, which supports “resistance” to the “occupation”?  That is why she resorted to portraying the organization as a group promoting Jerusalem’s marginalized Gypsies and brushed off their ties to the Al Aqsa Grassroots organization by falsely claiming that her opponents view Gypsies as a “threat to the State of Israel” and accused them of having connections with “Al Qaeda”

Or is it perhaps because Women of the Wall cannot defend Leora Bechor, another board member, who appears to have worked or has been working for a number of militantly anti-Israel NGOs, some funded by the New Israel Fund, including Ha-Moked, which accuses Israel of “ghettoizing the West Bank,” partook in the infamous Goldstone Report, and views Israel to be an apartheid state?  Ha-Moked ironically is also opposed to the “unilateral and illegal annexation of East Jerusalem”

Perhaps Women of the Wall can answer the following question!  If “the unilateral and illegal annexation of East Jerusalem” is something that is opposed by some of their leaders, why are they then toiling so hard to get equal access and equal rights for women to pray at the wall? After all, the Kotel, that historical evidence that demonstrates that Jerusalem is ours, bears great significance only for those that believe that Jerusalem is and should remain the undivided capital city of the Jewish people

There are too many unanswered questions.   The answers are long overdue!   It is time for all of those Zionist feminists that support Women of the Wall out of a belief in egalitarian worship to question why their leadership has betrayed their cause by being linked to anti-Israel groups and has gone on a smear campaign against those who speak the truth

About the Author
Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks is an English teacher and a pro Israel advocate. She lives in Israel and has recently published her first novel, "On A Wing From The Holy Land." www.bat-zion.name