Will the Women of the Wall Yield to Prevent Violence?

I blogged earlier here on the Islamist opposition to the Israel government decision to establish a new prayer yard for those Jews desiring a egalitarian service and custom. A week ago the Waqf expressed its negative stance. I also found Jordanian opposition

The Minister of State for Media Affairs, Government Spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Momani, denounced Israel’s persistent aggressions against the Umayyad palaces area located to the south and southwest of Al Aqsa Mosque / Temple Mount and adjacent to the walls.

The occupation authorities have recently embarked on the settlement of internal disputes among the different Jewish sects at the expense of the Umayyad palaces owned by Islamic Waqf and so decided to expand the platform dedicated to the prayers of emancipated [Reform] Jews in that area.

…Jordanian government is demanding that Israel palm of her hand from the Umayyad palaces area and return it to the original owner, which the Islamic Waqf to manage and maintain them properly.

And now we read in the Associated Press

The Islamic authority that oversees a sensitive Jerusalem holy site says it opposes a new prayer area for non-Orthodox Jews at the adjacent Western Wall…The director of the mosque compound, Omar Kiswani, said Sunday: “We will never accept it.”

Kiswani said a complaint was filed with Israeli police and further steps were being considered.

Two and a half years ago, on May 8, 2013, the Knesset Interior Committee deliberated the right of Jews to pray, or not to pray, on the Temple Mount.  Activists have long sought to point to a parallel between their aspirations and those of the Women of the Wall, which the latter rejected.

At the meeting, MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) said that while, in principle, “every man and woman, from every religion, has a right to pray at the sites that are holy to him”, nevertheless, she noted a uniqueness:

…This is a national question, regarding the occupation. Therefore, Jews should only be allowed to pray in the holy places after the occupation is over, Jerusalem has been separated, and the holy places have been apportioned to each religion, accordingly.

Of course, the “occupation”, if one asks the Waqf and Jordan, also includes the Western Wall Plaza which Zandberg and (most of her) friends, reject.  So, why not the Temple Mount?

Indeed, a party colleague of Zandberg’s, MK Michal Rozin, had a stronger opinion, a month later:

“This is a perverse attempt and cynical use of religion and political measures aimed at putting spokes in the wheels of the peace process…[MK Miri Regev’s proposal to permit prayer] would stir up animosity with the Muslims who currently control the site and forbid any non-Muslim prayer…[in a final two-state solution]…it may be possible that the Temple Mount and other areas located in Jerusalem’s Old City would fall under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority…[and] calling for more Jewish freedoms in the area could run counter to a future redistricting of neighborhoods.”

In other words, politics trumps the law which actually does permit prayer, and, amazingly, the Supreme Court justices have always decided that government policy overrides the law, a position the Left supports fully.

But now that possible violence may occur or that the political resolution of the conflict may be derailed because of the Reform Jews protagonistic posturing in desiring yet another prayer space alongside the Western Wall that may draw riots or worse, will the feminists yield on this decision or is their prayer to be considered more holy that that of the Jews seeking to say the dame prayers but up above?

Is their lack of sympathy for a parallel group’s rights a signal that their liberalism and freedom is hollow?

About the Author
Yisrael Medad, currently is a Research Fellow at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem and Deputy Editor of the English Language Anthology of Jabotinsky's Writings. American-born, he and his wife made Aliyah in 1970. He resides in Shiloh since 1981. He was a member of the Betar Youth Movement World Executive and is a volunteer spokesperson for the Yesha Council. He holds a MA in Political Science from the Hebrew University and is active is many Zionist and Jewish projects and initiatives.
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