WoW: Pluralistic Smoke and Mirrors


(photo credit: Debra Kamin/Times of Israel staff)
(photo credit: Debra Kamin/Times of Israel staff)

There are many good women among the supporters and members of the Women of the Wall (WoW) organization. I know this to be true, because some of them are my friends. The good women, the ones who are my friends, really see the right of WoW to pray as they please at the Western Wall as a freedom of religion issue. Their intentions are true.

It remains my firm belief, however, that the leadership of the WoW organization is intent on using the organization as cover for something that is not good, but rather something ugly and underhanded. I believe the hierarchy of Wow has as its goal the wish to sow dissent among Jews. The primary purpose of creating such discord is to cast a stunning blow to orthodoxy. I won’t go into this idea in detail, as I have laid out my views on the subject here.

What has been questionable until now was whether or not the organization has a further raison d’être: to hurt the State of Israel. There is no further doubt in my mind on this matter thanks to the brave work of Rachel Avraham who uncovered jaw-dropping information about two WoW leaders; WoW Vice Chair, Batya Kallus,  and WoW Chairwoman Anat Hoffman. The revelations are in regard to the connection between these two women and several rabidly anti-Israel organizations.

Kallus 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 Moriya Fund.

Avraham’s piece, which goes on to describe the work and aims of the four anti-Israel groups listed above, was originally published in Jerusalem Online. WoW, however, threatened the media outlet with legal action with the result that the article was removed. The article can still be seen here.

Police escort Anat Hoffman, holding a Torah scroll, from the Western Wall, on July 12, 2010. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Police escort Anat Hoffman, holding a Torah scroll, from the Western Wall, on July 12, 2010. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Avraham’s piece also reveals that in addition to her duties as WoW chairwoman, Anat Hoffman is chairwoman for the Domari Society of Gypsies in Jerusalem. The Domari Society is part of the Al Aqsa Grassroots group which supports “resistance” to the “occupation.”

“Resistance” A Euphemism

In the rhetoric that dominates the anti-Israel narrative, “resistance” is a euphemism for “killing Jews.”

The Domari Society supports as well the Palestinian right of return, another euphemism for a specific sort of evil. The right of return would allow for Israel to be overrun with Arabs. These Arabs would, in turn, “resist” until no more Jews are left in Israel thus effecting the permanent eradication of the Jewish State.

Hoffman’s colleagues at the Domari Society include two members of the Emek Shaveh organization which works to impede and delegitimize Israeli archaeological research in Jerusalem. This, of course, is done in order to remove all traces of Jewish heritage and history in Jerusalem. If all vestiges of Temple remains can be reduced to dust with some judicious use of bulldozers, then Arabs can say that the Jews made up their supposed connections to the Holy City and claim it for themselves.

There is great irony to Hoffman’s alignment with these extreme anti-Israel views about Jerusalem and the remnants of the JewishTemple, in that she chairs a group that agitates for women to engage in prayer at the final retaining wall that once surrounded the Temple she hopes to erase.

Women of the Wall members wearing prayer shawls pray at the Western Wall on June 9 (photo credit: Sarah Schuman/Flash90)
Women of the Wall members wearing prayer shawls pray at the Western Wall on June 9 (photo credit: Sarah Schuman/Flash90)

As Avraham says, “The Women of the Wall organization has a hidden anti-Israel agenda, as demonstrated by their unreasonable demands for accepting the Israeli governments [sic] compromise proposal that would give them a place to pray at the [Western Wall].  They seek to portray Israel as a fundamentalist anti-feminist country that forbids freedom of worship, thus driving a wedge between the State of Israel and the largely Reform-dominated Jewish American community that does prefer to pray with men and women together, with the women wearing [male prayer shawls].  By turning the American Jewish community against Israel, they hope to push Israel into a wall, diplomatically speaking.  It appears that promoting feminism isn’t their only objective.”

In a comment left at Avraham’s article at, WoW Spokeswoman Shira Pruce writes, “Women of the Wall’s sole goal is the free prayer of women at the Western Wall. . . As an organization, WOW has never been involved in any other political or partisan activity. Our participants and supporters come from all walks of life, political opinions, and Jewish denominations and we would never want to divide that by taking a political stand that does not directly effect [sic] free prayer at the Kotel. The leaders of Women of the Wall are individuals with lives, careers and opinions that span the political and personal spectrum- and it is these differences between us that make our particular brand of pluralism so special.”

So, um, pluralism. Yet another euphemism, I suppose. In this case it means making a to-do at the Wall, supposedly for the sake of freedom of religion, when in fact, behind the scenes, WoW leadership actively works toward the annihilation of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, the annihilation of the Jewish State, and in fact, the destruction of Temple artifacts, the biggest one, of course, being the Western Wall.

McCoy and Carmichael get justice for a murdered ADA - YouTube
Jack McCoy, television prosecutor par excellence. (youtube screenshot)

Now I’m no Jack McCoy. I’m just the communications writer at Kars4Kids, a nonprofit completely unrelated to any of this stuff. But it seems to me that if WoW has nothing to hide, the group would not have threatened Jerusalem Online with legal action should the news organ refuse to pull Avraham’s piece.

The WoW group quite happily sings at the top of its lungs into megaphones and dons male prayer raiment at the forefront of the monthly Kotel press conference. They, WoW, call this “pluralism” which of course, must be just another euphemism.

Because if they, the leaders of WoW, truly espoused “pluralism” then why on earth would they try to suppress public knowledge of what such pluralism entails?

I rest my case.



About the Author
Varda Epstein is a blogger and Communications Writer for