Orthodox demonstrators attack Women of the Wall at Kotel prayer

Several thousand Orthodox women, and 150 women from Women of the Wall, were at the plaza just after 7 a.m. on Friday. Insults were reportedly exchanged between the two sides during the clashes.

By
March 8, 2019 14:43
Orthodox demonstrators attack Women of the Wall at Kotel prayer

A standoff between a Orthodox man and a member of Women of the Wall takes place at the Western Wall on Friday morning.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Thousands of Orthodox women arrived on Friday morning at the Western Wall plaza to protest against Women of the Wall, who were at the site to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

It was reported that over 10,000 Orthodox women, and 150 women from Women of the Wall were at the plaza just after 7 a.m. on Friday. Insults were reportedly exchanged between the two sides during the clashes, as the stand-off continued.

Police were on site to separate the two groups. They designated a small area with barriers at the plaza, however the large Orthodox crowds surrounded it and began shouting abuse and slurs.

A large contingent of ultra-Orthodox men were also at the site to protest Women of the Wall. Groups also crowded and tried to block the entrances to the Western Wall plaza in a bid to stop members of the controversial women's group from entering the area.

In a statement, Rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz appealed to the groups saying “that the Western Wall plaza is not a...demonstration area and asked [for attendees] to refrain from provocations, and to guard the Western Wall as a unified place, and not a place of division."

“On Rosh Chodesh Adar II (Friday), I urge everyone to refrain from bringing their war to the Wall,” he said. “Please - the Western Wall is not a platform for ideas and not a platform for holding demonstrations.”

He pleaded that the women should back down and that there should be peace at the wall “so that month of Adar will be a month of joy and unity – not, G-d forbid, of mourning and division.”

He added that the “commandment of Purim is to send gifts to each other, to bring unity among brothers.

“Our victory over Haman will be in adding love for the entire Jewish people while preserving the sanctity of the Western Wall,” he said. "We must stop once and for all using the wall as a platform for public struggles, we have no other wall."

The clashes were sparked by a call by senior rabbis in the religious and ultra-Orthodox public to protest against Women of the Wall's activities.

Police eventually evacuated some of the group from the main Western Wall plaza area after two of the women fainted.

As verbal slurs and abuse continued, the women's group eventually moved down to the Robinson's Arch area of the Western Wall to pray and read from the Torah.

Police confirmed that a 20-year-old ultra-Orthodox man had been arrested after he tried to attack an officer in the area.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Israel's under-20 team celebrates after defeating Spain in the FIBA European Championship final.
July 22, 2019
Young Israeli hoopsters revel in success

By JERUSALEM POST SPORTS STAFF

Cookie Settings