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Israel: Thousands of ultra-Orthodox youths assault feminist group in Jerusalem

Thursday 21 March 2019, by siawi3


In video: Thousands of ultra-Orthodox youths assault feminist group in Jerusalem

March 8, 2019 3:11 P.M.(Updated: March 11, 2019 3:54 P.M.)

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Thousands of ultra-Orthodox youths violently disrupted a Women of the Wall prayer service, on Friday, forcing the multi-denominational feminist group to move to another location after two of its members sustained injuries near the Western Wall.

According to the spokesperson of Women of the Wall, the group was holding an anniversary prayer service, celebrating 30 years since its establishment, however, the gathering drew thousands of ultra-Orthodox youths to organize protests with several rabbis, calling on school students to head to the Western Wall plaza to demonstrate against the service.

Hebrew-language news outlets reported that the spokesperson said that several elederly members were shoved to the ground by ultra-Orthodox protesters, stressing that the protest was more violent than expected.

Sources confirmed that two members were injured and received necessary medical treatment.

A statement issued by the Women of the Wall charged Israeli police with “abandoning†them during the protest, as they were physically and verbally assaulted by ultra-Orthodox men and women.

The Women of the Wall also criticized the Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch for refusing to sign off on a speaker system, which they requested as the number of expected attendees fit the protocol.

Rabinovitch responded by saying, “Women using loudspeakers is against religious law, as determined the sages. It doesn’t coincide with the customs of this place.â€

Furthermore, the Women of the Wall stated, “Our organization will not be deterred at all. We will continue to pray at the Western Wall in our own way and no one will frighten us.â€

VIDEO here



Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Youths Violently Disrupt Feminist Prayer Service at Western Wall

By Joses Sen

March 9, 2019

Clashes broke out at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday morning as thousands of ultra-Orthodox youths descended on the holy site in an orchestrated attempt to disrupt a special service organized by Women of the Wall.

At the instruction of their rabbis, thousands of teenage girls from religious high schools around the country gathered at the Kotel, while hundreds of young ultra-Orthodox men tried to break through police barricades to attack the prayer group.

Hundreds of women, including many from North America, joined Women of the Wall in the special Rosh Hodesh service to mark the 30th anniversary of the multi-denominational feminist prayer group, which also falls this year on International Women’s Day.

Several religious teenage girls approached by Haaretz said their schools had organized bussing for them so that they could make the trip to the Western Wall. They arrived especially early so that the feminist prayer group and its supporters would have a hard time finding space inside to pray.

Held at a distance from the woman by security forces, the Haredi men vented their ire on the large group of men who had come out to support the Women of the Wall, including leaders of Israel’s Conservative and Reform movements.

The non-Orthodox leaders and supporters of Women of the Wall were scratched, spit on, bullied and threatened. Meanwhile, the women participating in the prayer service were attacked by the ultra-Orthodox girls.

Asked to comment, a spokesman for the Jerusalem Police issued the following statement: “During Rosh Chodesh services this morning at the Western Wall, some members of Women of the Wall came to the main prayer area, apparently with the express intention to create friction and provocations — in defiance of requests from ushers and police that they pray in a special section allocated to them.

“Because of over crowdedness, confrontations ensued, which were addressed by police. In accordance with their request, Women of the Wall members were then accompanied by police to the egalitarian prayer space, where they continued their service, without further incident.â€

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, executive director of the Reform movement in Israel, called the police statement “scandalous†and attributed it to “utter chutzpah.â€

“Someone in the police has apparently forgotten that the job of the police is to enforce rulings of the court and to protect women (and men) from violence. We have no qualms about saying that the Israeli police collaborated this morning with the rabbi of the Western Wall and extremist and violent organization in order to prevent Women of the Wall from exercising their legal rights.â€

He added: “We expect the police to withdraw this false statement and apologize to Women of the Wall.â€