December 29, 2015
Women of the Wall in response to the report that Prime Minister Netanyahu promised ultra-Orthodox parties that there will be no change of the status quo at the Western Wall:
PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance on women’s rights at the Kotel has gotten lost on translation. In English, in front of cheering crowds at the General Assembly of Jewish Federations of North America last month he said that he will “ensure that all Jews can feel at home in Israel… all Jews” and “ensure that the Kotel is a source of unity for our people, not a point of division.” In Hebrew this week according to Israeli Radio Galei Tzahal, PM Netanyahu has promised the ultra-Orthodox party heads that there will be no change of the status quo at the Kotel and that women will not read Torah at the Kotel.
Apparently when Netanyahu spoke of “all” Jews in November 2015, he forgot that women make up half of all Jews. No Israeli Prime Minister has the right to take away Torah from half of all Jews. It is our hope that Netanyahu will not ban women from reading Torah, however if he does bend to the pressure of the Haredi parties, Women of the Wall will continue to read Torah in the women’s section of the Kotel. Even if we must hide our Torah scroll and smuggle it past the guards, we will do so just as Jews have been forced to do so many times before us in exile.