Welcoming the Month of Tammuz Women of the Wall worshipers, held monthly prayer at the Kotel Friday, June 25th, inside a police barrier corral and under chaotic harassment by Haredi girls and women, without protection from security and crowd control personnel.
Approximately 100 WOW worshipers were held up at the entrance, where, similar to other Rosh Hodesh prayers, their bags and belongings were searched, including every page on every siddur. WOW worshipers met disturbances by Haredi women and girls who whistled, shouted and banged in order to silence the prayer. Despite the state’s commitment to prevent such disturbances, the teen-aged girls, dressed in black with their faces covered, were not removed the Women’s Section and continued whistling, yelling and harassing WOW worshipers.
Today, June 25th is the final date the State of Israel had to respond to WOW, Conservative and Reform movements’ Supreme Court petition regarding the implementation of the “Kotel Agreement”. Following a year’s delay in the state’s response, the Supreme Court issued a contingency order ending today, if another extension is not requested yet again.
Women of the Wall Chairperson Anat Hoffman: “The fact that the person in charge of the Kotel is an extreme Haredi rabbi is the reason that the harassment, yelling and screaming during Women of the Wall’s prayer are not dealt with. Despite its authority to vacate the disturbing elements, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation security team enables them to continue the harassment. The prayer is held in a chaotic atmosphere. Discrimination at its finest.”
A Torah scroll was smuggled in and worshipers read from Torah, blessing and singing. The prayer ended with singing Israel’s national anthem Hatikva, to the sounds of booing, whistling and yelling. As the women left the area, carrying the Torah scroll, and singing. Haredi men harassed, cursed and made rude gestures in their direction.