Consulate General of Israel הקונסוליה הכללית של ישראל
Pacific Northwest Region סן פרנסיסקו
Over the last few days we have heard the concerns of many members of the community concerning the recent arrest of Anat Hoffman at the Kotel. Yesterday, I participated in a conference call on this issue with all Consul Generals, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem and with the Ambassador in DC.
Your concerns do matter to us, and we will do our utmost to provide updates, pending the investigation into the events of last week. I have attached a press release from our Embassy for your consideration.
Thank you again for sharing your concerns. Please share this with your congregation. Warm regards, Dr. Andy David
Dr. Andy David | Consul General
Press Release The Embassy of Israel Responds to Concerns Over Recent Arrest at Kotel
***For Immediate Release***
October 22, 2012
WASHINGTON — Several American Jewish leaders have reached out to the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C. to express concern over the purported details of the recent arrest of Anat Hoffman, head of Women of the Wall, by Israeli police. Ambassador Michael Oren regards these concerns with utmost seriousness and appreciates the leaders’ readiness to refrain from passing judgment on the case pending a full investigation. He assured them that he will work with the Israeli authorities which will establish the facts of Ms. Hoffman’s arrest and determine what, if any, measures should be taken.
The State of Israel is committed to respecting the rights and sensitivities of all worshipers. These, however, cannot always be reconciled entirely. The Supreme Court, for example, has forbidden Jews from praying on the Temple Mount, their holiest site, out of concern for public safety. Similarly, the Court determined that the Western Wall would be administered according to the existing traditions at the site as determined by the Rabbi of the Kotel. The area under the nearby Robinson’s Arch was reserved for egalitarian prayer. That area is currently being expanded to accommodate 800 worshipers and will be equipped with nighttime lighting and full access for the disabled.
Civil disobedience is the right of every Israeli, but exercising that right can lead to legal consequences. Of course, no one should be mistreated while in custody. Ambassador Oren has spoken with Police Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, who assured him that Ms. Hoffman’s claims will be investigated fully and swiftly.