Despite a 2013 court ruling supporting the equal prayer rights of Women of the Wall (WoW) at the Kotel (Western Wall), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reached an agreement with haredi political parties to issue a ban prohibiting WoW from reading from a Torah scroll at the holy site.
Above: Benjamin Netanyahu
Report: Netanyahu Tells Haredi Politicians He Will Stop Women Of The Wall From Reading Torah At The Kotel
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Despite a 2013 court ruling supporting the equal prayer rights of Women of the Wall (WoW) at the Kotel (Western Wall), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reached an agreement with haredi political parties to issue a ban prohibiting WoW from reading from a Torah scroll at the holy site, the Jerusalem Post reported based on an Army Radio report aired this morning.
“The prime minister supports the status quo [i.e., haredi control of the Kotel] and respects all Jewish streams,” a Netanyahu spokesman told the Post.
Sources in the Ashkenazi haredi United Torah Judaism Party (UTJ) confirmed it demanded from Netanyahu that WOW be banned from reading from a Torah scroll at the Kotel.
WoW lashed out at Netanyahu.
“Apparently when Netanyahu spoke of ‘all’ Jews in November 2015 [at the General Assembly of Jewish Federations of North America] 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,” WOW said in response to the Army Radio report.
Petitions from women’s groups now before the High Court of Justice could lead to a High Court order allowing WoW to read from a Torah scroll at the Kotel as it sees fit.
However Netanyahu – who is arguably the most dishonest and selfish man ever to hold high office in Israel – has previously repeatedly skirted or completely ignored High Court and other court rulings in a variety of issues from the treatment of African asylum seekers to women’s rights.