Nothing in Israel, or in the Middle East, is disconnected from anything else. Yet the issue of women’s religious access to the Kotel is treated, especially in North America, as if it exists in a vacuum. By Aryeh Cohen The story of Women of the Wall begins with the Wall. The story of the contemporary Wall begins with the Six-Day War in June of 1967. It begins not on June 7, when the Old City was captured and David Rubinger took his iconic photograph of three battle-weary Israeli soldiers standing in front of the Wall, nor even when the paratroopers’…Read More... | 9 Comments
women of the wall
While the running debate at the Western Wall has been over women’s prayer, Jewish men have been playing a supporting role in shifting 'local custom.' Women of the Wall may be exactly what their name implies: women. But standing and praying in solidarity with them this month were several dozen Jewish men. In between police barricades and the familiar fence enclosing the women's prayer area at the Western Wall Plaza, were about 30 Jewish men – Israel-born, immigrants, secular, Reform and Conservative, young and old. They came out to support approximately 300 Jewish women – many in religious garments traditionally…Read More... | 4 Comments
This week: A hole in the wall, protests against conscription, house demolitions in Jerusalem and the Negev, price tagging Women of the Wall, masked protesters in Tel Aviv and the West Bank, and demonstrations against occupation and settlements.Read More...
This week: Remembering Nakba Day on both sides of the Green Line, demonstrations against the occupation, settlements and the separation wall, social justice protests in Israel, Women of the Wall, solidarity with asylum seekers after police raids and a wall comes down in Lod.Read More... | 6 Comments
This week: The funeral of a Palestinian killed by Israeli forces; olive tree planters face settlers and soldiers; Women of the Wall's protest; a Palestinian action against family separations; Beit Safafa resists a road; solidarity with Samer Issawi continues; Israelis protest for human rights and animal rights, and African immigrants face anger in Tel Aviv.Read More... | 7 Comments
Hundreds of women - including MKs Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), Stav Shaffir (Labor) and Michal Rozin (Meretz) - gathered at Jerusalem's Western Wall in honor of Rosh Hodesh (first of the Hebrew calendar month, today, Nissan) Tuesday morning. They joined the usual group of women from the Women of the Wall movement, who go every month at 7 a.m. to pray there on the other side of the barricade separating them from the men - but are often harassed and prevented from doing so - and even at times, arrested. According to the regulations at the Western Wall, as determined by its chief rabbi, and…Read More... | 18 Comments
Anat Hoffman, longtime crusader for the advancement of progressive Judaism in Israel and a tireless activist for the rights of women to partake in religious traditions, was arrested last month while saying the Shma prayer at the Western Wall. Hoffman, the Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center and one of the founders of Women of the Wall (and a former Jerusalem City councilwoman) is no stranger to the law: it was the sixth time she has been arrested. Yet she says she has never been charged. When I interviewed her nine days later at a conference in Germany,…Read More... | 16 Comments
Head of Women of the Wall was held in custody the entire night after trying to pray at the holy site while wearing a prayer shawl - a practice reserved only for men, according to Orthodox Judaism. Three members of Women of the Wall (Neshot Hakotel), a group of Jewish women which seeks to conduct prayers and read from Torah at the Western Wall, were arrested by police in the last 24 hours, during the "Rosh Hodesh Heshvan" (new month prayers) at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. The head of the organization, Anat Hoffman, was arrested last night…Read More... | 31 Comments
From Pussy Riot to Women of the Wall, our male religious authorities are so intimidated by women mobilizing support for religious freedom and expression, that they feel the need to restrain, detain and jail this great potential for change. By Shira Pruce I admit that a few weeks ago, if you asked me, “What do Women of the Wall and Russian punk band Pussy Riot have in common?” I would have had a good long laugh while waiting for the punch line of your joke. However, since the arrests on Sunday, August 19, of four women at the Western Wall of Jerusalem, there has been nothing…Read More... | 4 Comments
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A look into the daily life of African refugees living in an 'open' detention center.
Kerry's peace process
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Plan to displace Bedouin
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