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Disputes Kotel Disturbance Description
Wed, 05/22/2013

Joshua Mitnick, in his
article covering the May 10 prayers and protest at the Kotel (“Tensions Seen Mounting on Prayer At Wall, May 17”), 
reported that “the protests on Friday brought out only a small
fraction of the ultra-Orthodox constituency.”

Ten thousand women
wake up at the crack of dawn in order to be at the Kotel by 6:30 a.m. and yet
he disregards the crowds as only a “small fraction.” You know who the small
fraction was? The only 100 or so Women of the Wall [holding a service where women read from the Torah and wear prayer shawls].

Mitnick wrote that rocks and bottles were
thrown “from within an angry crowd of several thousand ultra-Orthodox

Which one is it, Mr. Mitnick: a “small fraction” or “several
thousand angry protesters”?

Rocks and bottles were unfortunately thrown from within a crowd by
maybe 25-50 angry protesters. And that indeed is only a small fraction of the
ultra-Orthodox constituency. The several thousand present were not
protesters, but simply devout people who came to pray at the Kotel in the
manner in which Jews have been coming to pray there for centuries — even
when doing so involved risk of life. They represent the overwhelming majority
of Jews who value Jewish unity, peace and the distinguished and unique role
that only women can fulfill in Judaism.


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The Kotel is not a place to 'peacefully protest' or hold a 'prayer rally'. Busing in thousands of young girls to crowd Women of the Wall out of the women's section is not "simply devout people who came to pray at the Kotel"

It is simply not true that the angry crowd numbered only 25-50 protesters. There are pictures and videos of what really happened and I was there so I also know something: At some points during the tefilla, there were thousands of Haredi men (and a few of the women too) booing, whistling, and screaming. A conservative estimate is that there were hundreds of Haredi men pushing and shoving, throwing water bottles, coffee, rocks and garbage at Women of the Wall and our supporters. The police had to call in reinforcements to contain the violence.

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