Monday, January 09, 2017

Fwd: Women of the Wall: “Kotel's not our purview”

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "sddym" <sddym@bezeqint.net>
Date: Jan 9, 2017 5:25 PM
Subject: Women of the Wall: "Kotel's not our purview"
To: <&lt;@bezeqint.net>
Cc:

Women of the Wall: "Kotel's not our purview"
 
Mattot Arim, an Israeli NGO, reached out to Women of the Wall leadership in the aftermath of UNSC 2344 in the hopes of encouraging Women of the Wall to take a stance, together with other Israeli NGOs, against the strongly anti-Kotel resolution which brands the Western Wall as illegally occupied territory. Mattot Arim said they were disappointed to be turned down by WoW on the grounds that the Kotel is "not their purview".
 
Citing the WoW website (http://www.womenofthewall.org.il/who-we-are/   according to which the Western Wall is "the principal symbol of Jewish peoplehood and sovereignty" and the WoW website's reference to "the Jewish people's return to Jerusalem in 1967", Mattot Arim pointed out that "the new UNSC Resolution https://www.un.org/press/en/2016/sc12657.doc.htm   states that the Security Council does not "recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem" thus effectively treating the Western Wall, as territory "illegally occupied" by Israel.
 
Mattot Arim then invited Women of the Wall to oppose the new UNSC Resolution and join the effort to rescind the resolution.
 
But responsive to the Mattot Arim query, Women of the Wall responded only that their struggle is "to achieve equality for women" at the Western Wall and added that  they "choose not to comment on issues that are outside the purview of our struggle" because "Our group comprises women of many different political persuasions".
 
In a follow-up email, Mattot Arim requested to "expand its understanding" of WoW's reply by asking, "Don't all your members believe that the Kotel is the principal symbol of Jewish sovereignty? That is what your website says.
Doesn't the organization have a problem with UNSC 2334's  call to end the Israeli occupation of the Kotel that began in 1967?" Mattot Arim also noted that the WoW website says that Women of the Wall works to make the Kotel "a holy site where women can pray freely" whereas UNSC 2334 "calls to revoke the Jewish state's sovereignty over the Kotel and to make the Kotel a site where no Israelis or visitors to Israel can pray freely – women or men. Is this no cause of concern for your organization?"
 
Repsonsively, WoW again reiterated that "As individuals we have many deep concerns and a wide range of opinions. As an organization we do not comment outside the immediate purview of our cause".
 
Mattot Arim expressed disappointment at the reply of Women of the Wall. "If Wow is purely a feminist organization with no interest in the Kotel per se which is what they are now saying, although not what they have presented in the past,  then their feminist proclivities, legitimate as they are,  can receive satisfaction in many less sensitive locations than the Western Wall. If on the other hand, the WoW rank and file are truly attached to the Kotel, then we would like to see the struggle against UNSC 2334 as one of Women of the Wall's major focus points for 2017.  The organization has to decide – are you pro-Kotel and pro-feminist, or just pro-feminist. If the former, let's see it and hear it. Why have there been no statements, no activity,  by WoW against UNSC 2334? Women of the Wall does not deserve the extraordinary governmental consideration they have been benefiting from for some time, if the Western Wall is "outside their purview". 
 
Last January, the government of Israel decided to augment the Western Wall's men and women's prayer areas, and back general area, all under the management of the Chief Rabbinate and Western Wall Heritage Foundation, with a separate, "easily accessible and visible space", to be governed by representatives of non-Orthodox movements, Jewish Federations, the Israeli government -- and the "Women of the Wall" organization.
 
 
 
 
Sent: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 5:47 PM
To: sddym
Subject: Re: attn "Neshot haKotel" re new UNSC Resolution that treats the Western Wall as illegally occupied territory
 
As individuals we have many deep concerns and a wide range of opinions.
 
Our website speaks for itself and I am glad you found it informative. 
 
As an organization we do not comment outside the immediate purview of our cause.
 
 
 
 
On Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 5:43 PM, sddym <sddym@bezeqint.net> wrote:
 
Thank you for your email reproduced below. May we expand our understanding of your reply by asking --
 
Don't all your members believe that the Kotel is the principal symbol of Jewish sovereignty? That is what your website says.
 
Doesn't the organization have a problem with UNSC 2334's  call to end the Israeli occupation of the Kotel that began in 1967?
 
Your website says that "The Western Wall is Judaism's most sacred holy site and the principal symbol of Jewish peoplehood and sovereignty, and Women of the Wall works to make it a holy site where women can pray freely".
But UNSC 2334 calls to revoke the Jewish state's sovereignty over the Kotel and to make the Kotel a site where no Israelis or visitors to Israel can pray freely – women or men. Is this no cause of concern for your organization?
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sent: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 5:12 PM
To: sddym
Subject: Re: attn "Neshot haKotel" re new UNSC Resolution that treats the Western Wall as illegally occupied territory
 
Women of the Wall is engaged in a 30-year-long struggle to achieve equality for women at the Western Wall. Our group comprises women of many different political persuasions. We respect these differences, and choose not to comment on issues that are outside the purview of our struggle.
 
 
 
On Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 4:57 PM, sddym wrote:
Kind reminder
 
Dear WoW leadership,
 
We note that your website ( http://www.womenofthewall.org.il/who-we-are/) states that the Western Wall is "the principal symbol of Jewish peoplehood and sovereignty" and refers to "the Jewish people's return to Jerusalem in 1967". In contrast, the new UNSC Resolution
states that the Security Council does not
"recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem" thus effectively treating the entire area to which Israel returned in 1967, including of course the Western Wall, as territory "illegally occupied" by Israel.
 
Please indicate whether your group opposes the new UNSC Resolution and intends to join the effort to rescind same.
 
 
 



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