Women of the Wall will not oppose UN anti-Kotel Resolution

Feminist org refuses to join efforts to oppose UN's recent anti-Kotel resolution, says its struggle is only for 'equal rights' at Kotel.

Hillel Fendel ,

Women of the Wall
Women of the Wall
Photo: Corinna Kern/Flash90

Israeli NGO Mattot Arim reports that Women of the Wall refuses to take part in the efforts to oppose the recent anti-Kotel UN resolution.

Mattot Arim asked Women of the Wall (WoW) to participate in opposing the UN resolution which renders the Western Wall, or Kotel, "illegally occupied territory." Mattot Arim reports it was "disappointed" to be turned down by WoW.

Mattot Arim said it turned to Women of the Wall for help in opposing the resolution because the latter's website places the Western Wall very high on its pedestal. The site states the Western Wall is “the principal symbol of Jewish peoplehood and sovereignty.” It also refers positively to “the Jewish people’s return to Jerusalem in 1967.”

Mattot Arim pointed out to WoW that the new UNSC Resolution states precisely the opposite – namely, "the Security Council does not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem.” This means not only Judea and Samaria, but also all of eastern Jerusalem, the Western Wall and the Old City, is territory “illegally occupied” by Israel.

WoW said in response that it would not take a stance on the resolution nor join the effort to rescind it. The Women wrote to Mattot Arim that their struggle is “to achieve equality for women” at the Kotel. They said they “choose not to comment on issues which are outside the purview of our struggle” because “our group comprises women of many different political persuasions.”

In a follow-up email, Mattot Arim asked, “Don’t all your members believe that the Kotel is the principal symbol of Jewish sovereignty [as 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 the WoW website says 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, neither women nor men. Is this no cause of concern for your organization?”

WoW remained steadfast in not wanting to join the effort to oppose the UN resolution. Contacted by Arutz-7, WoW said, "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."

Mattot Arim announced its "disappointment" at these sentiments: "If WoW is purely a feminist organization with no interest in the Kotel per se - as they are now saying, though not what they have presented in the past - then their feminist proclivities, as legitimate as they may be, can receive satisfaction in many less sensitive locations than the Western Wall."

"If on the other hand," Mattot Arim continued, "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 their major focus points for 2017. The organization has to decide: Are they pro-Kotel and pro-feminist, or just pro-feminist? If the former, let’s see it and hear it… 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.'"

The original headline of this article regretfully included a quote incorrectly attributed to Women of the Wall.