On Thursday morning, MK Gilad Kariv arrived at the Western Wall in time for the monthly prayer service of the Women of the Wall, armed with a Torah scroll he intended to give them to use during their service, against the explicit instructions of the Justice Ministry.

פרובוקציה של ח״כ גלעד קריב בכותל

A representative of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation approached MK Kariv upon his arrival and appealed to him not to abuse his parliamentary immunity and take such a provocative step that would be certain to disturb the peaceful prayer of many hundreds who were already at the Wall.

MK Kariv replied that although he respected the activities of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, he intended to act according to his religious beliefs. He then entered the women’s prayer section of the Wall and handed the scroll to the group of around twenty Women of the Wall, who commenced a Torah reading. A huge commotion ensued.

“We greatly regret the difficult events that occurred at the Western Wall this morning, following the decision of MK Gilad Kariv to take a sefer Torah into the women’s section of the site, in direct contravention of a clear ruling issued by the Justice Ministry,” the Foundation said in a statement.

“It should be noted that the Foundation did what it could to prevent friction by providing a special path for the Women of the Wall group, according to the proposal of the Justice Ministry, and did everything in its power to separate the groups and prevent unnecessary tension and maintain the dignity of this holy site.”

MK Meir Porush (UTJ) also responded to the incident, saying, “Gilad Kariv has exploited his parliamentary immunity and caused a public disturbance at the Western Wall, debasing the holiness of the site. This crosses a red line and must not be tolerated.”

Yochi Rapaport, the head of Women of the Wall, claimed: “Once again, the Rabbi of the Western Wall has proven that he is violent towards anyone who does not obey the separatist and extremist haredi laws he is trying to impose on the Western Wall. We call for the immediate implementation of the Western Wall compromise and until then we will continue to come to the Western Wall.”