MK Kariv joining prayer session of Women of the Wall
MK Kariv joining prayer session of Women of the WallSpokesperson

The Liba Center has sent an urgent request to the Attorney-General, Dr. Avichai Mandelblit, asking him to open a criminal investigation into all those who participated in the provocation that occurred last week at the Western Wall.

The Liba Center is a foundation that wages a struggle against the Reform movement in Israel and attempts to halt the incursions it is steadily making into public life.

Under the heading, “Violation of the Law for the Preservation of the Holy Sites – provocation and disturbance of the public order,” Attorney Moshe Polski wrote to Dr. Mandelblit: “Last Thursday, the first day of the month of Cheshvan 5782 (October 10, 2021), an event was staged at the Western Wall plaza during which those who call themselves the ‘Women of the Wall’ read from a Torah scroll, in total violation of the established custom at the site and also in violation of the regulations established by the administration of the holy sites.”

Attorney Polski, representing the Liba Center, noted that a number of laws were breached at the time, describing how, “In addition, during this event, several men entered the women’s prayer section, in total violation of the manner in which prayer is conducted at the site, and in total opposition to the accepted practice of the Jewish People from time immemorial.

“This led to a great disturbance of the public order, and the criminal provocation was committed by this irresponsible Knesset Member, Mr. Kariv, who enabled the provocation and the desecration of the sanctity of the site to occur – both by bringing a Torah scroll to the plaza and by entering the women’s section.

“Here as an aside we would note that during the recent visit of Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to an Islamic country, she showed respect to her hosts and dressed according to the customary attire of the host country.”

Polski stressed that, “This incident desecrated and caused harm to a holy site as defined in Section 2a of the Law for the Preservation of Holy Sites, the fixed penalty for which has been set at seven years’ [imprisonment]. We request that you open a criminal investigation against all those involved, and take steps to prevent another similar occurrence, such as imposing a distancing order for the purpose of maintaining peace at the site and protecting the general public.

“It is superfluous to note that the immunity provided to the MK in question with regard to criminal proceedings does not permit him to continue to engage in practices that break the law. In addition, in Section 3a of the law regarding immunity of Knesset members, their rights and obligations, it states explicitly that a Knesset member may not be arrested unless he is apprehended while he is engaged in committing a criminal offense involving the use of force or disturbance of the public order, or treason, and thus it appears that there were grounds for permitting the arrest of MK Kariv due to the reasons noted, since his actions were committed with the use of force and also caused a disturbance of the public order.

“Even if appears that there are not sufficient grounds for demanding the arrest of the Knesset member, we request that the Israel Police be ordered not to permit him to continue with these actions, and that they seize the Torah scroll [in the event he does try to repeat them]. This would not involve a search of his possessions but only a seizure of the scroll itself which is being cynically utilized in this instance.

“In light of the above, given that this concerns criminal matters committed with prior intent, we request that a criminal investigation be opened into all those involved. It should be superfluous to state that the immunity acquired by the Knesset member is not acquired by those who partner with him for the commission of crimes. We ask that the Israel Police be instructed in their obligation to preserve the law, and to prevent these crimes from being committed at any other time in the future.”