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January 2011

Christmas 2010 in Palestine

Sex and the Wailing Wall

Sex And The Wailing Wall

Publisher: Journeyman
Length: 52mins
Location: Israel/Palestine
Copyright: ©758
Published: 21 Jan, 2011
Last Updated: 21 Jan, 2011
Ref: 5043
You can rent it for one pound here
A band of brave Jewish women are fighting back for the right to raise their voices at the Wailing Wall. The holy site is the most potent symbol for Jews. Yet it is dominated by the ultra-Orthodox who seek to maintain segregation of the sexes and limit the rights of women who want to pray there. Now a group of women are challenging the iron grip of the reactionaries and demanding reform.

“This is not the local custom” Shira shrieks as she tries to rip the Torah scroll from the ‘Women of the Wall’. The police struggle to restrain her as her hands clench around the scroll. “You’re Amalek! You’re Arafat!” Another woman screams. The ultra-Orthodox women have surrounded the group. “They opened a Torah scroll! Why are you standing around?” Chief Rabbi Rabinowitz shouts as he runs into the women’s area; his side-locks trailing behind him. “Forbidden! Women can’t read Torah”. For fifteen years this is the chant the ‘Women of the Wall’ have been facing. This intensity betrays the fact that there is more going on here than sex politics. The Women of the Wall’ are not only fighting a battle of the sexes, they’re fighting the entire weight of Jewish tradition. “How can they be so sure they are right?” Is the question they put to Judaism as they try to change a religion that has enshrined their religious inferiority. “It’s inconceivable that everyone should do as they see fit. It’ll end up a circus!” Is Rabinowitz’s response. The establishment has continually used ridicule and belittlement as tools in the fight against these women’s campaign for change. “We want the scroll of independence, not the dead sea scrolls”, says Anat Hoffman, leader of ‘Women of the Wall’. Each month the cat & mouse games continue with the ultra-Orthodox chasing the women around whenever they dare reveal their scroll, or raise their voices in prayer. Hoffman has been arrested again and is now forbidden from returning to the wall.



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Melanie Phillips on Israeli TV

DateThursday, January 20, 2011 at 8:18AM AuthorGilad Atzmon

It is almost amusing to hear Philips dismissing Hasbara (Israeli propaganda) in Britain.

Melanie Philips: “Israeli Hasbara is a joke”


It is also very cheering to learn from rabid Zionist Philips that in spite of the Israeli Lobby, David Aaronovitch, Nick Cohen and herself, the Palestinians are winning the hearts and minds of British public.

I guess that it is about time Philips gathers the fact that humanism may win after all.

Istanbul January 2011

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