Dear Prime Minister

July 11, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
Read on for article

The president of the Zionist Federation of Australia has written to Israel’s prime minister requesting the quelling of the attacks by some members of the orthodox community on worshippers at the egalitarian section of the Kotel.

Jeremy Leibler

Jeremy Leibler wrote to Prime Minister Yair Lapid, stating: ” I feel compelled to express to you the deep concern felt by me personally, as well as by the community I represent, about the frequent verbal and physical attacks on people peacefully worshipping, and celebrating Jewish life, at the egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel. I condemn outright those that participated in these attacks, as well as those who condone them, whether explicitly or otherwise.

The Zionist Federation of Australia has a long-standing commitment of supporting pluralism at the Kotel and has called on successive Israeli governments to support the rights of all streams of Judaism to have access to our holiest place. While some differences between streams of Judaism may never be overcome, it behoves us as Jews to tolerate and respect those differences.

I thank you for your strong words condemning the attack earlier this week. However, a clear pattern has emerged over many years—despite political condemnation after each attack, the attacks continue. The Kotel must be a safe space for every Jew, and yet Jews keep coming under attack. I believe it is time to take stronger action. It is completely unacceptable that Jews cannot freely express their Jewish identity in the State of Israel. The Government must ensure that police protection is provided to ensure that freedom of worship at the Kotel and that the perpetrators of these attacks must be prosecuted.

As the prime minister of all Israelis, and as the leader of a country so central to the identity of millions of Jews around the world, I have no doubt that you share these sentiments. And so, on behalf of the Zionist movement in Australia, I urge you to take concrete action as soon as possible.”

The ZFA has been backed up by a joint letter sent to PM Lapid by the Union for Progressive Judaism, the Australian Reform/Progressive Zionist Association and Mercaz-Masorti Australasia/

They wrote: “You have also had a long and very positive relationship with the Masorti movement.

It is with this in mind that we now seek your understanding and support for our grave concern in relation to the unwarranted and vicious attack on Progressive and Masorti Jews at the Kotel last week by a mob of Ultra-Orthodox boys and men, who again disrupted the Rosh Chodesh prayer service of the Women of the Wall.

This was followed by an attack at the Egalitarian Plaza on those celebrating B’nai Mitzvah ceremonies in what only can be described as violent, disrespectful, and disgusting behaviour. The screaming, spitting cursing, and violation of Torah scrolls, ripping them to shreds is something unheard of in any Jewish community of standing in our time.

The openly expressed hatred by any stream of Judaism toward another is certainly not that which Jews expect or accept in our Jewish Homeland or anywhere. In fact, we have been very shocked by these continuing and recent events.

It is our belief that the Israeli police could or should be instructed to take action to stop and/or prevent violence against any person or group at the Northern Plaza and Ezrat Israel. We believe it should be normal practice for those behaving in a violent or disruptive way toward others in these areas of the Kotel to be removed and where appropriate face criminal proceedings.

We also support open access to the Kotel as one of the most sacred religious sites for the Jewish people, whether they are Israeli or from the Diaspora and whether they be Progressive, Reform, Liberal, Masorti, Orthodox or Ultra-Orthodox Jews.”


Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.