Sharansky: We Are Angry and Upset at Israel’s Police

Speaking at the closing plenary of The Jewish Agency’s board meeting, Natan Sharansky addressed the recent arrest of Anat Hoffman saying, “We are very angry and very upset at the behavior of Israel’s police.”

At the same plenary, a resolution was passed (following a 7-5 recommendation of the Unity for the Jewish People Committee) that reads in full:

Prayer at the Western Wall of Har Harbayit

Whereas the Declaration of the State of Israel states that Israel will guarantee “freedom of religion [and] conscience:”

And whereas the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), through the work of its Committee for the Unity of the Jewish People, and financial support for the programs of diverse streams of Judaism, supports the availability in Israel of multiple approaches to Jewish religious life, so as to meet the religious expressions of as many Jews as possible;

Ans whereas the western wall of Har Habayit has for centuries been a holy place of prayer for the Jewish people;

And whereas Jewish women and men, of all streams of Judaism, desire the opportunity to pray at the western wall of Har Habayit in a manner that fullfills their religious expressions, and in an atmosphere of mutual respect and ahavat Yisrael;

Therefore The Jewish Agency for Israel, consistent with its solidarity with the commitment of the State of Israel in its Declaration of Independence to guarantee freedom of religion and conscience,

Hereby calls on the Chairman of the Executive of JAFI, consulting with the Committee for the Unity of the Jewish People, and working with the JAFI-Israel Government Coordinating Committee and other appropriate parties, including the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, to arrive at a satisfactory approach to the issue of prayer at the western wall of Har Harbayit.

(stay tuned; more coming)

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  1. Hillel Levin says

    Why is it that the plenary session failed to also say that Jews should also have the freedom to pray on the Temple Mount and that control of the most important Jewish religious site in the world should no longer be under contro; of the WAKF?

  2. Ron Hoffman says

    While I applaude the preamble references to the resolution I wonder why the word “satisfactory” was used, a word open to many questions and ultimately points of view, and not rather a specific recommendation consistant with the sentiments expressed in the preamble. Those that currently make the rules at the Kotel do not see women or non orthodox men as “Jewish” or even worse enemies of Judaism. They are not open to compromise. One therefore cannot in my view approach this issue just with alteristic or bland sentiments.

  3. Morris Adams says

    It’s no use being angry at the police. I understand that the police were just doing their job – upholding the law. Anat Hoffman broke the law. It’s the law which is wrong. A law written by the Orthodox Religious Party and imposed on Israeli society. We need to change the law – change the constitution – and remove religious parties from government.