The mixed mob forced their way into the Western Wall plaza despite security officials attempting to block them at the Dung Gate.
Although they were shoved and in some cases were punched by the security guards, the mob managed to break through the security barrier while bringing with them eight Torah scrolls. Regulations at the site prohibit worshippers from bringing their own Torah scrolls to the premises.
Apparently aware of the more violent reaction they would receive in the men’s section, the mob entered the women’s section at the Western Wall where they were attacked by young chareidi women for desecrating the site.
While substantial police forces were present at the scene, they only waited until the very last minute to intervene and instead filmed the provocation.
The Western Wall rabbi, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, said in response to the melee, “Dozens of men in the women’s section, screaming demonstrators, media photographers — these are scenes that break every Jewish heart. They handed the holy Torah scrolls around as if they were trivial objects or posters in a demonstration. Such a thing has never happened before.
“Out of sincere concern for the honor of the Torah scrolls, I ordered the ushers to refrain from confronting the protesters even though they brutally violated not only the state General Attorney’s instructions but every provision and custom that had always been kept at the Western Wall.”
He warned, “The Women at the Wall are dragging everyone into a situation with no way out. A way of fanaticism, violence, demonstrations and civil war. The Western Wall is a holy place, a play of prayer, a place of unity. The millions of visitors and worshippers who come here testify that the vast majority of the Jewish people want it to stay as it is.”
Rabbi Rabinowitz also thanked most of the worshippers at the Western Wall who refused to respond to the provocation and give the interlopers the violent media scenes they were hoping for which they could use effectively for fundraising.
In January, the government voted to create a new section at the southern part of the Western Wall where the non-Orthodox could hold prayer services. However Netanyahu has refrained from implementing it due to pressure from religious coalition members.
Non-Orthodox Jews are welcome to pray at the Western Wall like Orthodox Jews, gentiles and everyone else. What the religious community opposes is giving them legitimacy as a Jewish religious movement who deserve their own place for worship at the holiest Jewish site, since these deviant groups have only undermined Judaism and are a one-way bridge to assimilation.
The leaders of Reform and Conservative are desperately seeking this legitimization at a time when their numbers are plummeting around the world, and every month is seeing more of their temples closing. In the face of their failures, they are banking their hope that generating a public melee which garners media sympathy will help resuscitate their agenda and apply pressure on the authorities.