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Friday, May 17, 2013 

Ronit Peskin hints she's fine with Muslim dominance of Temple Mount

Peskin, a Haredi woman who formed a group called Women for the Wall as a rival to those of, made a very grave, hideous mistake in a statement about her beliefs and missions, one I'm not going to let go unnoticed:
Ronit Peskin, a soft-spoken ultra-Orthodox mother to three from the settlement Kochav Yaakov started the group Women “for” the Wall a few weeks ago to directly oppose the feminist group’s efforts. Her group helped coordinate the busloads of ultra-Orthodox female teens who came to protest the prayer service.

“The same way Christian traditions are respected at the Vatican, and Muslim traditions are respected at al-Aqsa Mosque, we ask that Jews respect the holiest Jewish site,” Peskin explained, just two feet away from the jubilation.
Until now, I can't say I've ever been bothered by Peskin's positions. But now that I see her hinting she has no problem with that abomination of a structure shaming our history atop the Temple Mount, to say nothing of her apparently lenient stance on a religion whose belief system is much worse than Reform Judaism...the gloves are off.

How dare she ever even technically act as an apologist for the Religion of Rape by legitimizing that cruddy dome atop the structure Solomon went to such pains to build, and Nehemya and Herod to rebuild. And by doing so, she's also basically letting the Wakf off the hook for committing vandalism and making it a thoughtcrime for Jews to pray there. It makes no difference whether Jews shouldn't pray there from a religious perspective, let the Lord decide, and most definitely don't overlook the Wakf's efforts to obliterate signs of Jewish history.

Like some other detractors of Women of the Wall, I've never seen her officially denounce the police for arresting them, the only true problem I have with something that most people, even if they didn't have a high opinion on, didn't make such a fuss about when the group first began in 1988.

And Peskin might want to consider where public opinion is now, after the spectacle so many Haredi males made of themselves on May 10. It's a lot difference from the polling she worked on:
A recent poll held by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University has found that the 48 percent of Israeli Jews support the Women of the Wall's right to hold traditional Jewish prayer services at the Western Wall. [...]

The poll was released on Sunday as part of April's Peace Index and included 600 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult population of Israel, found nearly half of the public, 48%, supports Women of the Wall's right to worship at the Western Wall as they see fit, compared to 38% of the public which said that the more traditional customs should remain in place.

The survey found 64% of the secular public, 53% of the traditional-non-religious public and 26% of the traditional-religious supported the group's quest, which was adamantly rejected by ultra-Orthodox poll participants (0%).

A gender segmentation of the results showed that 52% of Jewish men and 46% of Jewish women supported the Women of the Wall.

The data also indicated that support for the Women of the Wall differed dramatically based on background: Some 77% of Israelis born in the United States or Europe said they supported the group's demand to freely pray at the Western Wall, followed by 61% of Israelis whose parents were born in U.S. or Europe, 46% of Israelis whose parents were born in Israel, 43% of Israelis whose parents were born in Asia or Africa, 38% of Israelis from the former Soviet Union (38%) and 33% of Israelis who were born in Asia or Africa.
Oh, I know that Peskin wasn't happy at how those creepy hooligans even turned on her during her own visit. But she's got to consider that the community she's living in has some very insular mindsets and there's a lot of wrongdoing the Haredi press flatly refuses to say one word about. And when people realize just how destructive the Haredis can be thanks to the isolationism they've taken up at taxpayers' expense, it should come as no surprise that the public opinion can ultimately come round to the WoW's side.

My beef with WoW - or at least Anat Hoffman - is based on her political opinions, and here's an eye-opener from AFSI's Outlook that reveals she used to be a leader of the Women in Black, a radical leftist movement. I wonder why few of Peskin's standing have ever brought that up, if at all? It's Hoffman's politics that count, not her prayer customs.

But many of the Haredis who hate the WoW obviously don't do it because they find her political stances in themselves offensive, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if the beef some of them have is based more on the notion that only Haredis and Haredis alone are qualified to run the Western Wall or any other famous Jewish site. But if Haredis from any particular sect are capable of committing the kind of wrongs I've made an effort to focus on here, then making the claim they're fully qualified no matter what is downright foolish.

And I reiterate that I'll be very angry at any Orthodox Jew - Haredi or otherwise - who says that my Conservative Judaism-adhering relatives like my grandmother must automatically conform to their beliefs in every way - even if some Conservative movements are fine with seperate seating for men and women - or risk being called "filthy". Besides, I thought the Western Wall was a public location, not a privately owned synagogue.

And what if a Reform rep who wise enough to avoid anti-Israel activity comes along and wants to pray according to his/her customs? I suggest WoW's detractors take that into account, no matter what they think of Reform Judaism.

Update: Peskin says she doesn't favor the Islamofascists dominating the Temple Mount. Well if I mistook anything, I'll apologize. But even so, I'll repeat that I find the failure of many detractors of the WotW to criticize the police for overreacting to the prayer customs in themselves horrific, because if they have the same problem if and when the police act that way to Jews who want to pray on the Temple Mount, then they shouldn't look the other way when the police do it with WotW. And that's no joke.

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Gee, thanks for spamming; that's all everybody needs.

Don't put words in my mouth. As a former Betar member and official madricha (I assume from your name Tel Chai nation, you're connected with Jabotinsky's Betar...) I am as right wing as they come and absolutely don't support arabs being in charge of the temple mount. I'm just pointing out the glaring hypocrisy of the Women of the Wall, that they'd respect the Arabs at their "holy sites" but not respect jewish customs at our holiest sites. They've even said that they don't support jew's right to pray on the temple mount, when I've said that thats a fight they should be fighting for first if they really are interested in praying to God at the most holy places and are concerned about unequal prayer rights in Israel.

Hello, Mrs. Peskin. First, if I misunderstood anything you were saying, then my apologies. I want to make clear again that while I'm no fan of Hoffman's, it's based more on her political positions than her prayer habits. And regarding the Temple Mount, I consider it risky to be lenient on the Wakf for how they turned the top into an Orwellian district.

If Hoffman also said she doesn't support the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, then I agree with you that it is galling of her and does reveal her own double-standard for someone who used to run amok with the Women in Black. That said, there's various other groups out there with positions far less negative than hers who may want to pray at the Western Wall and certainly shouldn't have to worry about being arrested over a molehill. My grandmother, as a follower of Conservative Judaism, for example, was no anti-Israelist like Hoffman may still be, and I would not take kindly to any Orthodox Jew being hostile to my grandmother if she wanted to pray according to a custom they consider inappropriate.

What irritated me when I thought about the whole issue was the police arresting any of the WotW for wearing tallits, which may look bizarre but is hardly the worst offense anyone could commit. And I realized that if it's allowed to continue, it would look very bad for Orthodox Judaism and even reveal a double-standard: people who respect the Temple Mount would surely be disturbed if police arrested them for praying there, yet they see nothing wrong whatsoever with arresting women for praying by a different custom at the Western Wall plaza? No matter what we think of the WotW's political stance, standing by silently while the police arrest them over a molehill that involves no violence whatsoever gives a bad image to Orthodox Judaism and could prompt the WotW to continue down their left-leaning path.

So I can't and won't approve of what the police were doing until now, because if we know where to look, there are other folks out there with far better stands on Israel than WotW have who could be victimized by such behavior, and that would not help Israel's image at all. It pays to maintain a careful perspective.

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Avi, I'm not pro arrests for prayer, but I do support people respecting the rules at the Kotel and keeping it a place respectful of tradition, and if people want to pray in a non traditional fashion, there is robinson's arch, etc... I wish people would voluntarily pray there if they insist on talit and tefillin, so no one would have to be forced to not do anything, and at the same time, no one would feel uncomfortable at the kotel because it's become a place where non traditional prayer practices are welcome.

Fair enough. I don't think Haredis are inherently bad, nor do I think Reform Judaism is very good either, but to see the police arresting women for prayer service customs struck me as ludicrous in the extreme and not all that far removed from communism. If the WoW are really a problem, all the guards had to do is show them the door; there's no need to go to such lengths to draw up a guideline.

The best thing to do for now is just write op-eds about the downsides of Reform Judaism and let everybody know why it's a lousy sect and belief system, which could certainly help.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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