Don’t Bar Women from Praying at Israel’s Western Wall

800px-Western_Wall_2010

Target: Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu

Goal: To show support for the initiative allowing women to have prayer shawls at the Western Wall.

The Jewish state of Israel has been surrounded by controversy for years, but many of its internal affairs have often been overshadowed in the news by its international relations.  Still heavily governed by religious laws instead of secular laws, Israel and its discrimination against women has been a key issue in state.  The most recent policy that has come into review has been a policy regarding women’s prayer at the Western Wall, a sacred place of prayer in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently reviewing the restriction on allowing women to bring prayer shawls to the Western Wall to pray. Women have been arrested for doing so in the past, and have been met with taunts and aggression by opponents of the movement towards equality.

There has been a clear illustration of imbalanced gender rights in the state, where women are not even allowed to hold a Torah because of Israel’s predominantly Orthodox tradition. Orthodox laws have affected a large portion of Israel’s government, despite being only one sect of Judaism and only about 10 percent of Israel’s population. These laws are extremely conservative, many of them considered heavily sexist by modern day standards. As recently as 2003, the ban on a woman’s right to read from the Torah or wear religious garments was upheld by Israel’s Supreme Court, with the reasoning that in doing so the public’s safety and order would be threatened. The matter of women’s use of prayer shawls at the Western Wall is only one of the many policies that should be reviewed, however it is a good start for breaking down the barriers between the sexes.

By signing this petition you are supporting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his initiative to review the ban on a woman’s right to wear religious garments at the Western Wall, and are encouraging further progress towards gender equality in Israel.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,

I am writing in order to show my support of your initiative to review the restrictions on women’s prayer at the Western Wall. I believe that in modern times, having such gender inequality is unacceptable. Israel has allowed such a small percentage of the population to dictate these conservative policies for too long, and now is the time for change.  In reviewing the policies on women’s prayer at the Western Wall, you are working towards progress in Israel, and breaking down the long-standing gender barriers.  While I believe there is still a lot of progress to be made, I believe you are making a strong first step towards change.

I want to thank you for your support of women’s rights, and I want to encourage you in your efforts.  Women should not be arrested for wanting to enhance their prayer experience, and certainly should not be admonished for something that men have been able to do freely for centuries. There is no place for antiquated laws in modern society. Especially with all of the controversy surrounding Israel, you should be unified, which requires meeting the needs of your citizens, and therefore women who desire equality. I believe in what you are doing, and fully support the movement towards equality for women Israel.  Thank you for showing your support as well.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Wknight94 via WikiCommons.

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173 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
  • Hermann Kastner
  • sheila childs
  • Muhammad Kamal
  • Mal Gaff
  • Marianne Oelman
  • jeff hopkins
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Holly Hall
  • Jutta Taraniuk
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