On Sunday, Rosh Hodesh Tammuz, for the first time since 1967, Jews were barred from the Western Wall. Their crime? Being noticeably religious Jews. The Old City of Jerusalem was under siege. Places of prayer were inaccessible. Children were unable to get to school. Regular bus services were curtailed, and store owners denied the ability to conduct business.
Bus services did not bring their regular passengers. Roads were closed to car traffic and even pedestrians. Children attending school in the Old City were not allowed to enter. Thousands of worshippers who come to pray at the Western Wall on a regular basis, many daily, were banned from the holy site.
Even the bathrooms were closed.
Why? For the sake of “keeping peace” and allowing a small group of mostly Americans to pray unhindered, in a spot that most of them do not even consider holy, do not consider to be anything more than just “a wall” and not deserving of respect.
Only a group unconcerned with the rights of any group but their own could call this a victory for religious freedom.
Read the full Op-Ed by Ronit Peskin at Israel HaYom.