Originally posted on Jerusalem Online.
Analysis Interview with Women for the Wall Co-Founder Ronit Peskin: “Making conclusions about who is responsible for the graffiti is premature”
Dec 06, 2013, 07:00AM | Rachel Avraham
Haaretz reported yesterday that graffiti was sprayed on the home of Peggy Cidor, a board member for the Women of the Wall organization. The graffiti read, “Peggy, watch out” and “Women of the Wall are villains.” Before a police investigation has determined who the culprits are, Shira Pruce, spokeswoman for Women of the Wall, told Haaretz that the journalists and bloggers who recently exposed the connections between their leadership and anti-Israel organizations are responsible for the graffiti.
“The connection is clear – incitement and false claims attacking Women of the Wall and their board members in the media directly cause a real, physical threat and danger to the lives of the women,” Shira Pruce stated. “We hold those who have been disseminating lies about Women of the Wall and our leaders responsible for this rise in tensions.” However, on their facebook page, Women of the Wall made other accusations: “The bad press is initiated and disseminated by Women for the Wall and their colleagues. It is time for them and for the others to take responsibility for their words and actions, which incited at least one crazy person to attack a woman at her home.”
In light of the renewed tensions, Mark McQuillen offered to mediate between Women of the Wall and Women for the Wall. Women for the Wall co-founder Ronit Peskin responded that she was happy to attend a mediated session, while Shira Pruce stated: “No I am not happy and I am not to going to do this. Ronit and her colleagues have spent the last month attacking Women of the Wall’s leaders in the media- now claiming that we are anti-Israel and anti-Orthodox. Finally this morning, we see the “fruits” of Women for the Wall and Jonathan Rosenblum’s efforts- one person was crazy and committed enough to that messaging to attack one of my leaders at her home. It is time for Ronit to take responsibility for her actions and words before someone gets hurt.”
Women of the Wall incites violence via false accusations
Following these events, in an interview with Jerusalem Online News last night, Ronit Peskin stated: “The fact that the same organization, Women for the Wall, that put itself in physical harms way to stop violence against Women of the Wall members is accused of instigating violence is a miscarriage of justice. We are an organization committed to traditional Jewish prayers and values at the Kotel. Traditional Jewish values imply loving and respecting every one, even those with whom we disagree. On the other hand, Women of the Wall has incited violence and egged on non-peaceful protesters, at the very same time Women for the Wall are trying to calm down those protesters. We have this on video.”
Peskin claims that her efforts to pacify protesters at the Kotel have brought about good results: “We’ve been so successful in calming down protesters that this past Rosh Hodesh was the most peaceful one yet, according to all news reports. We view this as a testament to our success in propagating the message of peaceful coexistence at the Kotel between all Jewish denominations, as well as peaceful relations within the community in general.”
Meanwhile, Peskin noted the absurdity in the fact that Women of the Wall has accused her organization, as well as right wing bloggers and journalists of inciting hatred and violence while Women of the Wall is “inciting violence via false accusations against Orthodox Jews, as well as right wing bloggers and journalists.” She stressed: “Making conclusions about who is responsible for the graffiti is premature before the police investigation discovers who placed graffiti at the home. A few months ago, the Chief Rabbi and the Rav of the Kotel, as well as a few other people, got death threats signed by Women of the Wall. When this happened, Women of the Wall claimed that they were being framed. It is ironic that now the tables are turned and they are accusing others, when in reality the graffiti was signed anonymously and could have been any one.”