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Women of the Wall Leadership Linked to Anti-Israel Groups

Women of the Wall Vice Chair Batya Kallus serves as an adviser to Sikkuy, a signatory to the Haifa Declaration calling for the abolishing of the State of Israel.

Women of the Wall Vice Chair Batya Kallus (pictured) and WOW Chair Anat Hoffman, advise and support a hefty list of anti-Israeli NGOs.

Women of the Wall Vice Chair Batya Kallus (pictured) and WOW Chair Anat Hoffman, advise and support a hefty list of anti-Israeli NGOs.

While Women of the Wall has built up a name for themselves as a feminist organization promoting women’s rights in Israel, their leadership in fact have links to anti-Israel groups that not many people know about.

In Israel, Women of the Wall is often presented as a feminist organization seeking to conduct egalitarian prayer services with women wearing tallits at the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the holiest site within the Jewish faith. Regardless of whether one views their actions as provocative publicity stunts that disturb the peace at the Western Wall or as noble deeds designed to promote women’s rights within the Jewish religion, the Israeli public is generally not aware that the Women of the Wall leadership possesses links to anti-Israel groups.

The Jewish Press has learned that Women of the Wall Vice Chair Batya Kallus serves as an adviser to Sikkuy. This NGO is a signatory to the Haifa Declaration, which calls for the abolishing of the State of Israel, praises violent resistance, and accuses Israel of manipulating the memory of the Holocaust for political purposes.

Furthermore, Kallus has facilitated funding for anti-Israel groups Adalah, Ir Amin, Yesh Din, and Mossawa, as part of her position as programs officer for the Moria Fund. Though outwardly presented as human rights groups, these organizations contribute towards the delegitimization of Israel in the world.

Adalah is opposed to Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, views Israel to be a colonial state, and has participated in anti-Israel activism via Israel Apartheid Weeks and the Goldstone Report, which until its arguments were retracted by its main author caused Israel significant diplomatic damage. Adalah is mentioned by name 38 times in the Goldstone Report.

Ir Amim supports the division of Jerusalem, has asserted that Israel’s archaeological digs within the city are a “tool in the fight for control” over the city, that Israeli governmental powers are being handed over to “settler organizations,” and that the Security Barrier is not motivated primarily by security concerns. They run highly politicized anti-Israel tours of the holy city, which indoctrinate internationals into holding anti-Israel views. In the Huffington Post, Ir Amim appealed to the US Government to “threaten Israel with severing diplomatic ties. Threaten us with cutting back on, or even cutting off, the annual support package. Bludgeon us over the head and force us to wise up.”

Yesh Din views Israel to be an apartheid state and demonstrated support for Turkey after the Gaza Flotilla incident, even though the Turkish sailors on board the Mavi Marmara ship chanted jihadi slogans and attacked IDF soldiers. They routinely indoctrinate foreign diplomats to hold anti-Israel views, petition the Israeli Supreme Court to rule more in favor of the Palestinian side, and encourage Palestinians to demand more from Israel.

Mossawa is based on the premise that “the State of Israel was established on the ruins of the Palestinian people, for whom the event was a national tragedy – the Nakba.” Mossawa, like Adalah, explicitly has stated that they refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. They publish an annual racism report that makes outrageous claims, such as labeling an indictment against Hadash Chairman MK Muhammad Barakeh for assaulting a police officer as a violation of the Arab MK’s political freedom. This listing just represents a sample of the types of organizations that Kallus facilitated funding for.

Woman of the Wall Chair Anat Hoffman also happens to be the chair of the Domari Society of Gypsies in Jerusalem. Her association partners include Yonathan Mizrahi and Dafna Strauss from the Emek Shaveh organization, which calls for an international committee to investigate Israeli archaeological work in Jerusalem and runs archaeology-based anti-Israel tours of the city.

The Domari Society of Gypsies is also part of Al Aqsa Grassroots, an anti-Israel network that supports “resistance to the occupation” and is against the “Judaization of Jerusalem,” in addition to supporting the Palestinian right of return to Israel proper.

Additionally, prior to the 1993 Oslo Accords, Hoffman was the chairwoman of Women in Black, a group that advocates giving all of Judea and Samaria, as well as East Jerusalem which includes the area of the Kotel, to the Palestinian Authority. Interestingly, the Women of the Wall organization do not deny these accusations in regards to their leadership. Women of the Wall spokeswoman Shira Pruce stated, “Our participants and supporters come from all walks of life, political opinions, and Jewish denominations.”

About the Author: Rachel Avraham is a news editor and political analyst for Jerusalem Online News, the English language internet edition of Israel's Channel 2 News. She completed her masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Ben-Gurion University. The subject of her MA thesis was: "Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab media."

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100 Responses to “Women of the Wall Leadership Linked to Anti-Israel Groups”

  1. Dan Silagi says:

    What's an "anti-Israel group"? One which doesn't believe in your particular ultra-right viewpoint?

    I guess, from your standpoint, those who believe that women have the same religious rights as men are "anti-Israel." In that case, tergament, count me among those self-hating "Jews" who are "anti-Israel."

    There's nothing like a little McCarthyistic malarkey on a slow news day, isn't there, Rachel?

  2. Dejan Popov says:

    I'll tell you "What's an "anti-Israel group?". Those who have no children and family, have no university degree, or have graduated social-quasi-no-use-science, have no profession, come from bad father and even worse mother, have no qualification for what they do, and are zeros in every respect, but for dirty money of Sorosh and likes engage in provocations with only motivation to make as big damage as possible, and are among other participating in demonstrations together with Palestinians against Israel, and at the same time pretend to be religious, as if Jewish religion is "Long Live Palestine, Death to Israel", these are anti-Israel groups.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anti-Semitism is the oldest ideology in history. When you support those virulent forces who desire the annihilation of Israel that makes you an anti-Semite. The anti-Israel campaign is the latest form of anti-Semitism. You can in good faith disagree with a piece of legislation or a policy, but when you support those blood-thirsty monsters waging a genocidal war against Israel, you are an anti-Semite.

  4. Wow, I have known Betsy Kallus for over three years and she never discussed here work with me. What an eye opener. Betsy is an even more wonderful person than I thought. I wish I worked in my day job for Sikkuy. Wonder if they need a computer programmer..Pasting here a little bit about this wonderful institution.
    Sikkuy (a "chance" or "opportunity" in Hebrew) is a non-partisan NGO in Israel that develops and implements projects to advance equality between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel in government budgets, resource allocation, hiring policy, land usage, access to government services, etc.
    Founded in 1991 as a shared Jewish-Arab advocacy organization, Sikkuy's actions are motivated by the right of every citizen to influence government decisions and policies and dedicated to advancing civil society in Israel through the values of:
    EQUALITY – Advancing complete equality between Arab and Jewish citizens.
    SHARED CITIZENSHIP – Promoting the core value of shared citizenship as the basis for equality.
    HUMAN DIGNITY – Mainstreaming human dignity as the supreme value in relations between the state and its citizens.

  5. First I am familiar with Rachel Avramham's contribution to good journalism, this article not only surprised me but enlightened me.! I now understand why many ultra orthodox men and others may object to women like this praying at the Wall. How many women who feel they are just performing their need, to pray at the wall are familiar with this anti-Israel rather overweight and loud mouthed woman's hidden agenda? Export her to an Islamic state along with her cohorts and let the stupid creature learn what it is to have no freedom. This is detestable behavior on behalf of a small group of Jewish women. Her ideas are based on absolute crap. Personally I would forbid her to pray at the wall along with less radical women, she is clearly doing no good. Finally I'm old enough to have witnessed the first load of loud mouthed women like Hoffman, Spruce & Co, rensentful miserable individuals who felt women were exploited, then came Shere Hite who was not only beautiful but had an objective brain, we are the same generation and she is still writing.

  6. Your remarks are uncalled for, Rachel Avraham is a good journalist and if you observe the facial expression and body language of the woman in the photograph you will note she is similar to many of the radical women screaming and burning their bra's during the '70's maybe you are unfamiliar with this period of time, before your time maybe?

  7. Sarah Williams says:

    Hahaha—so it's McCarthyist if it doesn't agree with your particular ultra-left viewpoint? Hypocrite.

  8. Dejan Popov says:

    Rachel, I am surprised that in a lengthy post you didn't deny the main claim in the text, that "Sikkuy [that you praise so much] is a signatory to the Haifa Declaration, which calls for the abolishing of the State of Israel, praises violent resistance…" Why is that? The claim is right? You agree with it?

  9. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Finally exposed for who they are!

  10. Chaiya Eitan says:

    I second Dejan Popov's question: Do you support the 'Haifa Declaration?' Do you support violent resistance?

  11. you have not addressed the main point of this article- that WOW is linked with groups that have signed the Haifa delcaration calling for an end to Israel. It is time for WOW to come out of the closet and proudly declare its allegiance to BDS. I personally would not be surprised if WOW was linked to the anti-feminist and homophobic Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem and Sheikh raed Salah

  12. okay, you have been counted as an anti-Israel Jew. I assume you will put your money where your mouth is and join the next flotilla,

  13. Rob Davis says:

    I am glad that these aspects of the WoW leadership are coming out. It means that even those who try hardest to 'see the other point of view' can appreciate exactly where loyalties and allegiances lie. In case we were in any doubt, these activities bring out the extent of the danger that these people present – to Judaism, to Israel, and to Jews. What an irony that they so closely follow Psalm 81 – Starting with 'Blow the shofar at the moon's renewal . . ' sounds like the WoW, doesnt it? But look where it leads . . 'So I let them follow their heart's desires, they follow their own fantasies. If only My people would hed me, if Israel would walk in My ways!'!

  14. Rob Davis says:

    If any of the WoW believe what they say, about sincerely wishing to pray, and so on, they should stop worrying so much about looking pretty in brightly-colored Talitot and donning Tefilin religiously once a month (!), and stop supporting these self-hating Jews!

  15. Dan Silagi says:

    Yes, she'd be perfect on FoxNews as a shill for Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann. So would you.

  16. Dan Silagi says:

    Your comment, Vivienne, is utterly beneath contempt. I personally have no great love of Muslims, but those who are Israeli citizens are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. Does that make someone who advocates that position "anti-Israel"?

  17. Dejan Popov, the main claim of this text is that Sikkuy is a signatory to the Haifa Declaration (which thanks to you, I now know what it is)? Really? Well that's good, because I thought the main claim of this article was that Women of the Wall is an anti Israel organisation. Personally I don't agree with that declaration. I read it and it is one sided from an Arab point of view , and I'm on the Jewish side, so it doesn't agree with my viewpoint. I don’t see that Sikkuy is a signatory. But I did see many Hebrew University professors who contributed to the writing of that declaration. Does that mean that Hebrew University is anti-Israel?

  18. Chaia Beckerman says:

    Just scanned the Haifa Declaration and found it a very admirable document overall, though I take exception to some of it. This was the only reference I found to violent resistance and I am at a loss to understand how it can be taken as "praise" of it. "We reject sectarian zeal and all forms of prejudice, which at times reach the extreme of physical violence and which obstruct the opportunities of wider social solidarity and the construction of a national identity."

  19. Chaia Beckerman says:

    I am also at a loss to understand the characterizations of Sikkuy and other organizations that I know to be staffed by those whose critique of Israel stems from love of Israel. Starting with Women of the Wall, which here has once again been described as seeking egalitarian prayer. It does not. I could not be more proud of the way WOW has overcome political and denominational divides in coming together around the cause of halachic group prayer in the women's section of the Kotel.

  20. Dejan Popov says:

    Chaia Beckerman , is it perhaps the case that 90% of the "Women of the Wall" have not given birth? You seem to be well informed. I don't expect you to give me that information, though, but if I am right, wouldn't that be strange?

  21. Dejan Popov says:

    Chaia Beckerman , also, I see you are from Minnesota. I saw on Israeli TV that many, many from the so called "Women of the Wall" are English native speakers. Do they all come from the States each time just to make that provocation and then go back? Certainly its a strange thing if that is not authentic movement, but is directed and financed from abroad. Wall does, of course, belong to all the Jews, but still. I am waiting for more transparency in the structure of the WoW. This article has started the process and it is very good thing.

  22. Dejan Popov says:

    Rachel Cohen Yeshurun , one of the main arguments of the main claim of the article that Women of the Wall is an anti Israel organisation with sinister provocateur agenda, and the FIRST one to appear already in the third paragraph, was that Sikkuy is a signatory of the Haifa Declaration. Why try to switch the thesis? You yourself just acknowledged that you "don't agree with that declaration. I read it and it is one sided from an Arab point of view… " Yet, you skipped this first and important argument and went on to explain how Sikkuy is wonderful. That seems contradictory to me.

  23. Ron Kall says:

    Dan Silagi muslims who live in Israel as citizens are exactly a third column threat to Israel. They do nothing but work from within to destroy Israel in every way! Vivienne is right on. If the muslims where in control in Israel, the Jews would all be killed at the worst and would certainly not have any rights in the least! Stop your fantasy that muslim Israelis are anything less that the enemy within! For real!!

  24. Dan Silagi You are great at ad hominem attacks . the ones who are McCarthyist are you..We defend israel, not for anything it's done but against your screed, and your ilk are insulted that anyone would have the real facts. You deal with emotion and "values" and we deal in facts. You are an anti-semite, and we will follow you all over whenever you spill your hate.

  25. Ron Kall says:

    An anti Israel group is a group that actively works toward the destruction of the Jewish nation of Israel! Not like Dan Silagi didn't know that before his post!!

  26. who needs external enermies???

  27. thanks for posting this. Good information

  28. BOTTOM LINE: radical, leftist femi-nazis are of piece with their Islamist counterparts and this is a fact. They march arm in arm.

    The fact of the matter is that those who agitate to remove all vestiges of tradition at Israel's holy sites would NEVER, in many lifetimes, demand the same from their Islamic counterparts. Heaven forfend.

    I have stated it ad nauseum, the feminstas want to destroy Israel as the Jewish state. Period. It has NOTHING to do with equality. In a pig's eye.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://www.adinakutnicki.com/about/

  29. it doesn't surprise me.

  30. Ilana Shaltiel says:

    The big question is, why is the government, right government, does'nt work against NIF , and allows her freedom ..
    We know about these organizations, but no one asks why the right government allows all this?

  31. Shahar Avraham says:

    i belive tha it is for the same reson why the goverment does not alow to jews to pray in the tample mount…

  32. Shahar Avraham says:

    to make jews to be sapirated from the past history and jewdaism

  33. Gabor Karmo says:

    This is tremendous! I don't know, why these NGOs are tolerated and not yet banned by the State

  34. Eva Feld says:

    Ilana, may I ask if you, or your husband is related to Rabbi Shealtiel of 8th Century Rabbinic scholarship fame? I quote: "Rabbi Shealtiel, whose family tree is alive and well throughout Western Europe, Israel and the United States, Please reply to: veezee07@hotmail.com b'todot.

  35. Why is it that the Right wing 'nationalist' govt has done more damage to Jews and Jewish state than any Left-wing party? All the land given away was given away by Right wing Prime Ministers starting with Menachem Begin..

  36. Dan Silagi No, that's not true. Not everyone deserves the same rights or is entitled to them. Antagonists, provocateurs and those who slither around saying "I'm a Jew and I have rights" who then turns around and has their hand filled with money by enemies of the state, deserve nothing…They should be shunned.

  37. Earl W. Littlefield Jr says:

    Abide the witch to have her way and you will live in chaos…..Women of the Wall are not of the Jewish Faith. Their insistence in disturbing the most religious services in Israel is not a practice of faith but a mockery of others practicing their faith. Allowing rioters, both Jewish & Arab to stone & firebomb citizens and allowing witches to interrupt worship services indicate that Israel is not ruled by law, but by chaos…..

  38. Dan Silagi says:

    Doveleh: Bring it.

  39. Dan Silagi says:

    You're gonna follow me all over? That sounds like you want a piece of me. My advice to you: Stay the hell in Efrat.

  40. Excellent reporting. It appeared to me that the leadership had ulterior motives and your research has clearly shown this to be true. Unfortunately women, not aware of the true purpose of WOW are being used for nefarious purposes. Hopefully with awareness will come a change of heart and they willl leave this anti-Zionist group.

  41. God forgive them as they do not know what they are doing.

  42. Sorry, I thought it was obvious to all that Sikkuy is *not a signatory * to the Haifa Declaration. But why are we even talking about this document? It seems to have been written by over 100 people, some of them from Hebrew University. I studied at Hebrew University. Am I guilty of something by association? The point is that I support and lead an organization, Women of the Wall that brings thousands of women to the Kotel for Jewish prayer thereby strengthening our connection to Jerusalem in a nonviolent and constructive way. Women of the Wall is seen worldwide by Jews and non Jews alike as a positive force for religious renewal and political change in Israel. Israelis who long ago gave up on the Kotel have seen us on their television sets and YouTube videos. No more 'out of sight, out of mind'. Women of the Wall have returned the Kotel to the national concensus, both spiritually and physically.

  43. True story: WOW chairwoman Anat Hoffman is of course an ultra-radical Berkeley-made flaming anti-Israel agitpropagandist and, naturally, all her little 5th column tiny group too. She once bemoaned, totally bemoaned that Israel "destroyed" the then parts of the Old city of Jerusalem built up immediately in front of the Western Wall by the illegal Jordanian regime Arabs for Arabs to live in ramshackle miserable houses, which were removed of course after the 6 day war to make way for the Kotel praying area. It's sooooo utterly transparent where this basically antisemitic/anti-zionist woman and her wretched guop is/are coming from. It's only natural that she (they) of course couldn't care elss about any, I repeat *ANY* udaism and praying, it's ALL for show in the service of a radical blatantly anti-Israel, and obvious antisemitic cause. How do you like these facts now, folks?

  44. Rachel Cohen Yeshurun You are of course a clumsily hidden, but still transparent fraud, cheater and radical let's say quasi-N*zi Mr. (you are a clever girl – Hmmmm… – certainly capable of decoding wmy drift here). WOW chairwoman Anat Hoffman is of course an ultra-radical Berkeley-made flaming anti-Israel agitpropagandist and, naturally, all her little 5th column tiny group too. She once bemoaned, totally bemoaned that Israel "destroyed" the then parts of the Old City of Jerusalem built up immediately in front of the Western Wall by the illegal Jordanian regime Arabs for Arabs to live in ramshackle miserable houses, which were removed of course after the 6 day war to make way for the Kotel praying area. It's sooooo utterly transparent where this basically antisemitic/anti-Zionist woman and her wretched gruop is/are coming from. It's only natural that she (they) of course couldn't care less about any, I repeat *ANY* Judaism and praying, it's ALL for show in the service of a radical blatantly anti-Israel, and obvious antisemitic cause. How do you like these facts now, folks?

  45. Dan Silagi says:

    There goes Dejan the Transylvanian, popping off his mouth with those big long incisors. BTW, giving birth isn't always the great mitvah it's cracked up to being. Look in the mirror to learn why.

  46. When I saw the headline on the email I thought this was about World of Warcraft!

  47. Ari Dann says:

    They know exactly what they're doing – that's the problem.

  48. Russell Grayson says:

    Anti-Semitism is the oldest MENTAL ILLNESS in the world. Ever notice how unbalanced most of these Jew-haters are? Especially the Jew-haters who say "I'm Jewish"? Does that give them a pass? No way–modern Kapos is what they are.

  49. Annice Benamy says:

    This article is very disturbing in that the journalist is using her prejudice against Arabs to spread lies about Women of the Wall. The Israel NGOs that these women are involved with support a 2 State solution where Jews and Arabs live side by side. They are not looking to "abolish" Israel. Another bias piece by a bias journalist. Get the facts straight. Women of the Wall are very Jewish, from all denominations, walks of life, and around the world. I am a proud supporter and member of WoW. The issue is gender equality in the 21st century. Let the ultra orthodox do what they do and let those who believe in egalitarianism do what they do. We can all live together peacefully side by side.

  50. Ilana Dahan says:

    In the name of provocations!! God will not accept their prayers!!!! never!!!

  51. Ilana Dahan says:

    Women of the Wall – SHAME ON YOU!!! The holy wall belongs only for a pure Jews…..you are "EREV RAV"

  52. Ilana Dahan says:

    you ate right!

  53. let’s stick to the facts regarding the 2 states lie::
    1- Arab and Jews live together in Israel right now –in peace where none of Jewish communities left in the Arab countries.
    2- The Arab communities that live in Israel don't want to live under Palestinian government.
    3- By the Islam law- Jew can’t hold the holy land. it belongs to the Muslims.
    4- The only time Palestinian people vote their minds they preferred Hamas.
    5- The Hamas and PLO declarations support strategy of peace willingness to gain military victories. I'm sure you read them and know exactly what Arab want's.

  54. Well, this is New Israel Fund strategy.
    Their new Israel- in vision, will purified from any Jewish cultural, heritage, values and signs -that’s why it’s New!

    Protesting for the right to pray by the wall is just a cover-up. These so–called religious feminist (ha!) will NEVER protest to prey on the Temple Mount or against the known Muslim religious tolerance.

    NIF folks, by God -you sucks!

  55. Jessica Souza says:

    Rachel Cohen Yeshurun Really dishonest comparison. How can you compare the stance of individuals in a public university to the stance of a few individuals in a small radical group where all its members hold the same ideological stances? And yes, those professors are anti-Israel. Nothing new under the Sun, just look at Ilan Pappe…

  56. Let's face it, the WOW is not looking for anything other than to make a political statement against traditional Judaism — using misguided and foreign notions of feminism. I (and most "orthodox" rabbis) would support the group if they were motivated by a religious sentiment and a real desire to pray like all the others. But everyone knows that's not the case…

    Most Israelis — non-religious Jews included — support the Orthodox views regarding religion and are offended and against the "religious Marxism" of the Reform/Conservative movements that those women represent. No matter how much the media pimps their cause, it won't work here. Israel and America are very different places, here Jews actually know what Judaism is…

  57. You show what you really are just by using pedantic and hollow expressions such as "gender equality". There's no such thing in Judaism. The genders are different and, because of that, they are treated differently. We Israeli Jews know that Judaism is not the Democratic National Convention. Keep your platitudes, war cries and political slogans out of our religion.

  58. Interesting… apparently not all self-hating Jews are men. Who knew?

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