Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, June 15, 2023.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has cancelled a public prayer that he planned to hold Thursday evening at Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv.

“In light of the announcement by the leaders of the extreme left protest, according to which they will no longer repeat the antisemitic activity they carried out on Yom Kippur – in which praying Jews were expelled from the public space and their protest moved from the place where they intended to pray – I have decided to cancel the prayer tomorrow,” Ben Gvir wrote in a statement posted to his account on X (formerly Twitter).


“I am glad the extreme left understood that there is no more place for antisemitism against Jews in the heart of Tel Aviv. We have one Jewish state – where Jews will always be able to pray in the public space, whenever they want, and wherever they want, and if necessary in the future, I will make it clear.”

Anti-government anarchists said they will instead hold the protest at Habima Square, calling it a “prayer for the peace and democracy of the state.”

The leftists’ decision was made after area residents expressed strong objections to the face-off, and after members of their own anti-government ranks began to reconsider their stance following the anarchist hate on Yom Kippur.

Anarchists Who Crashed Yom Kippur Prayers Drove Secular Israelis Back to their Yiddishkeit

During the holiday, hundreds of anti-government (and anti-Orthodox) “protesters” disrupted the annual prayer service held at Dizengoff Square, which in accordance with Jewish law includes the placement of a mechitza, or separation, between men and women.

The anarchists objected to the mechitzah, a divider that separates between men and women during prayers in accordance with Jewish law, and instead attempted to force those who wanted to pray to abandon their traditions.

The public prayer scheduled for Thursday evening was intended to assert the rights of Jews to pray peacefully – with a mechitza – in a public space.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.