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Pro-Palestinian Groups Funding Kosel Agitators

Sara Pardes

International Network of Anti-Israel NGOs Backs Women of the Wall

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

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SHADY BUSINESS “It’s important to understand that Reform efforts to alter the status quo in affairs of religion and state are deeply interwoven with their struggle to obstruct the IDF’s fight against terror and delegitimize Israel through cooperation with the BDS movement and anti-Israel Palestinian groups,” notes The Liba Center (Photos: AFP/Imagebank)

I

f you think that confrontations at the Kosel are all about women’s rights and freedom of religion, think again.

The Knesset Internal Affairs Committee convened a hearing last week to review an internal report detailing the international network of anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian NGOs who back groups such as Rabbis for Human Rights and Women of the Wall — the leading agitators for egalitarian prayer at the Kosel.

The report, prepared for the committee by theLibaCenter, an NGO dedicated to strengtheningIsrael’s Jewish character, notes that Rabbis for Human Rights works hand in glove with Ta’ayush, a grassroots Jewish-Arab group. Investigative reporters atIsrael’s Channel 2 recently exposed Ta’ayush for planting informers in Judea andSamariawho tip off the Palestinian Authority on attempts by Arabs to sell their land to Jews. That’s a crime in the Palestinian Authority often punishable by torture. Ta’ayush and Rabbis for Human Rights also work to persuade Palestinians to seize and hold land in Judea andSamariato keep it out of Jewish hands. Rabbis for Human Rights also supports Bedouin living on illegal settlements in the Negev in areas the government is battling to clear as it is zoned for Jewish development. Rabbis for Human Rights, based inJerusalem, enjoys tax-exempt status in theUS,UK, andCanada.

In mid-June, NGO Monitor — a Jerusalem watchdog over foreign funding — released an updated report showing how Rabbis for Human Rights received NIS 2,892,666 from foreign governmental bodies between the years 2012-2016, whose common goal is to weaken Israel’s grip on its land and holy places. The Reform movement has been petitioning Israeli courts to receive formal government recognition of its 54 congregations scattered aroundIsrael.

The Liba Center, which is backed both by the chief rabbinate and former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar notes: “It’s important to understand that Reform efforts to alter the status quo in affairs of religion and state are deeply interwoven with their struggle to obstruct the IDF’s fight against terror and delegitimize Israel through cooperation with the BDS movement and anti-Israel Palestinian groups.”

David Amsalem: "The Kosel arrangement is an explosive subject, and if the price we pay means some Americans will be insulted, we can live with that "

These groups stand behind the latest provocation at the Kosel, where prayer was most recently disrupted on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan in a blatant attempt to force the government to implement a 10-month old cabinet decision setting aside space near the Kosel for egalitarian prayer. The Netanyahu government has been reluctant to act, mostly because any move in that direction could spell the end of the coalition, should chareidi parties bolt in protest. The government is scrambling to arrive at a compromise to avoid a Supreme Court ruling that would force its hand. At the end of the hearing, committee chairman David Amsalem (Likud) requested that the Netanyahu government ditch the compromise and adhere to the status quo. “The Kosel arrangement is an explosive subject, and if the price we pay means some Americans will be insulted, we can live with that.”

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