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May 17, 2013

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 17, 2013 By Ben Sales JERUSALEM (JTA)--Hare- di Orthodox youths mobbed the Western Wall plaza by the thousands to protest Women of the Wall as they held their monthly prayer service. The youths, many of them students from haredi Ortho- dox yeshivas, filled the West- ern Wall Plaza by 6:40 a.m. on Friday, May 10, about 20 minutes before Women of the Wall, a women's prayer group that holds monthly services at the site, also called the Kotel, began praying. Because haredi Orthodox women had packed the women's section of the plaza earlier in the morning, Women of the Wall were forced to pray in the back section of the plaza, farther away from the Kotel itself. The Women of the Wall service to mark Rosh Ch- odesh, the beginning of a new Hebrew month, was the first since a ruling last month by a Jerusalem District Court judge that the group's services do not violate the law and merit police protection rather than arrests. Police were on hand last Friday morning to protect the Young Israeli Orthodox women turn out by the hundreds to protest Women of the Wall's monthly prayer service May 10 at the Western Wall. women, a reversal of scenes protest Women of the Wall. from months past, when When the service began womenwearingprayershawls last Friday, it was met by an to the monthly service would ongoing din of screaming, be arrested for breaking a law and shrieks erupted when a that outlawed any deviation womanwearingaprayershawl from "local custom" at the triedtopushthroughthemob wall. Police arrested three to reach the service. Police, harediprotesters, andapolice alternately holding hands or spokesman at the time said linking arms, held back the more arrests may be in the crowdwhile two officers, with offing as police review video, difficulty, escortedthewoman One day before the service, through. Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteyn- "It's sad that they're using man, a haredi leader, called the Kotel to advance their on thousands of students to interests," said an Orthodox graphic designer from Jeru- salem, 29, who declined to give her name. "They want to change all of Israel. It's an insult to this place." Women of the Wall's service has rarely, if ever, seen this many people come to protest. Many of the haredim said that they were there to pray, as many Jews do daily at the wall. "I came to pray and to pro- test gentiles who masquerade as Jews," said Pini, 17, from Jerusalem, who would not give his last name. "I've taken hits here and I'll take more hits. They're making the Torah crooked. They want us to be like them." Natan Sharansky, the chair- man of the Jewish Agency who has been endeavoring to broker a modus vivendi at the wall by expanding the prayer area, said the events of last Friday morning underscored the need for a compromise. In a statement he described an "urgent need" for a solution that would "allow any Jew, group of Jews or Jewish com- munity to pray at the Western Wall according to their own custom." Sharansky praised the police for protecting those en- Flash90 Israeli riot police scuffle May 10 with haredi Orthodox Jews at the Western Wall plaza in a bid to keep them away from Women of the Wall's monthly prayer service at the holy site in Jerusalem. gaged in prayer from "rioters." pushed them back, sometimes As the service went on, the manhandlingastudentortwo crowd of haredi Orthodox alongtheway.Asattemptafter men tried to push through attempt to breach the police the police barricade several line failed, the men began times. The men almost suc- ceeded before police officers Protest on page 19A Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA Israel's ambassador to Senegal, Eli Ben-Tura, and Sen- egalese government minister Mamadou Talla speaking at an Israel Independence Day celebration at Dakar's grand theater, April 30, 2013. Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA A Senegalese mother and her son standing outside the Israeli Embassy last month in Dakar. Spectators at the Israel Independence Day celebration April 30 at the grand theater in the Senegalese capital of Dakar. ByCnaanLiphshiz aFrench-speakingWesternM- thousands more by Israeli ex- "The effects of the insur- Senegalese officials de- NovembermeetingwithBen- ricannationof12millionwhere pertsstationedinthecountry; gency are not felt here for the clined to address the reasons TurathatIsraelhadnothingto DAKAR, Senegal (JTA)-- the average monthly salary is and the establishment of a timebeing,"saidOlegSergeev, for their country's closeness do with the film. And despite Struggling to be heard over a $158. In return, Senegal has permanent depot for agricul- minister-counselor of the with Israel. But observers his organization's generally flock ofbleatingsheep, Israel's supported Israel's erection of tural equipment and disease Russian Embassy in Dakar. attribute it variously to the pro-Palestinian posture--it ambassador to Senegal invites a barrier to protect itself from control. "But the Senegalese authori- country's moderate brand of considers Israel's blockade acrowdofimpoverishedMus- Palestinian terrorism and, Even intercultural activi- ties are turningwestward out Islam, its relative openness to on Gaza illegal and organizes lims to help themselves to in December, signed over oil ties havenotbeenoverlooked, ofconcernoverthepossibility the West and its past disillu- pro-Palestinian activities in about 100 sacrificial animals prospectingrightsinitsterrito- After speeches by Ben-Tura that the Mali insurgency may sionmentwith Arab regimes. Dakar--Diop supports his thattheembassycorralledata rialwaters to an Israeli-owned andMamadouTalla, Senegars be trickling over." In 1973, under pressure from government's friendly rela- dustycommunitycenterhere, mining company, ministerofprofessionaltrain- AsanimpoverishedMuslim Arab countries, Senegal sev- tions with Israel. The October distribution, Over the past decade, Is- ing, IsraelBaUetartisticdirec- nation heavily dependent on ered its ties with Israel. "The Senegalese people held as French troops battled rael's trade with Senegal has tor Ido Tadmor and 40 local foreign aid, Senegal must toe "The Arabs threatened deeply appreciate the event," tslamistsin neighboringMali more than tripled, artists performed a modern acarefullineinitsembrace of sanctions and promised free Diop said of the embassy's and one month after Muslim "Like Israel, Senegal is an dance routine featuring tea theJewishstate.Anti-Semitic oil but never delivered, to the sheep distribution. radicalskilledtheU.S.ambas- island of stability in an un- cups. Dozens of onlookers bookswithtitlessuchas"Hit- bitter disappointment of the Another Senegalese Mus- sador to Libya, is held annu- stable region," Ben-Tura told avidly recorded their every ler the Zionist Puppet" are Senegalese," said Zvi Mazel, lim leader, Sheikh Paye, ally in honor of Tabaski, the JTAinan interview twoweeks move on smartphones, soldhereatbookstands andin a former Israeli Foreign Min- arrived at the Israel Indepen- local name of the Muslim Eid ago at the Israeli Embassy "Cultural exchange with2009, several hundred people istry official who negotiated dence Day celebration in a al-Adha feast. The distribu- overlooking Independence Africa has been neglected for burnedanIsraeliflagatarally the restoration of diplomatic shiny, traditional white-and- tion is broadcast on national Plaza in Dakar, the capitalcity, too long," Ben-Tura said. to protest Israel's Operation relations in 1994. gold imam robe. A spiritual television in a land that is 95 The importance Israel Yet beneath this seemingly Cast Lead in Gaza. Senegalese moderation leader in one of Dakar's 19 percentMuslim, providingIs- places on its partnership symbioticpartnershipmaybe The Senegalese govern- was on display in 2012 when neighborhoods, PayetoldJTA raelwith a powerful platform with Senegal was evident in a deeper concern, ment, then chair of theJamra, one of the country's that his attachment to Israel to burnish its image among Ben-Tura's speech on April Mali, which used to be Organization of the Islamic leading Islamic associations, stems neither from gratitude Senegalese. 30 at Israel's 65th Indepen- part of a federal entity with Conference, condemned the protested the release of an for its largesse nor consider- "It registers very strongly dence Day celebration at the Senegal, last year witnessed attackas"unjustifiedand un- anti-Muslim film, "The In- ations of realpolitik. with locals that Israelis give Grand Theatre National, a an Islamic insurgency so acceptable." Still, thegovern- nocence of Muslims." The "My late father used to be a them sheep for a Muslim magnificent structure built powerful that French troops ment's condemnations never online video triggered violent good friend of several Israeli holiday while most Arab with Chinese funding in 2011 were called in to quell it. Some went beyond words, protestsaroundtheworld, but ambassadors here,"Paye said. embassies do nothing," said near Dakar's main port.475,000 people became refu- "It was a very strong reac- in Senegal, it led to the first "He died three months ago, Eli Ben-Tura, the Israeli am- Speaking to an audience of gees, many of them in Sen- tion, but it didn't have an meeting between Jamra and shortly before the Israeli bassador. 1,000, Ben-Turalisted Israel's egal. Some observers believe impact on diplomatic rela- the Israeli Embassy. Embassy's invitation arrived. The animals are just part latest gifts to the country: Senegal is wooing Israel and tions," said Christian Clages, Jamra's executive presi- It's an honor to representhim of the millions that Israel has training for hundreds of theWestmainlyforprotection the German ambassador to dent, Imam Massamba Diop, here topeople from acountry spentovertheyearsinSenegal, farmers; preparations to train from the Islamic upheaval. Senegal. told JTA he learned in his he loved but never visited."