Police in Israel arrested four women for daring to pray at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem in an unapproved manner, something that only men are allowed to do. Haaretz has an article about the arrests and the fallout from them:
Four women were detained by Israel Police on Friday morning, after donning tallitot, or prayer shawls, at the Western Wall. The women arrived with Women of the Wall, a group of Jewish women who fight for the right to wear tallitot, pray, and read from the Torah out loud at the Western Wall.
“How ironic that as Jews around the world celebrate the victory of spirit over forced assimilation, that Jews who want to pray have their rights denied by an ultra-Orthodox hegemony,” the World Union for Progressive Judaism, an international umbrella organization of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist Jewish movements, said in a statement. “We call upon the State to heed its own Supreme Court and find a resolution. Until that happens, Israel still fails to live up to the ideals upon which it was founded, as a haven for Jews everywhere.”
The first woman detained on Friday was Women of the Wall board member Rachel Cohen Yeshurun, who refused to remove her prayer shawl as she entered the Western Wall Plaza. According to other members, she was detained and interrogated even before she approached the holy site, accused of disturbing the public order and of obstructing a police procedure.
The other three women – Rabbi Elyse Frishman of Barnert Temple in Franklin Lakes, N.J., and two 18-year-old British women participating in a World Union sponsored Netzer gap-year program in Israel – were held and interrogated. According to a statement by Women of the Wall, all four refused to sign an admission of disturbing the public peace and were released after three hours.
Ah yes, that famous catchall of “disturbing the peace,” which can be made to cover anything the police don’t like.