Vandals Spray-paint Inciting Graffiti Outside Jerusalem Home of Women of the Wall Activist

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

Inciting graffiti targeting a longstanding member of the board of Women of the Wall was discovered outside her Jerusalem apartment Monday morning.

The words Torah tag – evoking the term price tag that is used to describe random acts of violence against Palestinians by radical settlers – was spray-painted on the door of Peggy Cidor, a resident of the Talpiyot neighborhood. On the walls of the stairwell leading up to her apartment were also spray-painted the following (in Hebrew): Women of the Wall are wicked, Peggy, Your Time has Expired and Jerusalem is Holy.

One of my neighbors spotted it when she left her apartment this morning to go to work, Cidor, who works as a journalist for the local and foreign press, told Haaretz. She immediately called the police. Suddenly, I was woken up at five minutes to eight by two policemen standing at my door. I panicked because I thought something had happened to one of my sons, and they proceeded to show me the graffiti.

Cidor has served on the board of Women of the Wall, an organization fighting for the rights of women to pray as they see fit at the Western Wall, for the past 15 years. She said this was the first time anything nasty like this had happened to her.

Cidor filed a complaint with police. The police warned me to be careful now, she said.

I expect Haredi leaders to condemn this act, she said.

Following the incident, Women of the Wall said in a statement: "This was likely the actions of bored youth, acting in response to the incitement of their leaders. The real problem facing Israeli society is not what they did but what the leadership of the Haredi public will do now. The writing is on the wall. We call on the rabbis to staunchly condemn the vandalism and to end all incitement against Women of the Wall, without regard to the legitimate public discourse."

Earlier this month, when Women of the Wall held their monthly prayer service at the Western Wall, ultra-Orthodox protestors threw stones, chairs and water bottles at them. A recent Jerusalem District Court decision found that it is not a violation of local custom for women to wear prayer shawls and phylacteries at the Western Wall, a practice common members of this prayer group. The ruling has incensed members of the ultra-Orthodox community.

Yizhar Hess, director of the Masorati-Conservative movement in Israel, called the act of vandalism terror against pluralism and tolerance.

Graffiti reading "Women of the Wall are wicked" and "Torah tag" outside home of Peggy Cidor, May 20, 2013. Courtesy photo

Click the alert icon to follow topics: