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ZFA statement on Kotel disturbance

The Zionist Federation of Australia expressed its concern and disgust at the verbal and physical attacks carried out by individuals at the Western Wall last Monday morning.

ZFA President Jeremy Leibler said, “In the lead up to Yom HaAtzmaut, we come together as one people to celebrate our differences and our commonalities. While some differences may never be overcome, it behoves us as Jews to tolerate and respect those differences. All streams of Judaism should have the right to pray and reflect at the Kotel. We condemn outright this abusive conduct at the Kotel.”

The ZFA has a long-standing commitment of supporting pluralism at the Kotel, and has called on successive Israeli governments to support the rights of all streams of Judaism to have access to our holiest place.

Last Sunday evening, the ZFA was delighted to endorse a separate WZO event at the Kotel egalitarian prayer space. In a new and beautiful tradition, which started in 2021, between Yom HaShoah and Yom HaAtzmaut, the World Zionist Organisation holds a festive reading of Megillat HaAtzmaut at the egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel. This is a way to celebrate Israel’s independence and it strengthens our sense of Jewish peoplehood in Israel and abroad. The Zionist Federation of Australia endorsed the event, along with Jewish and Zionist organisations from around the world.