Women of the Wall board member’s home hit with threatening graffiti


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Threatening graffiti was spray-painted on the Jerusalem home of a longtime board member of Women of the Wall.

Some of the graffiti sprayed late Sunday or early Monday on the door and stairwell of Peggy Cidor’s apartment read in Hebrew “Women of the Wall are wicked,” “Peggy, your time is up,” “Peggy, we know where you live,” and “Jerusalem is holy,” according to the Women of the Wall.

The words “Torah tag” also were spray-painted on the apartment door in an apparent reference to the phrase “price tag” used by extremist settlers and their supporters. The phrase describes retribution in the form of vandalism for settlement freezes and demolitions or Palestinian attacks on Jews.

It was the first incident of its kind targeting Cidor, who has served on the Women of the Wall board for 15 years. Police are investigating.

The rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz, condemned the graffiti in a statement released to the media. He called on “all fanatic groups to remove their hands from this holy place.”

“I have warned against the conflagration and gratuitous hatred,” Rabinowitz said. “I pray and hope we can check the escalation and that a solution will be found that allows the Western Wall to remain not as a disputed area but as holy ground that unites and unifies.”

The Women of the Wall in a statement called on haredi Orthodox rabbis to condemn the attack.

“This was likely the actions of bored youth, acting in response to the incitement of their leaders,” the group said. “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.”

Haredi Orthodox women and men mobbed Women of the Wall’s May 10 prayer service for the Hebrew month of Iyar. Despite police protection, the female worshipers were attacked by men throwing chairs, stink bombs and garbage.

It was the group’s first monthly service at the wall following the ruling of a Jerusalem District Court judge that said its services do not violate the law and merit police protection rather than arrests.

In previous months, the women had been arrested for wearing prayer shawls during the service because police said the practice contravened the site’s “local custom.”

Women of the Wall has held a prayer service at the holy site almost every month for the past two decades, according to the group. The service is held on Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the new Hebrew month, at the back of the women’s section.

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