Two American activists with the anti-Israel women’s group Code Pink traveled all the way to Israel to hold signs in Jerusalem Tuesday calling for a boycott of the Jewish state.
But it was the site where they held their demonstration — the Western Wall — and the way one of the two was dressed that has sparked an uproar among supporters of Israel.
One of the protesters felt this was appropriate an appropirate way to dress for visiting the revered site — a cami top and braless. After the Temple Mount, the Western Wall is the second-holiest site in Judaism.
— Aussie Dave (@Israellycool) November 11, 2015
In a statement, CodePink identified the activists as Jewish women from New York and California.
They held a banner that read “American Jews support BDS,” referring to efforts to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, as well as a sign that read “Boycott Israel!”
— Delic #BDS (@HamdoDelic) November 11, 2015
Supporters of Israel blasted the stunt, with many pointing to the irony of the women traveling to Israel to then call for a boycott of Israel. The blogger Aussie Dave of the website IsraellyCool quipped, “Because nothing says ‘boycott Israel’ like getting on a plane and traveling to Israel.”
“And I suppose while in Israel, they boycotted Israeli food and accommodation,” he added.
— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) November 10, 2015
Notably, the women did not call for a boycott of Jewish settlements in the West Bank — another position promoted by pro-Palestinian activists — but called for a blanket boycott of the Jewish state in its entirety.
At the Western Wall, as well as a short walk away at the Church of Holy Sepulcher and the Temple Mount — which is also site of the Al-Aqsa mosque — visitors are asked to dress modestly in respect of the holy sites.
Others pointed out on social media that the women might have been physically threatened had they visited a Muslim holy site dressed in such a manner.
Beyond Israel, modest dress is also required at Christian sites, such as the Vatican. The Vatican website’s dress code reads: “Access to Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens and Saint Peter’s Basilica is permitted only to visitors dressed appropriately (no sleeveless blouses, no miniskirts, no shorts, no hats allowed).”
A U.S. congressman’s wife was harassed over the summer by a Muslim worshiper on the Temple Mount who claimed her clothing — a calf-length skirt and long-sleeved shirt — wasn’t modest enough. Elizabeth Jenkins, along with her husband Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.), Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Penn.) were confronted numerous times by Palestinians yelling at them at the Temple Mount.
When Kim Kardashian baptized her daughter North at the nearby Armenian Orthodox church, she covered her head with a scarf in respect.
The New York Code Pink activist was involved in a recent controversial visit to an Ithaca third-grade class by Bassem Tamimi, a Palestinian activist previously jailed in Israel for encouraging stone-throwing.
Cornell University law professor William Jacobson — editor of the conservative website Legal Insurrection — is now weighing filing a lawsuit against the school district to force a release of the video recorded of the class visit.
The Ithaca school district last week released documents related to the visit some of which were so redacted in black ink as to render them meaningless.