If, chas v’shalom, there is a terror attack at the Kosel, it will be the responsibility of the media, which went out of their way to endanger the religious Jews who come to daven at the Kosel on Shabbos, MK Rabbi Yisrael Eichler said in a letter to Religious Affairs Minister Rabbi David Azoulay and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. “I would like to know what concrete steps are to be taken on Shabbos to ensure full security without requiring violations of Shabbos,” MK Rabbi Eichler wrote in a sharp letter to the two.
Weekend reports in Israeli media featured a new security “scandal,” claiming that security at the Kosel was lax on Shabbos. While during the week visitors to the Kosel are required to pass through a device that detects if they are carrying metallic objects — in order to prevent a terrorist from carrying bombs into the Kosel plaza — police and security officials dispense with the requirement on Shabbos, as many people prefer not to pass through the machine, because of fears that it is a violation of halachah.
According to police, the device has been approved by the Tzomet Institute, which develops devices for public health and security purposes that comply with the halachos of Shabbos. Other sources, however, disagree. Police and security officers generally use a variety of other, non-electronic security checks on Shabbos in order not to violate the sensitivities of many of the religious Jews who come to daven at the site.
In any event, said MK Rabbi Eichler, the phony “investigation” that claimed that there is no security at the Kosel was a red flag that not only “served the political purposes of the Israeli ‘enemies’ of the Kosel and of the chareidi community, but was also seen by our enemies. All the report forgot to add was that Islamists and Jihadists are now invited to come to the Kosel and carry out a terror attack on Shabbos, R”l.”
If indeed there was a security lapse, the media are the last places in which it should be advertised. “In a normal country, this would have been censored due to security issues,” MK Rabbi Eichler wrote. “Here we have an anarchistic regime that has no control; only in such circumstances could information like this be publicly reported.” The letter asks the ministers to ensure that all security measures are taken as needed, without requiring the violation of Shabbos by observant visitors.