Israeli journalist threatens to sue Western Wall rabbi over segregation of reporters at Pence visit

Female reporters covering Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall. (Michael Lipin/Twitter)

Female reporters covering U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall. (Michael Lipin/Twitter)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – An Israeli journalist threatened to file a lawsuit against the rabbi of the Western Wall over the segregation of female reporters and photographers from their male counterparts during U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence’s visit to the site.

Tal Schneider of the Israeli business daily Globes told an Israeli radio station, 103 FM, that she is being backed by Globes in suing Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, The Times of Israel reported.

Following the incident on Tuesday, which was widely covered in the media, Globes sent a letter of protest to Rabinovich, requesting different arrangements for future events.

“First we will send him a warning letter and see how he responds, and then we will go to court if necessary, because it seems unreasonable to us that male and female journalists are treated differently when they come to report and work,” Schneider told the radio station.

On a podium erected for the journalists, the women were required to stand behind the men. The women finally removed a tarp and stood on chairs so they could see over their male colleagues.

During U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit in May, male and female journalists stood separately but had equal access, according to Schneider.

In a personal reflection on the incident published in Globes, Schneider took her male colleagues to task for not showing solidarity with the female journalists.

“Next time, look behind you and see what is happening behind your backs,” she said.

The women journalists created a hashtag – #PenceFence – and took to social media to decry the second-class treatment.

The site had been closed to worshippers during the visit.


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