Saturday, October 22, 2005

 

A Little "Freedom of Religion"

Israel is supposed to be a "western, liberal, modern democracy," so I'd expect and the law claims that there's freedom of religion.

The main religion is obviously Judaism, since it's official the one and this is the only Jewish State. According to some people, the world "allowed us" a state as compensation for the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Actually, the Zionist movement predated the Nazis, and the Jewish People, including thousands of years as a people--nation--in our Homeland, predated the European countries and the discovery of America. Don't for get that Jesus was a Jew, and Mohamed's aim was to convert all the Jews to his new religion.

And all the three main western religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are found in Israel. All of Judaism's holiest places and Biblical landmarks are all in the Holy Land. Islamic holiest spot is Mecca, and Christians have some holy and significant landmarks here.

Israel bends over backwards to accommodate Moslems, especially when there's a conflict between Jewish religious needs and Moslem.

The Bible tells of Abraham's buying of a piece of Land in Hebron to bury his wife Sarah. Tradition has it that Adam and Eve were buried there. Later Abraham was and later Jacob and Leah. It has been a holy place for Jews ever since Abraham, the first Jew bought it. The Moslems adopted it, and for many years they didn't allow Jews to enter it at all. Finally in 1967, after Israel's victory in the Six Days War, Jews were allowed to enter and pray there. Of course, Moslems still do, too, and tourists of any religion can always enter. The inspections at the gate are just for weapons. But on certain Moslem Holidays the Israeli government closes it to Jews.

Another piece of land bought by Jews, as recorded in the Bible, was in Shechem. In 1967, Israelis joyfully returned and opened a yeshiva at Joseph's Tomb there. The government never allowed Jews to live in the city, and a few years ago, the government handed it over to the Arabs who promptly destroyed everything the Jews had put there. And Jews are forbidden to go there to pray, study or live.

The third piece of land bought by Jews, as recorded in the Bible was in Jerusalem. The Holy Temples were built there. Today it's known as Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount. It is the HOLIEST PLACE IN THE WORLD ACCORDING TO JUDAISM. Moslems built mosques there, and Jews are not allowed up there at all. The Israeli government decided to ban Jews as soon as it was liberated in the Six Days War. They didn't want to confront the Arabs.

For Moslems, the Temple Mount is the third holiest place in the world. For Jews it is the holiest place. According to Moslem tradition, Mohammed tied his donkey up there. And it's Jewish, so they want it. For Jews to get permission to go up, even on holidays, there must be court orders, from the High Court. And even then, prayer is restricted.

Unfortunately, there isn't freedom of religion in Israel for Jews.

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