Friday, 26 October 2018

The Lie of Israel’s Claim to be the only Middle East state to respect freedom of religion

Despite its propaganda claims to the contrary, Israel is not a country that respects freedom of religion. The story below concerns the attack within the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, on a peaceful demonstration by its priests.
Zionist Propaganda Claim
Only a few days ago the heads of the Roman Catholic, Armenian, and Greek Orthodox churches in Jerusalem called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to block draft legislation, which is reportedly aimed at expropriating their property.
In recent days a cemetery at a Christian monastery near the central Israeli town of Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem, has been vandalized. The monks responsible for its upkeep, who visit the cemetery every few days, found some 30 smashed headstones on Wednesday.  A report Headstones Smashed in Christian Cemetery Near Jerusalem in Suspected Hate Crime told how: this was the second time that the cemetery of the Beit Jamal Monastery was defaced. 
In 2013, a firebomb was thrown at a door and hateful slogans scrawled on the monastery walls. It was also damaged in a hate crime in 2016, when unknown perpetrators entered the prayer house and smashed statues. ‘At the Beit Jamal Monastery for the fourth time in five years headstones and crosses have been smashed.’
Imagine the outcry if a Jewish synagogue in London was vandalised four times in 5 years.  The outcry about antisemitism would be heard from John O'Groats to Lands End yet in Israel attacks on Christian and Moslem places of worship are a regular occurrence, aided and abetted by the atmosphere of religious intolerance in a government which doesn't even respect liberal or reform strands of Judaism. See Israel Tells Reform Jews: You’re Not Really Jewish, but Your Money Is Just Jewish Enough
Among a large section of the National Religious sector in Israel, there is nothing but contempt and hatred for Christianity notwithstanding the support of Christian Zionism for Israel. When the leader of the fascist Lehava, a group which campaigns against miscegenation (mixed race sexual relations) Benzi Gopstein called a few years ago for arson at mosques and churches nothing was done to prosecute him despite a complaint from the Vatican. Burning of Christian churches in Israel justified, far-Right Jewish leader says
Unsurprisingly in the past few years there have been repeated attempts at arson at major churches such as the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fisheries. Unlike other arson attacks, the Police secured a conviction of Yinon Reuveni, who was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment, for an attack which almost destroyed one of the most ancient and important churches in Israel.
According to Ha’aretz since 2009 53 mosques and churches have been vandalised with only 9 prosecutions.
We have also seen direct attacks by the Israeli State with the advent of the Muezzin law which prevents the Muslim call to prayer in the morning by mosques via loudspeakers. No such inhibition or restriction is placed on Jewish use of amplified sound. Ramped-up muezzin bill allows police to confiscate mosques’ loudspeakers
The arrests and attack on priests at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem are not new. In recent months there seems to have been a constant war of attrition against one of the most holy sites in the Christian religion, where Christ was reputed to have been crucified and entombed. See Israel’s War on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre forces it to close
Tony Greenstein  
Oct. 24, 2018 11:49 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 25, 2018 3:53 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces and police assaulted several Coptic Orthodox priests in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, and forcefully detained one of them on Wednesday morning.
Prior to the assault, the Coptic Orthodox Church organized a peaceful protest near Deir al-Sultan Monastery, located on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, against an Israeli decision denying the church the right to conduct the needed renovation work inside the holy site.
It is noteworthy that the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem continues to conduct unauthorized renovation work for the Ethiopian Coptic Church section without the approval of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Eyewitnesses said that Israeli soldiers and police officers surrounded the priests who were protesting, before assaulting and pushing them with excessive use of force, causing them several injuries.
Witnesses added that the Israeli police forcibly removed the priests and detained one of them, before allowing the Israeli municipality workers into the holy site.
The Islamic Christian Committee to Defend Jerusalem and Holy Sites condemned the assault on the Coptic Orthodox priests and denounced the intervention of Israeli authorities in the renovation works of the holy site.
The committee pointed out that it is not within its jurisdiction to intervene in issues of occupied East Jerusalem, considering the area is subjected to the rules of international humanitarian law (IHL).
The committee called upon the Egyptian government and the Christian world to immediately intervene to stop Israeli authorities from these attacks and not to enter the holy site under the pretext of restoration, since the Coptic Orthodox Church is the only authorized body to do so.
The committee also called on the world to stand by the Palestinian right to sovereignty over its land in the holy city and the rest of its other occupied territories, and to stop the measures carried out by the Israeli occupation in violation of the resolutions of international law and international humanitarian law.

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