Saturday, December 28

Religious Intolerance in Jerusalem

An ultra-Orthodox Jew spitting

A disturbing phenomenon is occurring in Jerusalem, which should ring alarm bells in the minds of all who value democracy and freedom of religion as well as freedom from religion.
An ugly trend is raising its head in Jerusalem - a city holy to the three monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The sooner the cancer of intolerance is nipped in the bud the better.
It is become fashionable in Jerusalem amongst various fanatic ultra-Orthodox Jewish sects to spit on priests, monks and nuns of the various Christian denominations, who have been part of Jerusalem's community for centuries. The Christian and Muslim communities have every right to live in Jerusalem no less than the Jewish community.
This awful phenomenon was aired on Israel Arutz 2 Channel this Friday night.(I apologize that it is not in English but the clip will illustrate my point) It left me with a sense of disgust and shame! Apart from that, Price-Tag - a horrible mutant of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Community of fanatics whose origins are in the hills of the Occupied West Bank, many of whom are descendents of religious illegal settler fanatics.

The slogan on the church wall says "Death to Christians" Price Tag

The Israeli Government, which is representative of the fanatic settler movement and its entrails have not come out strongly enough in its condemnation of the hooliganism of Price-Tag and its Allies - the kippa-cladded, long ear-lock (payot), fringed (tzitzit) young hooligans, who carry out this thuggish behaviour against non-Jews in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. They desecrate Christian Holy Sites as well as vandalizing their cemeteries. All this seems to be done with the stamp of kashrut by their fanatic rabbis who teach them "Jewish values". This loutish behavior is nothing more than religious hooliganism of the worst kind. The reason - “we are doing to the goyim (non-Jews) what they have been doing to the Jews!” It is unacceptable and the perpetrators of these loutish deeds must be arrested and held accountable. Unfortunately, these deeds are overlooked by the police who seem to be caught off guard.These deeds are also overlooked by the Orthodox Establishment.
The slogans of hate graffiti on the walls of churches and monasteries, as well as cars is on the increase. Signs of apathy by many Israelis only encourage this cancer to proliferate even further. Why have there been no arrests? This kind of behavior is no less contemptible than the desecration of synagogues and mosques.
Hate of non-Jews is on the rise and, as a secular Israeli Jew, I hang my head in shame! Ultra- Orthodox intolerance for other faiths is not limited to that sect alone. Establishment Orthodoxy is hardly any less to blame. Their hegemony over the Jewish faith is absolute and this plays its part in every day life in Israel. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is also no paragon of virtue. It has played its part to estrange many Jews from the fold including Yours Truly. Pluralism in Judaism is condemned by the ruling Orthodox Jewish Establishment. It has its tentacles in all the ruling governments since Israel's establishment. This includes zero tolerance and non-recognition of Reform (Progressive) and Conservative Judaism, which they see as a threat to their system of corruption, bribery and total monopoly on Halacha (Jewish Law). It makes me want to puke, and I am sure there are many Israelis who feel the same way - possibly the impotent silent majority. Non-orthodox Jewish rabbis cannot marry couples, who do not wish to be married by Orthodox Rabbis. The Orthodox Establishment also creates difficulties for Jews and non-Jews to marry. There is no civil marriage in Israel. If there is no civil marriage – only religious marriage then there is no religious freedom. Those Jews, who were converted to Judaism by Reform or Conservative rabbis, are not recognized as Jews by the ruling Orthodox Jewish Establishment and have to marry overseas in a civil marriage ceremony. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts completely and this is true of the ruling Orthodox Jewish Establishment as embodied by its Chief Rabbinate that has deviated from Jewish values only to be replaced by corruption, bribery and “jobs for pals” in order to increase their power in religious Jewish matters pertaining to marriage, divorce, archaic Sabbath laws and burials where the disgusting practices reach their zenith. It is all money, money and more money as well as stakes that has nothing to do with Judaism.
It is little wonder that groups like Price-Tag ( Tag Machir) and their fanatic, self- righteous allies are on the increase, spitting on Christian members of the clergy, vandalizing non-Jewish property, including cemeteries and getting away with it. If this would occur in Jewish cemeteries and synagogues, the heavy hand of the police would soon be felt.
This hate of the non-Jew is on the rise in Jerusalem. It does not bode well for Israel's already battered world image. Is this freedom of religion when Price-Tag and their illegal settler-oriented supporters are given almost free reign on vandalizing Arab and non-Jewish property with impunity? Are we becoming a nation of self-righteous religious bigots with zero tolerance for those who are different?

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