Israel Fails International Religious Rights Survey, Parents Demand Purifying School After Moslem Wedding
One of the aspects of Israeli life which pro-Israel advocates trumpet is freedom of religion: that Jews, Muslims and Christians worship freely and without the interference or hindrance of state authorities. This, of course, isn’t true as there are enormous limitations placed on non-Jewish worship in Israel, some of which I’ve blogged about here in the past. Confirmation of this comes in a Haaretz report about an international survey on the status of religion in countries around the world. The Cingranelli-Richards Human Rights Dataset measures:
…Governmental restrictions on freedom of religion and freedom from religion in 195 countries…
Of these, over 50 received the lowest score possible, including Israel:
…Where zero indicates severe and widespread governmental restrictions on religious freedom…
Israel kept good company with other bastions of religious tolerance like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, China and Iran. Now, we can argue the relative freedom of religion in those countries compared to Israel. But the fact is that there are severe constraints placed on non-Jewish worship in Israel. Not to mention the monopoly offered to Orthodox Jews in all manner of religious and even secular affairs in society. The fact that secular Jews are coerced into adhering to religious law when negotiating their way through divorces, marriages and other normally civil ceremonies is an additional factor that diminishes religious freedom.
I can’t think of a better example of this than this Walla! report (Hebrew) that parents at a religious school in Afula discovered that their children had experienced a Muslim wedding during class. The notion so shocked them (under the influence of an NGO called Lehavah, whose mission is to prevent Jewish-Arab dating, marriages and general “mingling” between non-Jewish men and Jewish women, which they term a “Holocaust”). The parents declared the school defiled and demanded the rabbis enter it to “purfiy” the facilities before their children would return. Among the chief desecreations for these parents is that a sacred Torah scroll was in the same school chapel in which such pagan rites were held.
What tipped the parents off about the satanic goings-on in the school was the Arabic music that accompanied the wedding, and which piqued the busybody neighbors’ curiousity. They in turn informed the parents about the schandeh to which their children were subjected. The festivities were interrupted in midstream and the school’s leadership put an end to the nonsense before it could really pollute the minds of the children. The brouhaha went all the way up the chain of command to the Education Ministry to determine who approved such deviltry.
One religious leader in the community who was critical of the overreaction on the parents’ part still maintained that the wedding had been a foolish act that wouldn’t be repeated. God forbid our pure Jewish children should learn anything about the culture of 20% of their fellow citizens. Spit three times: ptuh, ptuh, ptuh!
27 thoughts on “Israel Fails International Religious Rights Survey, Parents Demand Purifying School After Moslem Wedding – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Here’s your chance to actually do something to change the situation instead of just sitting back and complaining.
Golda Meir was asked by a delegation of Conservative and Reform rabbis when their movements would gain official recognition alongside the Orthodox. She answered “when a million Reform and Conservative Jews from American make aliyah to Israel”.
I suggest that if you want “religious pluralism” in Israel, that you make aliyah and build a Reconstructionist congregation there. You call yourself a “liberal Zionist”. Well, I am sure you recall that Zionism was about building things up from nothing…”making the desert bloom” and that sort of thing. That means getting up , going there and building your non-Orthodox Jewish movements there. I know a lot of non-Orthodox say “I will come after they have recognized my form of non-Orthodox Judaism” but sitting in the US waiting for SOMEONE ELSE to do the work for you is NOT “Zionism”.
It’s funny how the legal dictionary and international norms work when it comes to Israel. Case in point: 50 settlers attack the IDF. No arrests.
What would happen if Israelis of non-Jewish denomination did that? Americans like Rachel Corrie?
What is apartheid then? Separate driver’s licenses for non-Jews? License plates? Roads? Tolls that only Jews can bypass easily?
What is apartheid? Here, I will examine it under the context I only know best in the Middle East – you guessed it, Iran:
Living with Jews for 3,000+ years like Iranians do without EVER referring to them along the lines of their religion (we refer to each other as Iranians and then the region/city of our heritage, if anything…) — is this apartheid? Letting Judaism seep into the core of your culture such that there can NEVER be a separation and our Jewish roots and identity (yes, part of our culture is Jewish) cannot be expunged from us no matter what? Is that apartheid? Is allowing Jews in Iran to make liquor at home while completely banning it from Muslims in a pre-dominantly Muslim country apartheid?
Or are 500,000 Haredim marching in the streets against a court ruling that they must integrate in schools with Jews of non-European origin an indication of society that bends towards apartheid?
Let’s ask Desmond Tutu:
“I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. I have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinian men, women, and children made to wait hours at Israeli military checkpoints routinely when trying to make the most basic of trips to visit relatives or attend school or college, and this humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government.”
Why you single out Israel? Can’t you see Iran’s name in the list too.
I have been to middle eastern muslim countries and have seen how they treat non-muslims. If you really accept the international religious rights survey then you should be sorry that Iran is up there in the elite countries list. Don’t apply double standards.
The court ruling usually reflects the laws of the state, which, at least in your example, upheld non-discriminatory rules related to schools’ admission.
Haredim, on the other hand, exercised their freedom of assembly, religion and free speech to protest this ruling.
This is democracy in action, not apartheid, as you claim.
On other issues – you mix so many things up that the only thing I can say – Jew or no Jew, be careful around bulldozers and other heavy equipment.
Keep yr arguments to substance and do not engage in ad hominem attacks or insults.
Let’s ask Desmond Tutu…
There is a hugh difference from how Apartheid operated in South Africa vs. how Israel operates in the Occupied Territiries. Racially segraged roads? Untrue. Security segregated roads. True.
Palestinians humiliated at checkpoints? Without a doubt. But not racially motivated. Security motivated.
Iran, the greatest place for Jews? It;s good to know. I can’t wait to move there and live under the Jew-loving Ayatollahs.
Security motivated? That nonsense is well past its sell-by date. It’s all racially motivated; nothing to do with security. If Israel doesn’t feel safe (and Israel will never feel safe while it’s got such a good thing going) why doesn’t Israel move its apartheid wall inside the pre-1967 line (after removing all its illegal settlers from Palestine) and then cover it with a roof. Wall yourselves off completely so maybe the Palestinians might feel safe too, since it’s their security that needs to be protected. Palestinians like that beautiful young man murdered a few days ago when he was deliberately shot in the face by an occupation soldier.
“Let’s ask Desmond Tutu…”
Yes, let’s do that.
I don’t normally bother to respond to people who say that Israeli policies in the WB (and within Israel, towards the Palestinian citizens) are motivated by security concerns, because clearly they aren’t interested in little things like facts. However, I would say that the events of the last few weeks have shown the reality of Israeli apartheid to the entire world. Palestinians engaging in peaceful demonstrations are routinely teargassed, shot, and even killed – just another day in the WB. Then a band of settlers storms an IDF base and destroys military equipment – shooting? Arrests, even? Hmm. Folks, this ain’t rocket science.
People who still think that Israeli policies are even remotely tied to security concerns might also read this report by Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/12/19/separate-and-unequal-0
So you’re arguing that being Palestinian is not a question of ethnic or national identity, but rather being Palestinian automatically makes you a security threat?? Wow, that’s incredibly racist. And the petty abuse, the woman who miscarry at checkpoints due to the sheer malevolence of IDF guards–all that is security motivated. The guards prevent the women from reaching hospitals because pregnant women are security threats? What a world you live in of your own making.
Small point,but there were arrests yesterday against extremist “price tag” attackers of the IDF suspects.. One ex-minister even said they should have been shot
Small point for man, giant …
These arrests is yet another confirmation that Israel is trying to treat everyone equally under the law. Yet, I suspect that nothing can be good for its criticts…
I think the biggest misunderstanding people have about Israel as a Jewish state, that most Jews there are quite secular. Also, many people don’t understand that being a Jew has multiple meanings – both religious and ethnic.
I don’t know if Persian here understands that Haredim are often looked upone in Israel with scorn as they don’t server in the millitary and don’t contribute much in taxes (many of them are on the pubic assistance). Yet, they are tollerated and their rights are respected, as it should be in any civilized country.
That presumes Israel is a civilized country, at least in the ways it treats its Palestinian minority and occupied territories, which I think is a point in contention.
These kid-gloved, belated, arrests were made only after the untouchable pogromists felt – prematurely – emboldened enough to physically attack the IDF (Israel’s mainstream deity).
They’ve been long attacking Palestinians (let alone their property) with virtual impunity and plenty of support from the state.
An arrest means very little in Israel. Arrestees can be released. They may be charged, they may not. They may be prosecuted, they may not. They may be convicted, they may not. Even if convicted, they may spend little time in jail. Even if they receive a long sentence, a future Israeli president will undoubtedly offer them clemency as happens in almost every Jewish terror case (except one, so far).
At least two have not been pardoned, Ami Popper and yigal Amir
These are the countries that scored 0 in the religious freedom category:
Burma, Eritrea, China, Iran, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Nigeria, Russia, Tunisia, Vietnam, Belarus, Cuba, Libya, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq,
Azerbaijan, Egypt, Sudan, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Qatar,
United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Kuwait, Tajikistan, Algeria,
Brunei, Laos, India, Morocco, Israel, Kyrgyz Republic, Rwanda, Venezuela, Nepal, Nicaragua, Turkey, Indonesia,
Mauritania, Oman, Mexico, Romania, Maldives, Kosovo.
How one can compare Russia, Mexico and India on one side and Iran, with its religious police, and Saudi Arabia, with a woman recently beheaded for witchraft, on the other? Yet, according to this list have the same level of religious freedom.
Even funnier – Lebanon, with the large part of the country controlled by the Party of God and which has practiacally no Jews left, scored 2 – the same as the United States.
These numbers simply don’t add up…
The list must have been compiled by a crackpot.
But everyone will unanimously agree that all islamic countries show terrible religious bias. You dont need any list by anyone to enlighten what really is happening in countries like Iran,Saudi Arabia, U.A.E ,Syria,Pakistan …etc.
The list is compiled and maintained by two U.S. professors who are anything but crackpots. The survey is respected throughout the world, which is why Haaretz featured it.
India, Russia, Israel scored Zero ?
This is a good one. They must have been using some really smart algorithm to come up with that…
Where in the world can you find a more religions practiced than India ?
You seem to have forgotten the savage riots between Muslims and Hindus in which hundreds were savagely killed, the hate-infused political party that exploited these hatreds for political gain, and the India-Pakistan conflict, which is religiously based. I know they’re mere facts & shouldn’t disrupt your little dream, but there you are. They are facts and you must deal with them.
The question is whether these are government policies or these types of tensions exist in those parts of the world.
I know that India or Russia or Israel do not have policies against religious minorities. While religious tensions may be exploited by various elements in the society, these states act to smooth them down.
Compare this to Saudi Arabia which has official policies against non-Muslims.
Obviously, this little fact is completely ignored by you.
In India, the government minister for the region in which the riots & killings occurred was blamed for inciting the violence. So yes definitely it was government inspired. Israel most certainly denies full religious rights to its minorities. Like so many Israeli Jews you simply are unaware of this because you’re either secular & don’t particularly care about any religious issues or because you’re religious & know only the life of an Israeli Jew & haven’t a clue about what it’s like to be a practicing Israeli Muslim or Christian. As for Russia, the hatred between religious minorities especially Muslim is very deep. Ethnic hatred is also very deep & has led to numerous killings.
Another good one is Cameroon. It scored 2 (the highest) in religious freedoms and zeros is just about everywhere else. Its total score is 9 – the same for Belarus, Cuba, Lybia and Pakistan. For comparison, the highest ranking Denmark and Iceland have 44.
Hiddush helped publish the results of CIRI’s findings because of the increasing extremism we see in Israel’s midst, inhibiting mostly the rights of Jews to practice freely. There are 300,000 citizens who have no right to marry because they are considered “without religion”, women are left for years stuck in chained marriages, and there is violence on certain public buses when a women tries to sit in the front. We love Israel, and we believe she has the potential to be great! But when this type of discrimination puts us on par with theocratic nation states, there’s a lot we need to do.
Freedom of religion is in the eyes of the beholder. I don’t see the anti-Jewish material in Muslim schools getting the negative attention it deserves.
I wish you were as concerned about racist stereotypes of Arabs which abound within Israeli society.