Friday, November 6, 2009

´Israel not a tolerant society´

Al Aqsa mosque: not recognized as a holy site

Israel discriminates against minority groups in the country including Muslims, Jehova's Witnesses, Reform Jews, Christians, women and Bedouin. That is stated in a report by the American State Department´s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

The report says that the 1967 law on the protection of holy places refers to all religious groups in Israel, including in Jerusalem, but "the government implements regulations only for Jewish sites. Non-Jewish holy sites do not enjoy legal protection under it because the government does not recognize them as official holy sites."

At the end of 2008, for example, all of the 137 officially recognized holy sites were Jewish. Moreover, Israel issued regulations for the identification, preservation and guarding of Jewish sites only. Many Christian and Muslim sites are said to be neglected, inaccessible or at risk of exploitation by real estate entrepreneurs and local authorities.The report makes it clear that practices that have become routine in Israel are considered unacceptable in enlightened countries and should be corrected.

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