The State Department Libels Israel

In another example of mindless moral equivalence, in its annual International Religious Freedom Report of 198 countries, the State Department (under Hillary Clinton) cites Israel among 30 nations "where violations of religious freedom have been noteworthy." Israel is put in the same category as Afghanistan, Chi-na, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and others deservedly stigmatized.

In part the grounds are unfair, in part outright false. Israel is criticized for being what it exists to be—a Jewish state. Thus the report complains that three Messianic Jews were denied the right to immigrate to Israel; that the Chief Rabbinate has authority over marriages and burials; that Israel does not recognize conversions that do not meet certain criteria, etc. The report falsely claims that only Jewish holy sites enjoy legal protection because the government does not recognize others as official holy sites. In fact, Is-lamic holy sites are controlled by the Waqf (Islamic Religious Authority) at the insistence of the imams themselves. Indeed the Waqf has caused tremendous damage to First and Second Temple sites by building near the Dome of the Rock mosque. Christian holy sites are controlled by Christian groups—the Vatican, for example, controls its own churches, monasteries and convents.

What the State Department ignores is that unlike the other countries with which it lumps Israel, Israel offers freedom of worship to all religions. (In Iraq, despite the U.S. occupation, Christians cannot even be confident in their right to life.)

This article is from Outpost 2011


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