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Thread: Israel's persecution of Christians - time for EU action

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    Politics.ie Member Dame_Enda's Avatar
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    Default Israel's persecution of Christians - time for EU action

    Supporter's of Israel call it "the only democracy in the region". Israel's supporters in the West (especially but not exclusively the US) more often than not are devout Christians who take a literalist interpretation of the Biblical Old Testament references to "Israel". Israel signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 18 states: “Everyone has the right to...change his religion...and freedom...to manifest his religion or beliefs in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” This makes their religious tolerance or otherwise the business of the international community.

    But how would/do these Christians feel about Israel if they knew about their persecution of Christians? The offending law is penal law 5737-1977. It is high time the EU and UN took up the issue. We should not have an EU Association agreement giving Israel access to the Single Market to a state that denies the world's largest denomination its right to practice and promote its religion. And I say that as an agnostic.
    Quote Originally Posted by If Americans Knew
    Ted Pike
    National Prayer Network
    June 5, 2008

    A Christian student was scheduled for deportation from Israel June 30 because the government accused her of “missionary work.” Roused by police at 6:30 a.m., German grad student Barbara Ludwig was taken to prison and told she must leave Israel by May 30. Haaretz says she “denied being a missionary, although she admits contact with Messianic Jews.”

    “They may have seen me at some meetings of the Messianic Jews,” Barbara said. “I go around with Jews, with Christians, and with Messianics, and I read books about Christianity. So what? That’s no reason to deport me.”

    Haaretz reports, "Michael Decker, Ludwig’s lawyer, said a hearing held on her case in 2004 in the Interior Ministry was a “humiliating religious interrogation” including asking her whether she believed Jesus was the Messiah.”

    Calev Meyers, a lawyer representing Messianic Jews, indicated Ms. Ludwig is accused of violating Criminal Code Sec. 170 and 172 [of penal law 5737-1977]. This law bans speaking publicly in a way that is offensive to people of any religion. The law also says it is illegal to actively convince a minor to convert to another religion, or to pay someone to convert. (See, Jerusalem Post, May 20, 2008, “Or Yehuda Deputy Mayor: I’m Sorry About Burning New Testaments.”)
    “Intolerance” in Israel

    Israel signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 18 states: “Everyone has the right to...change his religion...and freedom...to manifest his religion or beliefs in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

    Avraham Benjamin, Israel’s First Secretary (Information) said in 1980 that Israel is a “country universally known for its religious freedom, tolerance, and plurality of views...”

    Obviously, such “respect for diversity” no longer exists in Israel, if it ever did. There is much more freedom to witness for Christ in countries of the former Soviet Union, where evangelical Christianity flourishes. In the coldest part of the Cold War, Billy Graham was invited to hold crusades in some of these countries. But never in Israel.

    Evangelicals fantasize that Israel is turning to Christ. Statistics prove otherwise: In 1920, nearly 12 percent of the inhabitants of Palestine were Christian. But, largely as a result of decades of consistent unpublicized government persecution, Israel’s population of Christians had shrunk to 2.1 percent in 2004.

    Anti-Christianity in Israel increases. (See, Christians in Israel: An Endangered Species) Legislation now pends in Knesset that would not just deport but could imprison Christians such as Barbara Ludwig. It says, “Whoever...publicizes things in which there is an inducement to religious conversion is punishable by - one year imprisonment.” (1) This is exactly what Jesus prophesied would happen in the last days. Jewish leaders “...will deliver you up to the courts, and scourge you in the synagogues.” (Matthew 10:17)
    Blind Loyalty to Israel

    When will evangelicals face the fact that they are helping build up a Christian-persecuting totalitarian regime, not a democracy? One would think that if fellow evangelicals began to be imprisoned in Israel it might get them thinking. Maybe not. Already, hundreds of New Testaments have been burned in Israel.(See, Israel: A History of Hate Crimes) Would evangelicals reevaluate their unconditional support if Christians were being burned?

    That’s a good question. In 1948 “Israel-first” evangelicals only praised Israel as she drove tens of thousands of Christian Palestinians from their homes in Israel to be imprisoned in squalid refugee camps for generations. (See, Why The Mideast Bleeds) They praised Israel in 1982 and 2006 as she killed thousands of Bible-believing Christians through horrific saturation bombing in Lebanon. Right now, they praise Israel as Messianic Christians are daily persecuted in southern Israel. American evangelicals and the government of Israel look on, doing nothing.

    Such evangelicals are certainly consistent.

    They are consistently more loyal to Israel than to the Christians she oppresses.Endnotes:

    1. Here is the actual text of Israel’s proposed anti-missionary law:

    Proposed Law of the Knesset members: Moshe Gafni Nissim Zvili P/950
    Proposed Penal Law (amendment--possession, printing, reproduction, dissemination, distribution, and importation of publications to induce [SEE FOOTNOTE #1] religious conversion). 5757--1996
    1. After paragraph 174B to the Penal Law 5737--1977 [SEE FOOTNOTE #2] would come:
    Prohibition of inducement for religious conversion 174C
    A) Whoever possesses contrary to the law or prints or reproduces or disseminates or distributes or imports tracts or publicizes things in which there is an inducement to religious conversion is punishable by -- one year imprisonment.
    B) Any tract or publication in which there is inducement to religious conversion will be confiscated.

    My friend Stan Rittenhouse, in his book, “For Fear of the Jews,” summarizes Israel’s original anti-missionary law. Because of its severity and potential to offend evangelicals, this law has not been enforced to the point of imprisoning Christians. It does, however, provide a precedent and pattern for more recent laws.

    The Penal Law Amendment (Enticement to Change Religion) - law, 5738-1977, was passed by the Knesset during Christmas week (December 27, 1977) and went into effect Easter week (April 1, 1978). Violation of this law is a criminal offense, punishable by five years in prison or a fine of 50,000 Israeli pounds (or the equivalent in shekels). The above applies to those attempting to convert someone to their faith if a material benefit is offered. The State of Israel is not as harsh on those converted: Their sentence is three years in prison or a 30,000 Israeli-pound fine. The law reads:

    1. Whosoever gives or promises to a person money, money’s worth, or some other material benefit in order to induce him to change his religion or in order that he may induce another person to change his religion, is liable to imprisonment for five years or a fine of 50,000 pounds.
    2. Whosever receives or agrees to receive money, money’s worth, or some other material benefit in return for a promise to change his religion or to cause another person to change his religion is liable to imprisonment for a term of three years or a fine of 30,000 pounds....
    Save the 27th

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    Politics.ie Member Clanrickard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dame_Enda View Post
    Supporter's of Israel call it "the only democracy in the region". Israel's supporters in the West (especially but not exclusively the US) more often than not are devout Christians who take a literalist interpretation of the Biblical Old Testament references to "Israel". Israel signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 18 states: “Everyone has the right to...change his religion...and freedom...to manifest his religion or beliefs in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” This makes their religious tolerance or otherwise the business of the international community.

    But how would/do these Christians feel about Israel if they knew about their persecution of Christians? The offending law is penal law 5737-1977. It is high time the EU and UN took up the issue. We should not have an EU Association agreement giving Israel access to the Single Market to a state that denies the world's largest denomination its right to practice and promote its religion. And I say that as an agnostic.
    Many of us have been lobbying for years for Israel to be brought to task for her hypocrisy regarding Christians. Christian tourism is worth billions to Israel as are the huge sums they get from evangelical groups in the US, that is why Israel likes to put on a show for them. They get the sanitised tours when they visit, no sign of the "wall" or the locked up churches with no access allowed. These groups are not brought to shop in Christian businesses and as friends of mine, who were on one of these tours recently said, awkward questions about Christians under the Occuption are passed off as lies or not answered to at all.

    We have been trying to get the truth out to Christians worldwide and in recent years it has been having some affect. Many of the larger Christian churches are divesting from companies involved in the occupation like CRH, Caterpillar, Veolia (who run the Luas in Dublin) and others.

    I have no problems with Israel disliking proselytizing but stopping people worshiping whatever God they choose is a breach of human rights.

    Of course Clan would want this Zooed. Typical kneejerk reaction from a supporter of Zionism who doesn't like the truth getting out
    Last edited by kalipa; 11th December 2012 at 02:21 PM.

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    Politics.ie Member Clanrickard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalipa View Post

    I have no problems with Israel disliking proselytizing but stopping people worshiping whatever God they choose is a brech of human rights.

    Of course Clan would want this Zooed. Typical kneejerk reaction from a supporter of Zionism who doesn't like the truth getting out
    Nobody is prevented from practicing their religion in Israel. Both the Christian and Muslim population are growing. Israel is the only country where such freedom is allowed in the middle east. There are things about which you can criticise Israel but freedom of religion is not one of them. That is why I want this thread zooed.

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    You only need to remember the massacre at the Tel el-Zaatar camp to know what the Zionists think of Christians.

    The terrorist state of Israel is a theocracy like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan.

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    Politics.ie Member The Field Marshal's Avatar
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    Israel is not a democracy but a theocratic state. That it legally proscribes and limits the freedoms of all non Jews is normal and to be expected.
    Repeal the thirty-fourth amendment of the Irish constitution :
    Children have a basic right to be reared by a mother and a father.

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    Politics.ie Member gerhard dengler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clanrickard View Post
    Nobody is prevented from practicing their religion in Israel. Both the Christian and Muslim population are growing. Israel is the only country where such freedom is allowed in the middle east. There are things about which you can criticise Israel but freedom of religion is not one of them. That is why I want this thread zooed.
    What?

    Christianity is in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Jordan and Lebanon.
    Politics.ie moderators should moderate instead.
    Welcome to Political Irish | Political Irish

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    The OP has no valid premise. You simply need to consult the law [note Penal Law 5737-1977 is simply the entire criminal code]:

    http://www.oecd.org/investment/bribe...n/43289694.pdf

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    Politics.ie Member The Field Marshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clanrickard View Post
    Nobody is prevented from practicing their religion in Israel. Both the Christian and Muslim population are growing. Israel is the only country where such freedom is allowed in the middle east. There are things about which you can criticise Israel but freedom of religion is not one of them. That is why I want this thread zooed.
    Your wrong. Christians are legally prohibited from proselytising in the theocratic Jewish state of Israel.
    Repeal the thirty-fourth amendment of the Irish constitution :
    Children have a basic right to be reared by a mother and a father.

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    Politics.ie Member Clanrickard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levellers View Post
    You only need to remember the massacre at the Tel el-Zaatar camp to know what the Zionists think of Christians.

    The terrorist state of Israel is a theocracy like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Field Marshal View Post
    Israel is not a democracy but a theocratic state. That it legally proscribes and limits the freedoms of all non Jews is normal and to be expected.

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