Israeli policies also limited the ability of Israeli Jews to reach places of worship in areas under Palestinian control.
US State Department, International Religious Freedom Report 2010
Apparently, the US State Department cannot fathom why the Israeli government would be eschewing the famous Palestinian hospitality to Jews and limiting the number of Jews who can enter areas under Palestinian Arab control.
In response, Rabbi Yaakov Menken explains why Israel dare not allow Jews to worship in areas under Palestinian control:
Set aside for the moment Israel’s mandate to protect its citizens from harm, and the fact that unrestricted visits to “areas under Palestinian control” have resulted in Israelis being ripped literally limb from limb by the peaceful denizens of the Palestinian Authority. The other major reason why Israel does not permit Israeli Jews to “reach places of worship in areas under Palestinian control” is because were it to do otherwise, Israel would be blamed for the “provocation” of permitting Israeli Jews to pray at Jewish holy sites. Does or does not the international community blame the peaceful visit by Ariel Sharon, at the time a member of the Knesset with the same voting power as Ahmad Tibi, for the “provocation” of visiting the Temple Mount that “triggered” the intifada for which the PA had prepared for months? Did or did not UNESCO call upon Israel just last month to rescind its undeniable statement of fact that Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs are in fact part of our national heritage?It boggles the mind. If the State Department cannot appreciate the danger Jews face by attempting to visit Jewish places of worship in Palestinian-controlled areas, can we even hope they have a grasp of the Arab-Jewish conflict and the long history of Muslim Anti-Semitism?
That was a rhetorical question--no need to answer.
Technorati Tag: State Department and Rachel's Tomb and Hebron.