Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This week's fake outrage: Wine festival in Beersheva

From Adalah last week:

On 9 August 2012, Adalah sent a legal letter to the Israeli Attorney General, the Minister of Culture and Sports, and the Municipality of Beer el-Sabe (Beer Sheva) demanding that they intervene and cancel the 6th Annual “Salut Wine and Beer Festival” due to take place in the courtyard of the Big Mosque in Beer el-Sabe. Adalah requested that all activity that violates the sanctity of the mosque, as well as the dignity of the thousands of Muslims who live in Beer el-Sabe and the tens of thousands who come to the city daily, be stopped immediately. Adalah Attorney Aram Mahameed sent the letter.

The letter pointed out that it was recently announced that the Wine Festival will take place 5-6 September 2012. The festival will feature alcoholic beverages from about 30 breweries and wineries from around the country, in addition to imports. It will also include a number of musical performances.

“This is a sensitive issue that endangers the interests of all Arab citizens of the state,” Attorney Mahameed emphasized in the letter. “The use of the courtyard of the Mosque for drinking alcohol is a red line banned in Islam, and is completely incompatible with the mosque’s intended use for prayer.”
Many sites are claiming that the festival is being held inside the mosque!

Here are the facts:

There have been no prayers in the mosque since 1948.

The "courtyard" of the mosque is also the grounds of the Negev Museum of Art, which is the official venue.

The wine festival has been going on in the exact same spot for years, and no one complained about it before.

The entire "outrage" is simply orchestrated to get people upset. It has zero basis in fact. But then again, when are facts important to the anti-Israel crowd?

Here's what it looked like last year.