Sunday, April 04, 2010

Remember the absurd Reuters article that implied that Israel was doing everything it could to discourage Arab Christians from visiting Jerusalem, and that Israeli policies were keeping Christians from Arab countries away?

From The Christian Science Monitor:
Many of the Arab Christians flocking to holy sites in Israel this Easter Sunday come from neighboring Jordan.

But they do so at a price.

Those who make the trek – and, as part of a broader rise in religious tourism, more are making it every year – risk their professional reputation and their family’s disapproval.

For a country whose 1994 peace treaty with Israel was never accepted at the popular level, receiving an entry stamp, let alone a visa from Israel, is considered “treason” to the Arab cause.

But despite a growing movement to discredit those involved with the “Zionist enemy,” hundreds of Jordanians risk their careers and reputation to complete a pilgrimage to holy sites in Israel’s occupied territories.

“I cannot help it,” says Daoud Yazeed, a Jordanian Christian who disguises his pilgrimages as business trips. “Jerusalem is calling.”

In 2009, 15,000 Jordanians traveled to Israel, the most of any Arab or Muslim country. While a majority of them were visiting Palestinian relatives, a significant number are part of a growing trend of religious tourism.

According to tour operators, an increasing number of Jordanian Christians and Muslims – Jerusalem is Islam’s third holiest city – are taking part in all-inclusive week-long trips through Nazareth, Hebron, and Jerusalem, priced at $600.

But under the Anti-Normalization movement, spearheaded by Islamists and professional associations opposed to Jordan’s 1994 peace treaty – or “normalization” with Israel – those found to have normalized are disbarred from their union and lose their professional licenses, which are required by Jordanian law.

Families further face the public humiliation of being added to a once-publicized blacklist of individuals and companies that deal with the “Zionist entity.”
'Anti-normalization' activists

Anti-Normalization activists are determined to crack down on the practice this holiday to bring to light those who have “normalized with the enemy,” according to Muslim Brotherhood and National Anti- Normalization Committee leader Hamzah Mansour.

“This is supporting Zionist efforts to rid the holy lands and Palestine of its inhabitants, and it is forbidden,” he said.

He compared trips to Jerusalem to the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca which is considered the duty of every adult Muslim, pointing out that the journey is not required if a worshiper has poor health or a lack of money.

“Al Aqsa is occupied territory and you are not expected to pilgrimage to Al Aqsa. God understands,” Mr. Mansour said, calling on Jordanian Christians to pray in local holy sites this Easter to “support the local industry.”

According to the professional associations, they have yet to revoke union memberships over normalization. But the threat itself has deterred hundreds, if not thousands, from making the trip, or pushed their travel into secret, tour operators say.

Normalization, however, was the last of the concerns for Ramzi Mustafa, one of 200 Christian pilgrims from Egypt – the only other Arab country that has made peace with Israel – in the holy city this weekend with organized tour groups.

He said his participation in processions on Via Dolorosa on Good Friday is a way of showing support for the Palestinians and the need for peace, not support for “Zionism.”

And what do the Arabs of Jerusalem think about all this?
Nor do Muslim pilgrimages suggest support for occupation, says the head of Jerusalem’s holy sites, Sheikh Mohamed Azzam Tamimi.

"Jordanians and Egyptians, all Arabs should come and see the holy city,” he said, noting that due to visa restrictions most of the visitors are from Asia, not the Arab world. “We may be under occupation, but supporting our efforts is not normalization.”

Politics should not prevent Arab Christians and Muslims from traveling to the holy city, according to William Shomali, auxiliary bishop of the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem, who welcomed all Arabs to take part in Easter services.

“Our dream is for all Arab Christians and Muslims to come and pray in the holy city,” he said, acknowledging the current situation has been “difficult” for Arab Christians across the region.

“They should come regardless of the political situation,” he said. “We should separate politics from religion, even if certain parties want to join them together; all have the right to pray in the holy sites.”
The Islamists in Jordan, Egypt and elsewhere threaten those who want to come to Jerusalem for any reason - religious or to give cultural support for Palestinian Arabs. The PalArabs who they pretend to be supporting are unanimous in their desire for the visitors, even if they get an Israeli visa stamp.

It just goes to show once again that the people who pretend to care about Palestinian Arabs really only care about hating Israel, not supporting their Palestinian brethren.

It also shows that Israel welcomes these Arabs into the country, and it indicates that Israel is much more interested in freedom of religion for the holy sites under its control than Arab nations ever were.

By way of example, some 105,000 visitors were expected in Jerusalem this week, as opposed to the 10,000 or less that would come during Holy Week before the Six Day War. Any implication that Israeli policies have reduced the number of religious visitors to Jerusalem (as the Reuters article implied) is not only a lie, but an egregious lie.

Printfriendly

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

comments

Speaking

Follow by Email

translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Categories

#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW hum Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion Opinon oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive