Arab-Israeli Conflict: Religious Rights

Figure 1.--The photo was taken in 1955 in Nazareth. It shows two young siblings on the town streets. The inhabitants of Nazareth are predominantly Arab citizens of Israel, Muslims (about 70 percent) and Christians (30 percent). The Jewish sector is a separate town (Nazareth Illit). Nazareth is the capital and the largest city in the Northern District of Israel. Nazareth is known as 'the Arab capital of Israel'. While the Arab popilation in Israel is stable and the Chistian populayion is increasing. Jews are not safe in the {alestinian territories and the Christian population has plummeted.

Religion was and continued to be a major issue in IsrealiArab conflict, but not the only issue. Thus religious rights needed to be considered in any assessment of the conflict. And we need to consider that a thirs=d religion was involved--Christianity. Not only were European and American Christians interested in the Holy Lands, but there was a very sizeable Arab Christian population in Palestine. There were from the beginning of the British Mandated, substantil differences between Muslims and Jews as to a willingness to tolerate differences. The British very early offered the majority Muslim Arabs majirity rule. The arabs led by the Frand Mufti rejected the offer because the Brirish had attached protection of minority groups to the offer. This was followed by the First Partition of Palestine, Trans-Jordan which became modern Jordan was cut out of eastern Palestine. Th Jordanians proceeded to ban Jews from the new kingdom--a total ban. And then as Wotld War II approached, the Grand Mufti wiyh NAZI assistance atte,pted to launch an abti-Jewish Krilstallnacht in Palestine. After the U.N. Second Partition of Palestine. Arab armies invaded Palestine tobdesroy Israel. In the resulting war, both sides were accused of atrocities aetting refugees in motion. This is complicated, but we know that arab radio stations ordered arabs to flee so that The arab armies could more easil destroy the Jews. After the war, Jirdanian authorities denied Jews acces to the Wailing Wall. The situation changed with the Six Days War. The Isrealis seized control of East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. The Israelis did not exclude Muslims from the Temple Mount and the revered Dome of the Rock. Rather they included Muslim clerics in the management of the Temple Mount. Muslims were allowed to come into Jerusalem to worship at the holy sites. Palestinian Arabs wre cgranted Israeli citizenship nd legal protection and the Arab population has not declines. Israel is one of the few places that rabs can vote and live under the rule of law. There are no Arab countries where Jews or safe. And Christians are coming under creasing attack. This is especially notable in the Palestinian territories.


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Created: 3:13 AM 1/15/2017
Last updated: 3:13 AM 1/15/2017