Friday, November 21, 2014

21-Nov-14: How safe is it for an Arab in Israel to call for tolerance? This religious leader can tell us

The Imam of Acre: Voice of tolerance
Life is not easy anywhere for Arabs calling for tolerance and understanding of others. A fresh instance today from Haaretz: "Vandals deface car of Acre imam, who called for tolerance after J'lem attack"
Vandals defaced the car of Sheikh Samir Assi, the imam of the Al-Jazaar mosque in Acre, overnight Thursday, in what the city's mayor called an unfortunate incident. Police suspect the vandals poured acid on the car, which was parked outside the religious leader's home. Acre Mayor Shimon Lankri denounced the crime and said he hoped its perpetrators would be apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. "The residents of Acre, Jews and Arabs alike, have proven they know how to respect one another and to coexist with mutual respect and understanding," he said.
The imam was among clergy representing Christians, Jews and Muslims who met Wednesday near the Jerusalem synagogue where five people were killed in a grisly Palestinian attack to plead for tolerance amid spiking regional tensions. Absent from the meeting were Muslim authorities from Jerusalem and senior Israeli rabbis... With Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theofilis III of Jerusalem and Latin Patriarch Fuad Twal in attendance, Assi condemned the Palestinian attack on the synagogue. "We came to this place to take a stand toward this criminal act, which involves an assault against the sanctity of the house of God, and against the unarmed worshipers," Assi said.
Acid attack on the Imam of Acre's car
[Image Source]
In the background, there are more riots by more "angry" Arabs today [Hundreds riot throughout West Bank after Friday prayers, Times of Israel today]:
  • Several riots were reported throughout the West Bank Friday afternoon following weekly sermons.
  • Around 350 Palestinians demonstrated in Hebron... hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at police, who were responding with non-lethal means to disperse the protesters.
  • Another hundred people were demonstrating and assaulting security forces near Nablus, where soldiers were using rubber bullets and other means to quell the mob. Three Palestinians were lightly injured there and evacuated to hospital...
  • In Qalandiya, north of Jerusalem, several dozen Palestinians were rioting. One man was said lightly injured by a rubber bullet fired by security forces.
A Palestinian Arab source says the violence in Hebron today was not a terribly sophisticated thing - just another instance in which
Hamas movement called for a march against the occupation, concurrent with protests across the West Bank.
The Jerusalem Post says on the highly contentious Temple Mount, where in past weeks, "entry has been limited to [Moslem] men above the age of 35 and women, amid fears of youth rioting". the police decided to lift the restrictions this morning for the second Friday running. This despite the fact that the Hamas terrorist organization, now operating relatively freely throughout the West Bank towns controlled by the PA, had called for a “Day of Rage” against Israel today. The outcome?: Prayers on the Temple Mount ended peacefully, with some 40,000 worshipers - all of them Moslems, since Jews are forcibly prevented from praying there - taking part, according to Times of Israel quoting an Israel Radio report.

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