Today’s Study in Contrasts
One seemingly cannot open a newspaper or read an online article or blog (much less the comments to online articles and blogs) about Israel without being assailed by accusations that Israel is a racist, theocratic, apartheid state.
Sometimes a contract presents itself that is almost better than anyting Israel’s supporters can say to demonstrate why those accusations are sheer and utter nonsense.
I present Exhibit A, from the Times of Israel, posted at the Eye on the UN blog (although note that the underlying information is from Palestinian daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah):
The Palestinian Authority arrested six men across the West Bank this week for publicly breaking the fast of Ramadan, news watchdog Palestinian Media Watch reported Wednesday.
The official Palestinian daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah reported earlier this week that five Palestinian men were arrested in the city of Nablus for “desecrating the holiness of the month of Ramadan” by eating in public during the day. A sixth man was reportedly arrested the following day in the city of Jericho for the same offense.
Fasting from sunrise to sunset during the lunar month of Ramadan is one of five tenets of Islam.
Breaking the fast is prohibited in many Arab and Muslim countries, with legal penalties varying from fines to short prison terms. According to article 274 of the Palestinian penal code, citizens who violate Ramadan by eating or smoking in public risk up to one month in prison or a fine of 15 Jordanian dinars ($21).
A number of men were arrested in the West Bank for eating in public during Ramadan last year as well. In August 2011 the PA daily Al-Ayyam reported that three men in Nablus and two in Hebron were apprehended by police for eating on the street and “cursing God.”
Sheikh Yusuf Ida’is, chairman of the Supreme Court for Shariah Law, told Palestinian TV on July 22 that Ramadan offenders should be jailed until the end of Ramadan as a warning to others. “I call upon others to be considerate of Muslims’ feelings,” Ida’is added, asking non-Muslim Palestinians to refrain from eating in public as well.
Now for Exhibit B:
Jerusalem holds gay pride parade
Thousands gather to mark 10th annual LGBT celebration in capital city. Hundreds of police officers and Border Guard officers are securing crowds
Jerusalem was painted in all the colors of the rainbow on Thursday to mark the city’s annual gay pride parade. Hundreds of participants swarmed the streets of the capital, holding signs marking the 10th anniversary of the parade.
Hundreds of police officers and Border Guard officers are securing the crowds.
Jerusalem Open House Executive Director Elionr Sidi said that the march “was an opportunity to reflect on all the changes that Jerusalem has undergone in the past decade.
“We no longer see incidents like in 2005 and 2006 of incitement, stabbing and riots against the participants. Despite these changes, there is still a lot to be done for the members of the proud community,” she added.
“We have yet to reach normalization. There are still violent incidents and it is still more difficult to be gay or lesbian in Jerusalem than it is in Tel Aviv,” Sidi noted.
Adam Rousso, 26, who was stabbed and moderately injured during the gay pride parade march in 2005, told Ynet that he has attended every precession since the incident. “We were expected to stop being proud of who we are. I understand this request and can promise that it will happen the day that they stop expecting us to be ashamed of who we are. I feel that this day is approaching.”
Earlier on Thursday, residents reported that the block letters making up the sign at the city’s main entrance were painted in the colors of the rainbow flag.
City officials said that the “initiative” was probably that of members of the local gay community, ahead of the parade. Police is investigating the incident.
The parade has been a strong point of contention since it first took to the capital’s streets.
Haredi groups, who staunchly oppose the parade, are planning to stage protests against the event and police officers are gearing up to secure the march.
Now, soemone remind me, which is the racist, theocratic government and which government goes to substantial expense to ensure and protect the rights of minorities?