Jerusalem – free speech

Visit Jerusalem and you come to a city where you walk on history.

In the Old City, you can wander back thousands of years. In the newer parts of the city, geopolitics storms out at you from every corner. And in any one of the main streets, you can find people of several religions streaming towards you.

Sit in your internet cafe and complain about the Israeli political system, well you will be typing away with no fear that a policeman is looking over your shoulder with a baton, as in Iran.

This week, Jerusalem has proved that it is more than just a centre to the 3 main religions. Yesterday, Thursday, a gay parade took place. Yes, it did anger leaders of all religions. Yet I went into the night life area, later in the evening. The atmosphere was definitely one of fun and good will.

Today, the ultra orthodox will protest the opening of a car park on the Sabbath. I have many reservations about their aims and methods, however they will be protesting when most others in the Middle East can only dream of the opportunity.

Opposite these devout Jews will be standing a group of youths, dressed in jeans and tanktops, demanding greater pluralism.

Free speech – in Jerusalem or in Israel per se – is a precious gift. It must be protected, and not abused. When people complain about Israel and its so-called treatment of Palestinians, they rarely apply the same principles in reverse. Amnesty International feels that Israel should release political prisoners, but its silence over the abuse of Gilad Shalit is reprehensible.

Here, the choice of silence is as unacceptable as repression of free speech.

It’s a cauldron, but Jerusalem is a great place to live, because her freedom is available to all – for all to respect its precious status.

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3 Comments on “Jerusalem – free speech”

  1. Michael Horesh Says:

    To invoke some political satire of Yisrael Medad: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fell and broke her right elbow, earlier this week. This, just after telling Israel that the US includes “East” Jerusalem as part of the “settlement freeze”. Doesn’t that remind you of Psalms 137:5: “If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither?” P.S. Bill already knows what the next verse is…

  2. Michael Horesh Says:

    For those who think all ultra-orthodox just study and do not pay taxes, read this link to guage a chnage in society. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1245924931924&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


  3. […] Afternoon Tea In Jerusalem What you want to know about Israeli commercial life and society « Jerusalem – free speech […]


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