does the state of palestine outlaw judaism?
yes, the state of palestine outlaws judaism. it does this through several policies. many of these policies originate from jordan, which ruled the judea and samaria area / west bank and jerusalem from 1948 to 1967.
under the period of jordanian rule, judaism was outlawed, jewish property ownership was outlawed, jewish residency was outlawed, and jewish pilgrimage was outlawed.
jordan outlawed judaism everywhere in eretz yisrael / historical palestine, including areas where jewish, muslim, and christian communities had traditionally coexisted.
for generations and centuries, jews, muslims, and christians had lived together. beyond the historic center of jerusalem, there were mixed neighborhoods like sheikh jarrah. suddenly, there were no surviving jewish communities under the jordanian policy.
today, in the judea and samaria area / west bank and jerusalem, the state of palestine bases its population registry on the jordanian system. in practice, this totally prohibits any jewish people from residency or citizenship because jordan outlawed jews from being included.
for example, the jewish quarter of the old city of jerusalem, despite centuries of coexistence, is considered by the state of palestine to be a place where it is illegal for jews to live or own property at all, including synagogues.
the state of palestine has further clarified that it maintains 'a ban on renting out property to jewish individuals and organizations' (jerusalem post, 2009).
in addition to its interpretation of the population registry, the state of palestine outlaws judaism by transferring previously jewish or mixed-use heritage sites to 'awqaf' (singular: 'waqif') which is a type of land under islamic law which is reserved for muslim use.
the state of palestine only allows two exceptions to its total ban on jewish prayer: joseph's tomb in nablus, and the ancient synagogue in jericho. on occasion, the state of palestine allows jewish people to briefly visit and pray. these brief visits are exceptions that prove the rule.
in addition, the state of palestine outlaws judaism by banning jewish people from managing or maintaining any synagogues. it is illegal under the state of palestine's law for jewish people or groups, including synagogues, to own property.
the state of palestine has clarified that selling homes or properties to jews was 'high treason' which is a charge that carries the death penalty (jerusalem post, 2009). this medieval policy of applying the death sentence for selling property to jews continues to be repeatedly reaffirmed and enforced (jta, 2012).
the state of palestine severely restricts any gatherings of jewish people, only allowing some tourist groups to visit when led by certified tour guides. this eliminates the possibility of regular congregational gathering that is central to judaism.
another way that the state of palestine outlaws judaism is through its extremist laws on jewish religious items. it enforces a strict policy of forbidding the use and display of traditional jewish religious items such as a menorah.
in 2022, when a christian tour group held a religious event that included a menorah, the state of palestine's ministry of tourism and antiquites shut down the venue and conducted an investigation to detemrine if the venue had been 'preparing to host a jewish celebration' or whether in fact it was a christian celebration, whcih is allowed.
i24 news, 2022
jerusalem post, 2009
y net, 2010
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