I wrote my American Jewish friends on a photocopy of The Jerusalem Post article, “International Christian Embassy starts drive to ensure rights in territories” by Liat Collins, Tuesday, October 17, 1995
The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem is beginning an international campaign to ensure Christian rights after IDF withdrawal from the territories.
On Sunday, some 1,200 Christians carrying banners proclaiming “Bethlehem will be Jewish Forever,” attended a solidarity and prayer rally at Rachel's Tomb.
International Christian Embassy spokesman Jan van der Hoeven stressed the need to keep Bethlehem open to all faiths and spoke against the rise of Islamic extremism.
He noted the growing number of Christian residents of Bethlehem who are asking the embassy's help in moving out of the city for fear of Moslem action against them once the IDF leaves.
The deadline for IDF evacuation has been brought forward to December 22.
Nearly all the participants at the rally were visiting for the International Christian Embassy's Feast of Tabernacles activities.
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, of Efrat, also addressed the crowd.
About 30 residents of Jerusalem's Gilo section attended the rally, noting the proximity between their neighborhood and Rachel's Tomb.
Yesterday, David Ben-Ariel, a Christian member of the Temple Mount Faithful, said he was harassed and detained by both Moslem Wakf guards and the police after he went up to the Mount to pray.
“It's not news that Jews can't pray there, even though everybody claims there is freedom for all faiths,” he said.
“But people don't realize that Christians can't pray there either,” he said.
Ben-Ariel was wearing a shirt with the Temple Mount Faithful slogan on it at the time of his arrest.
Oct. 19, '95
So many things to say
I don't know where to
begin. I was in Hevron
(during the signing of Oslo 2)
with Gershon Salomon & friends
from our Temple Mt. Faithful organization.
Busloads of people in their
“right” mind came from all over
Israel to show solidarity in
Hevron against this false peace.
I met Ariel Sharon twice,
inviting him to our demonstration
during Sukkot, as well as Geula Cohen
and Rav Levinger - all who spoke at the
rally. I also took part in the wonderful
opposition rally at Zion Square that held a torch-lit
parade to the Knesset, carrying our Temple Mt. Faithful flag
and helping to pass out thousands of adverts for our Sukkot demo.
During Sukkot we had High Court permission to enter the Temple Mount,
but after 4 of our people went up, we decided not to go up without
Gershon who they prevented. The newspapers lied & said 20-50 of us
went up. Later, when Professor Rakover (Deputy Attorney General) spoke at the Israel Center
(where the Root & Branch Association holds a lecture series), I was able to ask him why the government is punishing those who seek to do everything legally and rewarding Arabs who threaten to riot. He agreed there isn't any law forbidding Jews or Christians, but that basically not enough people care to exercise it yet to put sufficient pressure on the gov.
to change the status quo. Speaking of the government,
I must go back next wk. to the misrad haPenim. I was invited to
a beautiful home & family in Givat
Ze'ev for the first night of
Sukkot. The leader of a settler
organization, Eyal, has invited me
to Kiryat Arba for Shabbat
in about a month. I plan
on writing up in article form
some of these experiences.
I asked Carl to send you a
copy of The National Messenger.
I wrote a letter to the Jerusalem
Post about being arrested on the Temple
Mount, following the reporter's suggestion.
Aryeh Gallin, President of the Root & Branch
Assoc., is also planning on something for their
international newsletter (they publish & promote
Judaica). I'll write more later. I just
wanted to quickly update you. I hope
this finds you both well, having enjoyed
the holy days.
David (also signed in Hebrew)