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B'nai Brith Canada Encounters Antisemitism in Jerusalem

reposted from The Jewish Tribune
May 28. 2013

JERUSALEM - Leaders of Canadian Jewry’s senior human rights organization today visited the Holiest Jewish Site, Har Ha’Bayit, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The visit, led by Eric Bissell, national president, and CEO Frank Dimant witnessed the desecration of the site and were greeted by Hijab-dressed women screaming in shrill voices, Allah Akbar.

The police, at the entrance, when seeing that some members of the delegation were visibly religious, harassed the group and threatened to deny access to the site. Unprovoked, the police officer in charge of the entrance began screaming at the group, stating that he is there to rule over the visitors and he must be treated with utmost respect. It was obvious that he was serious, as the group saw some religious Jews that were already denied entry that morning and were compelled to wait indefinitely.

Although modestly dressed, the women in the group were ushered off to a side room and compelled to buy shawls; otherwise, they would be forced to leave.

The B'nai Brith Canada delegation was then assigned a police officer and a Moslem representative of the Mufti of Jerusalem to watch over the group to ensure that no Jew move their lips in prayer.

The police officer kept urging the group to keep moving while other foreign visitors and visible Moslems were allowed to stroll leisurely, as Arab children were playing soccer on the holiest site for Jews in the world.

The group and one other group composed of visible Jews was then pelted with rocks by young boys.

"You don’t have to send delegations to Hungary to witness raw antisemitism. Jews are treated as second-class citizens in the Jewish state," said Dimant, who is also a delegate to the Global Forum on Antisemitism taking place here this week. "It's ironic that that the Global Forum on antisemitism is meeting in Jerusalem and will by design ignore this hatred in Jerusalem. I doubt that any of the delegates will leave the conference hall to protest this antisemitic behaviour in Israel's capital, which is an ongoing problem.

"It is critical that all Birthright, Federation and Jewish groups include a visit to the Temple Mount," Dimant stated. "Birthright is all about the most sacred site of the Jewish people. We should show pride and not fear. The Jewish mindset must change."

B'nai Brith Canada will be officially protesting today's incidents to the Minister of Religious Affairs and to the Prime Minister.

Among the participants in the group visiting the Temple Mount were B'nai Brith Canada’s Eric Bissell, national president; CEO Frank Dimant; Pearl Gladman, national director, Centre for Community Action and Anita Bromberg, national director, legal affairs.

To view photographs, please click here.



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