Freedom of religion in Israel
This page is a defence of Israel as a liberal democracy, with free speech, freedom of religion and freedom of sexuality.
This is why I support Israel. I support any liberal democracy anywhere in the world - South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India, South Africa, Israel, the South American democracies, Eastern Europe, and of course the traditional West. And I especially support any democracy fighting against non-democratic tyranny - as in the case of Israel, whose opponents are not democrats but rather tribal racists and totalitarian religious maniacs.
If Israel was not a democracy, I wouldn't support it. If the Palestinians were democrats, I would support them. But they're not, so I don't.
Israel is the most secular country in the Middle East.
Pew survey of global opinion. From here.
Map of gay rights.
Israel is an oasis of sexual freedom in the Middle East.
A sad, sad article, Aug 2013.
A piece about the few pro-gay activists in Palestinian society ends with the news that there will be a "Palestinian Queer Party" event ... to be held in Israel!
The Palestinian gays have to hold their parties in Tel Aviv in Israel for safety. Says it all.
Another ad for Israel tourism!
Some naughty Israeli army recruits pose with their guns.
They were disciplined for this. And yet the symbolism is attractive. The Israeli army is the only army in the Middle East that is fighting to defend freedom of sexuality, speech and religion.
"In an unstable Middle East, Israel is the one anchor of stability. In a region of shifting alliances, Israel is America's unwavering ally. Israel has always been pro-American. Israel will always be pro-American.
My friends, .. you don't need to do nation-building in Israel. We're already built. You don't need to export democracy to Israel. We've already got it. And you don't need to send American troops to Israel. We defend ourselves."
"Israel has always embraced [freedom] in a Middle East that has long rejected it. In a region where women are stoned, gays are hanged, Christians are persecuted, Israel stands out. It is different. ... George Eliot predicted over a century ago that .. "The Jewish state will shine like a bright star of freedom amid the despotisms of the East." Well, she was right. We have a free press, independent courts, an open economy ... Courageous Arab protesters are now struggling to secure these very same rights for their peoples, for their societies. We're proud in Israel that over 1 million Arab citizens of Israel have been enjoying these rights for decades. Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel's Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights. Now, I want you to stop for a second and think about that. Of those 300 million Arabs, less than one-half of 1 percent are truly free, and they're all citizens of Israel. ... Israel is not what is wrong about the Middle East; Israel is what's right about the Middle East. Israel fully supports the desire of Arab peoples in our region to live freely. We long for the day when Israel will be one of many real democracies in the Middle East."
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Address to U.S. Congress, May 24, 2011.
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