Poor Muslims. Poor downtrodden sensitive Muslims. Everyone has to walk on eggshells so as not to even inadvertently insult one of them, or all of them collectively. Their delicate egos cannot take it. Such a demand for consideration must be behind the following declaration issued in the Palestinian Authority (PA):
Reports of the first arrests this year have begun to appear:
Palestinian Authority Police arrest 3 men for eating/smoking in public in Hebron during Ramadan; expected to get one month in prison.
— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) May 29, 2017
This is not new. In 2007, Israel Today claimed that the PA decided to crack down on people caught eating or smoking on Ramadan in Judea & Samaria in order to prove to Hamas in Gaza that Fatah is just as Islamo-conscious as they are. Times of Israel reported six arrests in 2014 in which Supreme Sharia Court chairperson, Sheikh Yusuf Ida’is, was quoted as saying:
I call upon others to be considerate of Muslims’ feelings.
Christians who do not observe Ramadan, and people with health problems who medically cannot fast, can expect to spend the rest of the “holiday” in prison in order not to offend Muslim sensitivities. I wonder if there are any non-Muslim tourists there during this month who might also be in danger of arrest.
But Us Jews, On The Other Hand . . .
When I posted on Facebook from my rehabilitation center that I was disappointed that families of non-Jewish fellow patients did not respect Passover dietary restrictions and brought in bread and other foods, I was soundly chastised. It is apparently too much to expect non-Jews to respect 8 days of Passover, regardless of how nicely they are asked. Bringing in chametz can unkosher the Jewish institution and compromise religious Jews’ honouring of our holiday. But we Jews are supposed to smile and put up with it, probably because we do not want to offend the non-Jews who share our lives with us. It is bad enough that they have to live in a Jewish country!
I also shut up and said nothing in face of the use of Passover dishes and cutlery with non kosher foods (including meat and who knows what kind of meat that was). That makes me just as lily-livered as anyone else. I guess that means that we Jews do not have feelings that need to be considered by non-Jews or by secular Jews who care not a whit for Jewish tradition. Because if we had feelings we might be more insistent on respect in our public institutions (without threat of arrest, of course).
This article first appeared in Israel Diaries.