There is no doubt the right of Jews to live in the state of Israel has never been acknowledged by many nations of the world. The reason is quite clear-there remains among many people an undying hatred of Jews. That is reality. However, the history of the Israel government in handling delicate issues pertaining to the religious center of Jerusalem which belongs to Jews, Christians and Muslims has been an adventure in disastrous public relations. Three religions converge on Jerusalem, three religions have sites they worship in Jerusalem, and three religions have the right to honor their legacy in Jerusalem. It is now Easter Week and Israel authorities have assumed the right to decide who can worship and who cannot. Robert Sergy, a UN official was even denied the right to enter religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem because Israel police have barricades through which worshippers can only pass–with permission of the Israel government.
Father Firas Aridah expressed the feeling of thousands of Christians who live on the West Bank: “the Israel authorities have said they are giving more permits this year to come from the West Bank, but the point is that Christians should be able to come here without permits.” Christianity was born two thousand years ago in Jerusalem and Christians are entitled to the right to pray not only during Easter Week, but throughout the year.
The Israel government needs a few lessons in public relations. To deny the right of worship to others simply increases hatred towards Israel.