Religion Magazine

Intolerance in Tel Aviv

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
By now you must have surely heard the news about the Chabad event scheduled for Tel Aviv's Rabin Square that was blocked by Mayor of Tel Aviv Ron Huldai..
intolerance in Tel Aviv
in case you haven't heard, briefly, Chabad was putting on this event called "Mashiach BaKikar" - an event celebrating what Chabad calls "Chag HaGeulah" the holiday of redemption, as the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson had been released from Russian prison. At the holiday event in Kikar Rabin in Tel Aviv, as you can see from the sign, in addition to musical perfromances by Meilech Kahn, Mendy jarufe, Ariel Zilber and Avi Ben Yisrael, they were going to greet the Messiah, praise God, talk about the wholeness of the Land of Israel and its security and get blessings from the King Messiah.
Being that the event was planned to be gender-separate, the mayor, Ron Huldai, went and got legal opinion stating that because it is gender-separate and is taking place on public property he can/should legally cancel the event as being discriminatory against women. So he did.
Since Huldai declared the event canceled and off-limits, there has been a wave of anger against him and claims of being anti-religious. The obvious comparisons were brought up, such as to a women-only race that took place not long ago on the streets of Tel Aviv, along with other events that are female-only that seem to be allowed.
I dont think I have anything unique to say on this. Nobody is saying they cannot rent a hall and have their event there. Just that legally they cannot have such an event in the public area. Besides for that, they complain about the intolerance the secular have of the religious community, and that is a problem. However that problem is equalized by the intolerance the religious have for the secular community.
In general, the live and let live approach needs to spread more around all the different communities. We needn't feel so threatened by every event or statement made by other people in a different style than what we would prefer. Tel Aviv won't lose its character by a Chabad event taking places within the borders of the city, nor will Jerusalem or other cities lose its character by secular events taking place in them.
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