November 28th, 2007 05:01 EST
The Sanctity of Jerusalem
Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for 1000 Orthodox Rabbis, issued the following appeal to the leaders of the 40 countries participating in the Annapolis peace conference, as well as world leaders of Christian and Muslim denominations:
As a special emissary to the Holy Land representing the Rabbinical Alliance of America, and the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada, I had the merit to be a key organizer and participant in the historic conference of religious leaders pertaining to the sanctity of the Holy City of Jerusalem. The media coverage of this conference occurred on March 30th to the 31st, 2005, and included a front page story in the New York Times. A document was issued which was signed by the Israeli Chief Rabbis, the various Christian Patriarchs, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, currently the Vatican Apostolic Ambassador to Washington, myself, representing the American Rabbinate, and various Muslim leaders.
The heretofore, unparalleled scope of participants in Annapolis and the previous statements of various religious leaders, such as a statement issued by the Vatican on November 8th, 2006, which addressed preserving the sanctity of Jerusalem which is venerated by so many faithful, provides a unique opportunity for building goodwill between all the religious faith communities.
Surely the City of Jerusalem deserves the sanctity and respect accorded to Vatican City, Mecca, Karbalah, and other cities which faithful venerate. Thus, there should be no immoral parades, public displays, homosexual or heterosexual, no pornography, no titillating advertisements, no establishments which promote licentiousness, and no municipal funding of movies, plays, or cultural events that are immodest or offend the sensibilities, not only of the various faith communities which populate Jerusalem, but the millions, if not billions, worldwide, who venerate Jerusalem, and all her Holy sites.
We call upon the various religious personalities who have historically had connections with Christian Holy sites, such as Pope Benedict, the Patriarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Armenian Church, etc...as well as the King of Morocco, who is traditionally charged with protecting Muslim Holy sites, and other leaders who are not mentioned here, to promptly join together and issue statements and exercise influence to see that a binding agreement is signed by the appropriate authorities forever guaranteeing the sanctity of the entire Jerusalem, the Old City, East Jerusalem, which is largely populated by Arabs, and West Jerusalem, which is populated by Jews. If it is called Jerusalem by any party, it should be totally devoid of anything, which would offend any of the religious sensibilities of the major faiths.
All who care for the sanctity of Jerusalem should insist that the section of Israeli Basic Law which pertains to Jerusalem's' sanctity be updated and made crystal clear, there should be zero tolerance for any type of public immorality, immodesty, or so-called "cultural activity" which wouldn't be acceptable in the other aforementioned cities!
Safeguarding the sanctity of Jerusalem should be the first step in this new era of international and interreligious cooperation.
As Orthodox Jews, we call upon the Knesset to act expeditiously and legislate in a manner which ensures the success of this movement to preserve Jerusalem's sanctity. We call on the Mayor and City Council of Jerusalem to defund all immoral events that offend traditional religious sensibilities.
This common denominator of concern for the sanctity of Jerusalem will create international goodwill and empower those who sincerely seek peace.
Follow this link to view Rabbi Levin's Youtube Video regarding the "Annapolis Meeting": http://youtube.com/watch?v=sSUHg-ZaKps