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September 21, 2014 11:40 am

Fears of Violence in Mixed Areas as Jewish, Muslim Holidays May Collide in Once in 30 Years Occurrence

avatar by Dave Bender

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An Arab demonstration. Photo: unknown.

In the wake of a summer wracked by Arab-Jewish violence within Israel, in Gaza, and in the West Bank, security and local authorities in mixed Jewish Arab areas are bracing for a potential “perfect storm”: the solemn Jewish Yom Kippur fast and the festive Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday – falling on the same day, Israel’s Walla News reported Sunday.

While leaders in mixed-populace cities like Jerusalem, Jaffa, Acco, Ramle, Haifa, Nazareth and elsewhere are trying to convey a message of reconciliation, the fact the two observances have such different characteristics makes that difficult: Yom Kippur involves 24-hours of fasting, prayer and introspection, while Eid al-Adha is a family celebration in which lambs are routinely publicly slaughtered for a feast.

The confluence occurs once every 30 years, and may occur again this year, on Saturday, Oct. 4. While both religions base timekeeping on a lunar calendar, Jewish law stipulates the day and length of the fast to the minute, while Muslim religious leaders can decide on the exact date of the holidays based on the appearance of the moon, giving them some leeway.

The last three months have seen the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teens, the kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian youth in revenge, the 50-day Operation Protective Edge in Gaza and anti-Jewish rioting by Arabs in Jerusalem, so there are no shortage of precedents for violence.

In Acco, as well as Ramle and Jaffa, special meetings were recently held between the city’s religious leaders in order to work out how to deal with the anticipated proximity of dates; each side is expected to ask its community to exercise restraint and respect the other side’s public spaces.

Acco is preparing to close the city to vehicular traffic and permit only pedestrian entrance, and Jaffa Muslim leaders agreed to a request to move a parade that was supposed to take place on Yom Kippur morning to after sunset, when the Jewish fast ends.

“We’ve already initiated three meetings with religious leaders, educators, community and security officials,” said Acco Mayor Shimon Lankri.

“If [public disturbances] occur, we – through the major forces that will be deployed here, and discretionary measures, whether implemented by police or local authorities – will deal with each case individually.”

Ramle Mayor Yoel Lavi, said that the municipality would work to increase awareness of the possibility that both holidays could fall on the same date.

“On the one hand, Jews will be fasting, and on the other hand, the Muslims will be celebrating,” he said, adding that he hoped that “raising awareness, as well as requesting discreet behavior on both sides – both by Yoel, as well as by Ahmed – will avert tragic events,” Lavi said.

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  • Yeheshuah Benjamin

    In this most profoundest of moments, it is impossible for a Muslim-Jewish reconciliation to be observed in the Jewish homeland, despite any good intentions inspired by hope. The Muslim way is that of the deceiver and so, knives must be sharpened and ready to be thrust into the heart of the enemy; for they do not recognize nor respect any way other than their own selfish dogmatism

  • Bernard Ross

    even if there are no direct attacks, the noise of the muslims will have the same effect

  • Wilma Feinstone

    Whose land is it? When someone travels, visits or even illegally trespasses into another country, they are obligated to observe & respect the laws, customs & rights of the citizenry of that land. Where does Israel’s corrupt leftist government get off forcing the citizen’s of a Jewish state to observe the pagan customs of rabid leftists, Arab terrorists & illegal infiltrators? For example, on Shabbat there should be NO vehicles allowed on the roads, except for security & emergency purposes. Doesn’t the Land deserve it’s rest for putting up with all the defilement & desecration.

    • Ron Blower

      Never heard that explained in such a concise manner before. Judaic Religious zealotry was my (ill-considered, I see now) opinion when discussed within my range of hearing.

      Wasn’t afraid to say so, too…. Sigh: Lotsa people to contact.

      Thank you.

  • If Jews in Iran are not allowed to eat and drink in front of Muslims during the days Ramadan, so the same should apply to Muslims in Israel, not to eat in front of Jews fasting on Yom-Kippur.

  • Dov Stein

    riots by Arabs is not because of the conflict of 2 holiday in the same day. riots, pogrom, prosecutions to Jews by Arb is a story of 100 years of terror and gerila fighting. the riot will be stopped only if the government will change it’s “liberal” atitude to the riots!

  • Asian

    China supports Jews against Muslims, only our government likes the Muslim nations such as Iran and Syria!

    • zadimel

      China would appear to exercise a generally neutral attitude towards Jews, but would not allow Muslim directed – violence to be ued against them for any reason. Indeed,such would be the case for any targeted group.

  • Milhouse

    The same thing will happen next year as well.

  • vivarto

    Move Muhammedans to some Muhammedan country, e.g. Jordan, Sweden, or England.

  • Fred Chalfin

    The fact that the religious leaders are able to work together to prevent trouble, is a great start. Lets add on to that start and see what else we can solve together.

  • If they don’t like Israel send them to Gaza!

  • Pardon the critical correction to this article. We must all be diligent in stating the facts correctly.
    This is not the Arab-Jewish issue. This is a Muslim-Jewish issue.
    Then broaden the scope correctly.

    • hammar

      Don’t forget that if you are a shia and not a sunni! Same death sentence.
      Only in the koran which is the complete opposite of the Word of God from the Bible are you allowed to murder, rape, rob, and covet.
      mu-ham was a horrible person and a child raper. His wife was six years old…not that is sick. And these clowns follow this moron.