Monday, December 17, 2007

Jerusalem & Jus Cogens

The Israeli retention of Greater Jerusalem and the Temple Mount represents a fundamental Human Right for the Jewish people. When the Jordanian government held Jerusalem between 1948-1967, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and Jews were allowed no free access to their most holy of places. Whereas Israel guarantees freedom of religion to all who live under her protection.

As we have mentioned before, time and place have more profound meaning in Judaism than in Christianity. Jews may never, under the terms of their faith, forsake Jerusalem. Indeed, whether in the Holy Land or in exile Jews have prayed towards the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for the past 3000 years. There is no Judaism without Jerusalem.

Fundamental International Laws are called Jus Cogens. There is much academic debate over whether freedom of religion should be covered as a fundamental norm in International Law. This very debate is a great example of a powerful source used by the extremist Islamic revolt against Western influence. The hook of logic that Islamic extremist groups use to prove that the West is attempting to override their faith is that freedom of religion is not protected universally by current International norms. By strengthening the protection of religious belief, the United Nations could go far in preventing future religious extremists from rising to power.

Yet the truth is, freedom of religion is truly a fundamental international norm that even the United States of America was founded upon. The founders of the USA spilled blood in the name of freedom from over-taxation. But why? Why didn't they just move back to Europe where the taxes were lower? Because there was no significant freedom of religion in Europe at that time.

Therefore in the true spirit of International Law, religious freedom is in fact a Jus Cogens. And those who wish to prevent future religious extremism should support the full recognition of religious freedom as a inalienable right, protected fully by the rights of Jus Cogens. Therefore the Israeli retention of Greater Jerusalem and the Temple Mount represents a Jus Cogens for the Jewish people.

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