State Dept. criticizes Israel for religious discrimination

November 18, 2010 11:12

The US State Department released the 2010 Report on International Religious Freedom on Wednesday, which criticized Israel for "governmental and legal discrimination against non-Jews and non-Orthodox streams of Judaism."

Israel's "status of respect for religious freedom" was unchanged since the previous report.The report points out that "government policy contributed to the generally free practice of religion" and that "numerous Supreme Court rulings incorporate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

However, the report also highlights the fact that "matters of personal status are the religious law of the parties concerned." It also takes issue with the government's "favor[ing of] Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish religious groups and institutions," and says that "some individuals and groups committed discriminatory practices against Israeli-Arab Muslims, evangelical Christians and Messianic Jews." The report also mentions "strained" relations between religious and ethnic groups.

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