ADL to Jordan: Permit Jewish ritual objects


WASHINGTON (JTA) — A Jewish civil rights group expressed concern over reports that Jordanian authorities are confiscating religious items from Jewish tourists. 

The Anti-Defamation League responded in kind to similar incidents in 2006.  At the time, Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdelelah Ilah Khatib mirrored their concern and promised that "Jordan will never condone or indulge in any acts of religious discrimination against any group.” 

Jewish tourists trying to enter Jordan from Israel recently have reported that religious objects essential to observant Jews, including prayer books, tallitot and tefillin, have been confiscated. 

“Contrary to assurances we received from the Jordanian government when we raised this issue in 2006, the continued practice of refusing to allow religious Jews to enter Jordan with these religious objects does not ‘promote religious dialogue and acceptance,’ it does just the opposite,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman was quoted as saying in a news release regarding the current allegations issued Monday.

In a letter to Jordan’s King Abdullah II, the ADL said, "We fully appreciate Jordan’s intentions to ensure that Israeli and Jewish tourists to the Kingdom are as secure as possible. However, we continue to believe that measures can be undertaken that would respect the religious practices of Israeli and Jewish tourists, and permit them to enter Jordan with their ritual objects."

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