Jerusalem, March 7, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed concern over two draft bills aimed at limiting the volume of speakers in places of worship approved in a preliminary reading by the Knesset.
“The call to prayer is of great religious significance to Muslims and is not just a technical issue,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Since the establishment of the State of Israel, mosques have been free to broadcast the call to prayer. Given existing noise regulations, this measure, is superfluous, and will serve to exacerbate tensions between Jews and Arabs, especially given the public discourse surrounding the measure.”
“While we recognize there are legitimate complaints about the loudspeakers waking people up in the middle of the night, freedom of worship is a cherished value that must be preserved across Israeli society, added Carole Nuriel, Director of ADL’s Israel Office. “We encourage lawmakers to explore alternatives approaches towards addressing this challenge, taking into account the paramount importance of religious freedom in Israel."