My letter in the Jerusalem Post:
Wrong for sure
Sir, – Reader Sha’i Ben-Tekoa (“Right move,” Letters, October 3) asserts that “proselytizing Jews in this country is illegal.”
Really? I searched through Israel’s Penal Code and could not find such a law.
I did find that sections 174A and 174B do prohibit the giving of benefits to induce a change of religion, which is not a blanket ban. On the other hand, for those planning protests, I think it would be prudent of me to point out that there are several offenses motivated by enmity against a public of which Ben-Tekoa should be aware.
According to section 144F: “If a person commits an offense out of enmity toward a public because of their religion, religious group... he shall be liable to double the penalty set for that offense or to 10 years imprisonment....” and according to 171: “If a person maliciously disturbs a meeting of persons lawfully assembled for religious worship...he is liable to three years imprisonment.” There is also section 173: “If a person... voices in a public place and in the hearing of another person any word or sound that is liable crudely to offend the religious faith or sentiment of others... then he is liable to three years imprisonment.”