A Haifan Baha’i official denies an Israeli admission to the Faith

First, take a look at this:

We see clearly that this high ranking official of the Baha’i Faith is willing to deny someone who is a citizen of Israel membership in the Faith and actually says that Baha’u’llah commanded this.

But look at the comments that were posted on the video:

smilller919 It is Israeli law, not an edict from Baha’u’llah, that prevents Baha’is from teaching the faith in Israel.

KMehrabi You are incorrect. It has been a law in the Baha’i Faith 80 years before the modern state of Israel even existed.

belyear Mrs. Amsalem is the daughter of a Baha’i Covenant Breaker or dissident. He entire family was shunned in the early 20th century for disobeying Abdul’Baha (her Uncle). She may be a blood relative, but all Baha’i are required to shun her.

belyear Her father rebelled against Abdul’Baha. They are all considered Covenant Breaker and are to be shunned. Covenant Breaking is a contagious spiritual disease.

pinabarryscott Your are not telling the complete truth. It is a law in Israel that the Baha’is can not teach the faith! It is not from our writings! We would love to have people become Baha’is, but we most follow the law. The person you referring to is a covenant breaker. They caused Baha’u’llah’s family much suffering! You must show the history of the faith.

So who or what is to blame for Baha’is not being allowed to seek and accept converts in Israel, Baha’u’llah or the Israeli government? I think…..neither.

The Universal House of Justice made this statement about the matter:

http://bahai-library.com/index.php?file=uhj_teaching_in_israel.html

The Universal House of Justice has received your email message dated 29 June 1995 and we have been asked to respond.

You have asked how the policy of not teaching Israelis applies in the situation in which you have contact with an Israeli via an “interactive relay chat” (IRC) connection. The House of Justice has not asked the friends to avoid contact with Israelis. When you discover that a person you are in contact with via IRC is an Israeli, you should feel free to maintain friendly contact, but you should not teach the Faith to him. If he has already developed a personal interest in the Faith and seeks more information, you should refer him to the Offices of the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa. For your information, the people in Israel have access to factual information about the Faith, its history and general principles. Books concerning the Faith are available in libraries throughout Israel, and Israelis are welcome to visit the Shrines and the surrounding gardens. However, in keeping with a policy that has been strictly followed since the days of Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’ís do not teach the Faith in Israel. Likewise, the Faith is not taught to Israelis abroad if they intend to return to Israel. When Israelis ask about the Faith, their questions are answered, but this is done in a manner which provides factual information without stimulating further interest.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,
Department of the Secretariat

Note that two things are missing from this statement: There is no direct quote from Baha’u’llah specifying that we should not teach the Faith in Israel, and there is no direct reference to any Israeli law forbidding the teaching of the Faith either. Indeed, in all the years I was a Baha’i, I never saw any such thing myself, even when I asked about the matter. It seems to be all a myth made up to hide something!

The fact that blood descendants of Baha’u’llah still live in Israel, despite their ancestors having been expelled from the Faith, may be the key to this mystery. What if the Universal House of Justice simply does not want Baha’i teachers from other parts of the world to actually meet these people and thus risk having their assumptions about the history and nature of the Baha’i Faith shattered by these “Covenant-breakers” telling their side of the story?

The Unitarian Baha’is understand this. Their policy regarding Isrealis (and descendants of Baha’u’llah) is just the opposite of the Haifan Baha’i Faith.

http://www.unitarianbahai.org/differences.html

Israelis: Residents of Israel are allowed to become members of the Unitarian Bahai Association.

Descendants of Bahaullah: All of the blood descendants of Bahaullah – including those descended from people who are considered “Covenant-breakers” in the Haifan tradition and who do not wish to renounce and condemn their ancestors – are welcome in the Unitarian Bahai Association as fully equal members.

If there is one place where Baha’i ideals could bring people together in peace and mutual understanding, it would be in Israel and its relations with the Palestinians. Certainly in other parts of the world, people of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic background would be joined together in harmony by the fact that Baha’u’llah affirmed the works of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.  The simple fact that the Universal House of Justice has never even offered publicly to mediate disputes between the Isreali government and the Palestinian Authority is proof enough to me of how useless that body is.

It is time to end the double talk once and for all and get to the TRUTH!

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