Relationship with the State of Israel

The State of Israel has invariably accorded a high status to the international institutions of the Faith, and “this process of recognition” has constituted “an historic landmark in the evolution of the World Centre…” One of the .first responsibilities of the International Council was to foster this relationship. “Contacts are maintained with Departments of Government as well as the City Authorities in Haifa, ‘Akka, and many Cabinet officials.” (Report of International Council, May 2, 1955.)

The official visit of the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Izhak Ben Zvi, and Mrs. Ben Zvi, to the Guardian in April, 1954 led to a most cordial relationship between them, and Shoghi Effendi later called upon the President and Mrs. Ben Zvi in Jerusalem. On December 6, 1955 the Mayor of Haifa, Aba Khoushy, visited the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, and was received by Mrs. Amelia Collins, Vice-President of the International Baha’i Council and Mr. Horace Holley, Secretary of the American National Spiritual Assembly.

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Extension of International Bahai Endowments

One of the most enduring works of the Guardian was the preparation of a secure foundation for the support of the World Spiritual and Administrative Centre of the Faith in the Holy Land. The acquisition of properties situated in the heart of Mt. Carmel and in the plain of Akka was essential to this purpose and was vigorously pressed by Shoghi Effendi throughout his ministry.

The decade of the fifties saw a marked acceleration of this process and notable victories were won. Foremost was the cleansing of the area immediately surrounding the Shrine of Baha’u’llah from Covenant-breakers and the acquisition of their properties, which were expropriated by the Government of Israel and transferred to the Faith. The purchase of land for the future Mashriqu’l-Adhkar on Mt. Carmel was another milestone at the World Centre, as was the addition of the plot on Mt. Carmel, formerly owned by the sister of a “notorious enemy” of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, which opened the way to the building of the International Baha’i Archives. Other significant purchases provided the land needed for the development on Mt. Carmel of extensive new gardens containing the “arc”, about which, in future, the various buildings of the World Administrative Centre will be built. Another important step was the pur¬chase of five houses at the foot of Mt. Carmel, part of the German colony settled before 1870 by the Templars, in anticipation of the coming of the Lord of Hosts. The precincts of Baha’¬u’llah’s Shrine were protected by further additions of land, and a house near Bahji which had been used by ‘Abdu’1-Baha was acquired.

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Establishment of a Bahai Court in Israel

Following the passing of the beloved Guardian, the Hands of the Cause Residing in the Holy Land made a further study of the possibility of establishing a Baha’i Court in Israel, and in November, 1959 announced:

“We wish to assure the believers that every effort will be made to establish a Baha’i Court in the Holy Land prior to the date set for this election. We should however bear in mind that the Guardian himself clearly indicated this goal, due to the strong trend towards the secularization of religious courts in this part of the world, might not be achieved.”

The International Baha’i Council made a further study of the possibility of establishing a Baha’i Court in the Holy Land. It was found that circumstances existing in the State of Israel made it impossible to attain this goal of the Crusade in the manner stipulated by Shoghi Effendi. The Hands of the Cause Residing in the Holy Land confirmed this -finding.
(Bahai World, Volume 13 Page 251)

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Israel Presidents and Head of State visit Bahai Centres

1-President Mr. Izhak Ben Zvi (1954)

(President Izhak Ben Zvi of Israel)

(President Izhak Ben Zvi of Israel)

The official visit of the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Izhak Ben Zvi, and Mrs. Ben Zvi, to the Guardian in April, 1954 led to a most cordial relationship between them, and Shoghi Effendi later called upon the President and Mrs. Ben Zvi in Jerusalem. On December 6, 1955 the Mayor of Haifa, Aba Khoushy, visited the Baha’i House of Worship inWilmette, Illinois, and was received by Mrs. Amelia Collins, Vice-President of the International Baha’i Council and Mr. Horace Holley, Secretary of the American National Spiritual Assembly.
(Bahai World Volume 13 Page 250)

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Bahai Faith in Israel: An Insider’s View

The Baha’i administration claims there is no resident Baha’i population in Israel. The 650-700 Baha’is who can be found here at any given time are all volunteers who have come from some 85 countries to do service for periods ranging from a few months to a few years. The Baha’is who live here as tourists or temporary residents do not engage in any form of missionary activity. Some people erroneously believe that this is in accordance with the country’s anti-missionary laws, but in fact it is a self-imposed Baha’i prohibition against seeking or accepting new believers into the Baha’i faith in the Holy Land that dates back to the time when the country was still under Ottoman rule.

No one knows why. It is one of several inexplicable Baha’i regulations (Read more about this regulation).

It is a well known fact that according to a letter of Universal House of Justice1 the Baha’i s are not suppose to teach and convert the Jew population in Israel. Infact if a Jew outside Israel wants to accept Baha’i Faith and settle in Israel, then his declaration card is not to be accepted.

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