Israel Government Renews Tax Exempt Status for Bahai Centre

Government renews tax-exempt status of Bahai Center

http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=262554

 By JEREMY SHARON

03/20/2012 03:19

Tax arrangement was originally agreed upon between the state and the Bahai movement in 1987.

The Justice Ministry announced on Monday that it has renewed a deal with the Bahai World Center in Israel exempting it from indirect taxes for another five-year term.

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Messages from the Universal House of Justice

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
Bahá’í World Centre • P.O. Box 155 • 31001 Haifa, Israel
Tel: 972 (4) 835 8358 • Fax: 972 (4) 835 8280 • Email: secretariat@bwc.org

12 May 2008

 To all National Spiritual Assemblies

 Dear Bahá’í Friends,

 As the worldwide Bahá’í community proceeds with a unified and coordinated endeavour to advance the process of entry by troops, developments of far-reaching significance at the Bahá’í World Centre, foreshadowed in our message of Ridván 2006 to the Bahá’ís of the world, are now occurring.

 The way has been opened to further beautification of the environs of the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh, the Qiblih of the people of Bahá, described by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the “luminous Shrine” and “the place around which circumambulate the Concourse on high”. After negotiations over several years, agreement has been reached with the Israeli government for the acquisition of a rectangular plot of land 90,000 square metres in area, located between Bahjí and the main road, which is currently being used by the government.

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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)

Read More: Bahai Israel Relationship

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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Opium Smoking Baha’is had low ideas of honour….

Subhe Azal with Family

Subhe Azal with Family

Boykin correctly pointed out that the Bab had appointed Mirza Yahya as his successor. Baha’u’llah essentially stole control of the movement from his brother, despite the fact that the Bab, the very manifestation of God (in their view) had appointed Mirza Yahya.

The Baha’i explanation of this is as ingenious as it is sinister. They claim that the Bab only appointed Mirza Yahya publicly as a rouse or cover for Baha’u’llah. That is, the Bab actually appointed Baha’u’llah as his successor, but publicly put forward Mirza Yahya in the event of persecution.

Wilson states it thus:

“We have seen that Subh-i-Azal, the half-brother of Baha’u’llah, was appointed by the Bab as his successor. According to Abdul Baha, this appointment was a dishonest subterfuge on the part of Baha, arranged by him through secret correspondence with the Bab, in order that Baha might be relieved of danger and persecution and be protected from interference. . . This account shows the low ideas of honour and truthfulness in the minds of Baha and Abdul Baha” (Wilson, p. 204).

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Earlier Baha’is were involved in Opium Trade

The export crops passed through Shiraz on their way to the Gulf. Iranian long-distance merchants from Fars developed marketing networks for these commodities, establishing trading houses in Bombay, Calcutta, Port Said, Istanbul and even Hong Kong. The encounter with European colonial institutions, and with local reformist and independence movements, made these Iranian expatriates more cosmopolitan than the majority of their compatriots.

Within Iran, those merchants who proved successful in the opium trade grew fabulously wealthy and politically influential, as did the government officials, such a Qavam al-Mulk, who sponsored it and taxed it. As we shall see below, one of the important Iranian export houses (with an outpost in Hong Kong) was operated by the Afnan clan, Baha’is and relatives of the Bab.[1]

Family of The Bab

Family of The Bab

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Aqdas bankrolled with profit from opium trade?

Much of Husayn Ali’s (Baha’u’llah’s) economic enterprises (such as publications of works in Cairo and Bombay, etc) in the 1870s-90s was bankrolled by a successful mercantile elite, the Afnans, who had their fingers in numerous pies of the late 19th century international trade in the East from Hong Kong to Beirut, particularly in opium, whom the Afnans held a monopoly on at one point inside Iran.

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Bahais Are Not Just Political….

… They Are Hypocritical As Well.

The Baha’i faith is one of the most political movements around. After all, principles such as the ending of absolute national sovereignty, world government, universal currency, universal language, world tribunal, anti-communism, retention of constitutional monarchism, the abolition of non-Baha’i religious legal systems the retention of a class system, the abolition of tariffs, international police force, and so on are among the hottest political agendas.

Baha’i Faith is now no more concerned about Writings of Baha’u’llah, the laws of Aqdas and so on. What it is now concerned about is issues like the Trademark Registration, the incorporation of so called ‘Spiritual Assemblies’, the formation of External Affairs Departments with the objectives of establishing cordial relationship with political leaders and media etc.

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