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    The Edicts of Toleration were a key part of the Ottoman Empire’s Tanzimat reforms of 1839. However, for Palestine, it took another five years for the Edicts to take effect. The Edicts reversed centuries of legal discrimination against the Ottoman Empire’s non - Muslim second - class citizens and give them legal equality. In Palestine this would benefit especially its Jews and Christians who had habitually been barred from offices and had to humble and to humiliate themselves in diverse ways, wear clothes and badges that set them apart. Their places of worship were desecrated, damaged, or destroyed... (eot 1:0)
    Like their Christian fellow subjects, the Jews were inferior citizens in the Muslim - Ottoman state which was based on the principle of Muslim superiority. Their testimony was not accepted in the courts of justice, and in cases of the murder of a Jew or Christian by a Muslim, the latter was usually not condemned to death. In addition, Jews as well as Christians were normally not acceptable for appointments to the highest administrative posts; they were forbidden to carry arms (thus, to serve in the army), to ride horses in towns or to wear Muslim dress. They were also not usually allowed to build or repair places of worship and were often subjected to oppression, extortion and violence by both the local authorities and the Muslim population. (eot 1:1)
    Even just in the street, Jews and Christians had to walk on the left side, to become easy targets for Muslim stones. At the other extreme, Muslims converting to Christianity were executed. (eot 1:2)
    Until the Edicts, the Empire’s non - Muslim People of the Book had legal status as zimmis (protected people). For this protected status, they had to pay the jizya poll - tax, which was, in effect, protection money... (eot 1:3)
    The Umayyad Caliphate and Ottoman Sultanate compounded the cruelty by compelling forehead - tattoos to enforce the jizya tax, also hand/ wrist - tattoos enforcing the later kharaj property - tax. (Yet the jizya had begun life sensibly enough as a 5 percent income tax that exempted non - Muslims from serving in the Muslim army or paying the 2.5 percent zakat income - tax as a pillar of Islam obligatory for Muslims.) (eot 1:5)
    In Palestine, discrimination was rife Against Jews and Christians. Especially amid Jerusalem’s holy sites, they rubbed shoulders with Muslims every day. In any case, Roman, Christian, Persian, and Muslim rulers had subjected Jews to 18 centuries of discrimination. For example in AD 638, Christian Patriarch Sofronius made banning Jews from Jerusalem a condition for his peaceful surrender of the city to Caliph Umar as its Muslim conqueror. (eot 1:6)
    Unsurprisingly, then, it took five years for the 1839 Edicts of Toleration to take effect in Palestine and benefit its Jews and Christians. Two precedents helped. In the 1830s, Egyptian invaders had proposed similar reforms in Palestine. And in 1840, the new Edicts had stopped Jews being massacred in nearby Damascus. 68 (eot 1:7)
    In the Palestine of 1844, a signal legal case let the new Edicts finally bite. A Muslim court ignoring the Edicts had sentenced a Muslim to death for having converted to Christianity. European governments cried foul to Istanbul and invoked the Edicts. Istanbul responded favorably. The Ottoman Sultan promised that henceforward neither shall Christianity be insulted in my dominions, nor shall Christians be in any way persecuted for their religion, and his government (the Sublime Porte) forbade the putting to death of the Christian who is an apostate. (eot 1:8)
    The date was the 21st of March 1844. This very day 2,300 years earlier, the 457 BC decree of Artaxerxes had let Ezra leave for Jerusalem and restart Temple services. The date fulfilled the 2,300 - day prophecy of Daniel to the very day-- from the 21st of March (the Jewish 1st of Nissan) 457 BC to the 21st of March (1st of Nissan) AD 1844. (eot 1:9)
    For Palestinian Jews, the main thrust of the Edicts was finally to let them legally own property and land. So after 1844, Jews began to buy property and land, mostly in Jerusalem. Rising numbers made Jews the city’s majority by the end of the 1850s. In 1844, the Palestine Council of Agriculture for the first time opened its membership to Jews. In 1844, a Professor of Hebrew at New York University published a proto - Zionist book called The Dry Bones of Israel Revived, which promoted the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land. Its author was called George Bush, an ancestor of two recent American Presidents. (eot 1:10)
    Accordingly, 1844 ended the breaking of the power of the holy people. The year 1844 was the seminal year of conception of the State of Israel, which then seeded its embryonic burst of land - purchase, led to its fetal century of Jewish ingathering, and painfully birthed it as a state in 1948. [source: asb] (eot 1:11)
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