Did this article in the NYT escape your notice?
The article describes tens of thousands of Muslim protesters taking to the streets of Srinigar and towns across Kashmir in opposition to the transfer of nearly 100 acres of land by the state government to the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, a trust responsible for running the Hindu shrine. The VOA reports, “the new land would allow facilities for pilgrims to be built around the shrine.” As of Saturday, the protests had entered their sixth day. Protesters attacked government buildings including a police post and set vehicles ablaze. The Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) organized counter-protests in neighboring Jammu province.
Amarnath is an incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva in the form of a large ice stalagmite. Every year tens of thousands of shaivites (worshippers of Shiva) take the two-month pilgrimage and ascend a 12,700 foot peak in the Himalayas to visit the shrine. In the past few years, attacks against pilgrims by Islamist extremists have increased. As a result the Indian army has been forced to place thousands of soldiers along the route to the holy site. The transfer of land will potentially decrease the necessity of such a large troop presence. Kashmiri separatists allege the land transfer is a conspiracy to change the demography of the mainly Muslim Kashmir Valley. They fear the land would be used to settle Indian Hindus in largely Muslim Kashmir.
What is the possibility of similar land transfers in Israel? The first place that came to my mind was the Cave of Machpelah Tomb of the Patriarchs. If only Israel’s government had the will of India’s to remove the Muslim Waqf (Religious Trust) that took control of this Jewish holy site during the Arab conquest.