The Palestinian Authority’s Abuse of Christians

Lex alerted me to this column about the Palestinian Authority’s formal imposition of Islamic law in Judea and Samaria. He wrote:

This is huge. It is the end of secular nationalism in the PA. This could be a major way to undermine support for the PA here in the USA. In effect, the PA, in the usual bone-headed fashion, has decided to become Islamic fundamentalists at the very moment when Islamic fundamentalists are getting the snot kicked out of them. All we need is to see the open persecution of Christians in Palestine and Bush’s core supporters will be screaming for open war against the PA.

I’m skeptical that Christians as a group are going to change their behavior as a result of this information. Arafat and his PLO raped southern Lebanon and abused Lebanese Christians for years, without generating any organized reaction from Christians elsewhere. Nor has there been much public concern in the Christian onhealthy world about the large-scale emigration of Arab Christians from the areas now controlled by the PA. (The article notes that Christians now comprise less than 5% of the population in Bethlehem, which had a Christian majority in 1967. Apparently the New York Times considers this statistic less noteworthy than the percentage of female competitors in golf matches.)

However, Lex may be on to something with his assertion about the potential U.S. political fallout of the PA’s abuses. While the mainstream press is likely to ignore the issue, it might be publicized via the Internet and talk radio. In that case there is a chance for a ground swell of anti-PA outrage on the part of American Christian conservatives who are among the core supporters of Bush whom Lex mentions. We can only hope.

Whatever its domestic political effects, I hope that the PA’s mistreatment of Christians receives more attention than it has so far.

9 thoughts on “The Palestinian Authority’s Abuse of Christians”

  1. Old world Palestinian arabs are always shooting themselves in the foot. The intelligent ones have already migrated to other lands with more opportunity. The ones who remain behind are intent on making pathetic spectacles of themselves.

  2. JG,

    Pat Robertson’s CBN had a local radio station set up in Lebanon with regular reports on the plight of Christians to his US cable outlet.

    CBN was also in Sudan along with a Pat Robertson funded NGO running food and other “non-lethal” aid to the Christians in the civil war there.

  3. Trent,

    You are right. I probably should have written, “without generating much organized reaction from Christians elsewhere.”

  4. I would certainly love to find a book that details the ethnic cleansing that has gripped the Muslim world for centuries. If more people knew, it would change perceptions of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Anyone have any books?

  5. linden: Here are some useful books.

    by Bat Ye’or (professor of history; Jewish Egyptian exile now living in the West, I believe)
    – Islam and Dhimmitude
    – The Dhimmi
    – The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam
    – –

    by Ibn Warraq (pen name of Muslim apostate)
    – Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out
    – Why I am not a Muslim

    by Bernard Lewis (Middle East scholar):
    – The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror
    – The Jews of Islam
    – What Went Wrong: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity
    – Semites and Anti-Semites
    – The Muslim Discovery of Europe
    – many other scholarly books and articles

  6. Linden, You might also look for Green Cresecent over Nazareth: the Displacement of Chrsitians by Muslims in the Holy Land by Prof. Raphael Israeli, published April 2002.

    Also the website of Project Open book documents the persecution of Christians in the Islamic World.

  7. Christian Arabs are moving to Michigan because they are smart enough to know what’s good for them. Moslem’s are turning to fundamentalism because they aren’t.

  8. This provides a perfect opportunity to break the christian/muslim palestinian alliance. I’ve written elsewhere that Israel should simply go to christian palestinians and offer them a state with the right to annex as much land in the occupied territories as they can keep peaceful and at whatever pace they felt comfortable. It would defund the muslim palestinians as EU funds shifted over to the new, peaceful state.

    It would create an arab-arab dialogue about how to make progress. It would create a legal system of strong minority rights because the facts on the ground dictate that eventually, the christian majority will turn into a christian minority so the founding fathers will be very interested in the rule of law and equal rights.

    I don’t have a lot of confidence that this is where we are going but it is a viable way out if people would have the vision to see it.

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