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  • “New Arab Christian party announced in Israel”

    Posted by Jonathan on July 10th, 2013 (All posts by )

    An interesting development:

    Arab Christians from northern Israel who are tired of being lumped in with other Arabs who are antagonistic toward the Jewish state have launched a new political party that aims to make a positive contribution to the Jewish state.

    Read the whole (brief) thing.

    This comment explains things from an Israeli political perspective. The Israeli system of proportional representation creates incentives for interest groups to form their own political parties.

    Secular nationalism was a useful political tool for 20th Century Arabs. Arab Christians figured prominently in nationalist movements — in large part, no doubt, because such movements offered them a path to political legitimacy that historically had eluded non-Muslims in Arab societies. But as Islamism superseded secular nationalism the interests of Muslim and Christian Arabs diverged. In recent years many Christians have fled the Muslim Middle East, and those who remain are often a beleaguered minority. As Israel’s Arab Muslims have become increasingly involved in Islamist politics, it’s no surprise that Israeli Arab Christians would seek to strengthen their political position by explicitly aligning themselves with Israeli Jews.

     

    6 Responses to ““New Arab Christian party announced in Israel””

    1. Joe Wooten Says:

      I would not be surprised when the dust settles to see Lebanon split into 3 parts also and the Christian part allied very closely with Israel. There will also probably be a mass emigration of Chaldean Christians to the part of Syria nearest Israel to form a non-muslim nation there which will also be a client state of Israel.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      That might be one of the better possible outcomes here.

    3. Gringo Says:

      I have known three generations of a Palestinian Christian family which for decades has had members both in the West Bank and also in the US. Years before the Six Day War, the patriarch of the family advised his children to leave the West Bank. He told them that as Christians, the Muslims in charge would never let Christians be promoted over a Muslim. He knew what he was speaking of, as he worked in the Jordanian Civil Service. [At the time, Jordan administered the West Bank.] So yes, Arab Christians have long known where they stood in relation to the Muslims.

    4. Mike K Says:

      And yet, Arab Christians have formed some of the most radical of the terrorists. George Habash founded the PFLP, one of the worst of these groups. He was also a physician. Some of this, I think, is a reaction to the backwardness of Arab society, which is Muslim society but they don’t seem to realize it. Maybe the recent uprisings and actions of the Muslim Brotherhood will enlighten them. It was a physician who tried to ram a vehicle into Glasgow airport. Another individual jihad, like Hasan.

    5. Mike K Says:

      The Glasgow airport story.

    6. Gringo Says:

      Mike K
      And yet, Arab Christians have formed some of the most radical of the terrorists.

      Good point.

      Michel Aflaq, the Syrian founder of the Ba’th Party, which was also Saddam Hussein’s party, was a Christian. Sirhan Sirhan,the Palestinian who murdered Robert Kennedy for his support of Israel, was also Christian. Helen Thomaswho was involuntarily retired from her journalist position after being exposed for being a rabid anti-Semite, is also of Arab Christian background.

      One of the members of the Palestinian Christian family I mentioned, has spent much of his life agitating against the evil Israelis, both in the US and in the Middle East. At the same time, to the best of my knowledge he has never said anything about Muslim persecution of Christians in the West Bank- persecution to which at least one of his cousins can testify.