The myth of Israel’s favorable treatment of Palestinian Christians

Israel/Palestine
on 66 Comments

Amb. Michael Oren’s article, ‘Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians,’ presents Israel as a tolerant, dove-like, and peaceful democracy. This is belied by the facts.

I am one of those Palestinian Christians living inside Israel to whom Oren refers. At no time in my life have I ever felt the ‘respect and appreciation’ by the Jewish state, which Oren so glowingly references. Israel’s Christian minority is marginalized in much the same manner as its Muslim one or, at best, quietly tolerated. We suffer the same discrimination when we try to find a job, when we go to hospitals, when we apply for bank loans, and when we get on the bus — in the same way as Palestinian Muslims.

Israel’s fundamental basis is as a racist state built for Jews only, and the majority of the Jewish population doesn’t really care what religion we are if we’re not Jewish. In my daily dealings with the State, all I have felt is rudeness and overt contempt.

Oren’s statement that ‘The extinction of the Middle East’s Christian communities is an injustice of historic magnitude’ is outright shocking to anyone familiar with even the basic history of how Israel was founded. I would like to remind him and others that this founding expelled thousands of Palestinian Christians from their homes in 1948 and displaced them, either forcing them to flee across the border or making them internal refugees. The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that comprised the founding of Israel is, too, an injustice of historic magnitude. A man living in a glass home — or a home stolen from Palestinians — should think very carefully before tossing stones.

My cousin’s husband, Maher, is from Iqrith, a village a few miles from mine in the Galilee. His family, and all of Iqrith’s inhabitants, were expelled from their village in 1948 and Iqrith was razed to the ground by Israeli forces on Christmas eve, 1950, in a special ‘Christmas gift’ to its people. The timing of this destruction leaves one to wonder at the intended message. Maher was born years after his family took shelter in Rama, a village nearby in the Galilee. Today, he struggles with finding a place to build a house to live in with his wife and children. Israeli policies that severely restrict the building zones in Arab towns and villages result in land shortages impeding the population’s natural expansion. Limiting land to residents of the same town or village means that internal Palestinian refugees face severe housing discrimination.

The return of people like Maher has been made impossible by Israel, which refuses to negotiate on the right of refugees to return to their homeland. If Oren is so concerned for Palestinian Christians, would he kindly give the green light for the return of Christian refugees from Iqrith, Bir’im, Tarshiha, Suhmata, Haifa, Jaffa, and tens of other Palestinian towns and villages that they were expelled from in 1948? The answer, I assure you, is no. Many of these refugees are living in refugee camps in nearby countries, where Israel and Oren are happy to leave them.

The terrorists referred to in Oren’s statement that ‘Israel, in spite of its need to safeguard its borders from terrorists, allows holiday access to Jerusalem’s churches to Christians from both the West Bank and Gaza,’ are in fact Palestinian Christians living on the land that Israel has occupied — in flagrant opposition to all human rights charters — and from which it is refusing to withdraw its soldiers and illegal settlers. To applaud Israel for giving people permits to travel across what by law is their own country is the height of hubris.

His claim that ‘In Jerusalem, the number of Arabs–among them Christians–has tripled since the city’s reunification by Israel in 1967’ fails to mention Israel’s relentless policies of cracking down on Jerusalem: building unending settlements; building a Separation Wall that slices right through the city, severing its families, neighborhoods and businesses and hitting hard at its Arab economy; seizing Arab lands and expelling families that have lived on them for generations; and revoking the citizenship of any Palestinian resident who travels abroad for too long. Imagine the outcry if an American citizen traveled abroad for two years and upon return discovered that his citizenship was revoked and that he had lost his American ID and passport.

Israeli officials don’t care whether the Palestinians they discriminate against are Christian or Muslim. It is true that inter-religious strife is on the rise in a region long tormented by poor living conditions, for which the West bears significant responsibility having aided the region’s many dictators.

Oren’s faux tolerance and crocodile tears over the plight of Christians fool no one. Were he serious, I would urge him to have a close look at Israel’s policies of occupation and racial discrimination.

As Jesus said, ‘Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?‘ (Matthew 7:3)

About Fida Jiryis

Fida Jiryis is a Palestinian writer from the Arab village of Fassuta in the Galilee. She is the author of the forthcoming book, '˜My Return to Galilee,' which chronicles her return from the Diaspora to Israel. She can be reached at [email protected]

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66 Responses

  1. ahadhaadam
    March 15, 2012, 7:39 am

    Oren’s speech, beside spreading the usual lies and hypocrisy, represents something a lot more sinister, which is the Zionist inherent tendency to drive a wedge between Christians and Muslims throughout the Middle East, much like they have done between Arab Jews and Arab non-Jews. The attempt to portray the “good Christians” vs. the “bad Muslims” is part and parcel of the invented “clash of civilizations”, another product of Zionist ideology which aims to shape the Middle East, perhaps the entire world, in accordance with Zionist objectives that will benefit the state of Israel.

    For as long as the Jewish State exists it will be in a state of war with its neighbors and will attempt to divide the Middle East, to create sectarian wars, to pit Christians against Muslims and Shias against Sunnis and of course, to maintain its raison d’etre: to separate Jews from gentiles.

  2. Jabberwocky
    March 15, 2012, 7:56 am

    It is a pity that Fida did not get the whole of her response published in the WSJ; it would have been more impactful than the single paragraph that was published:

    link to online.wsj.com

  3. Mayhem
    March 15, 2012, 8:33 am

    Talking about crocodile tears I think Fida takes the cake. Not one consideration of the hard facts and figures in Michael Oren’s article, just the usual emotive sob story that is contrived to tug at the heartstrings.

    • eGuard
      March 15, 2012, 9:13 am

      No facts? Fida Jiryis: My cousin’s husband, Maher, is from Iqrith, a village a few miles from mine in the Galilee. His family, and all of Iqrith’s inhabitants, were expelled from their village in 1948 and Iqrith was razed to the ground by Israeli forces on Christmas eve, 1950 […]. The timing of this destruction leaves one to wonder at the intended message.

      Mayhem, I think you are the crocodile here. You know, when you put a sack over their head they are disoriented and only can kick in the blind. You are invited to remove the sack from your head. After all, you’ve put it there yourself.

    • seafoid
      March 15, 2012, 9:45 am

      Iqrit will never forget

      link to iqrit.org

      link to zochrot.org

    • Annie Robbins
      March 15, 2012, 10:44 am

      hard facts.

      israel’s apologists like tossing the word ‘fact’ around. i noticed a trend a few years ago how so many of them would preface a lie with the phrase ‘the fact is’ or ‘the fact that’. an assertion of ‘hard’ fact employed to buttress a lie belies a particular weakness of character that’s so perverted i can’t quite find the right words for it. creative dishonesty doesn’t really cover it. hmm.

      • eGuard
        March 15, 2012, 4:14 pm

        Annie Robbins: israel’s apologists like tossing the word ‘fact’ around.

        Thank you for pointing out the pattern. I remember someone here explained that, like, “first they put a suggestion to your left brain-half, and than they attack your right brain-half with a factual question”. I should maintain a URL list to these bright explications. Basically, now I use this third route to keep the perspective.

      • Mayhem
        March 15, 2012, 5:59 pm

        There are many individual stories. If the facts are not considered and we lapse into emotional, self-interested advocacy for either side then you can guarantee there will never be a satisfactory solution to the I/P conflict.

      • Mooser
        March 16, 2012, 2:38 pm

        “If the facts are not considered and we lapse into emotional, self-interested advocacy for either side then you can guarantee there will never be a satisfactory solution to the I/P conflict.”

        Gosh, Mayhem, if you put it that way, don’t you think people could find a final solution to the IP “conflict”. Seems to me that if we Jews weren’t there trying to steal the place and murder the people, a lot of the problem would go right away.

        Of course, Israelis being the most numerous, most powerful, richest, and most militarily powerful people in the world, doing anything except kow-towing to them would be suicide, huh?

    • W.Jones
      March 15, 2012, 11:25 am

      Jerusalem had 31,400 Palestinian Christians in 1946.

      Those Christians claim there were mass expulsions in 1948 and in mid-1967 by the Israeli army.

      The number of Pal. Christians there were surveyed as 12,900 in Dec. 1967, 11,800 in 1972, and 15,700 in 2005. The surveys reflect not only those claims of expulsions, but the decline between 1967-1972 suggests significant problems under Israeli rule.

      • Blake
        March 15, 2012, 6:04 pm

        Yes indeed, Jerusalem’s Christian population is only 35.5% of what it used to be. Before “Israel” British Mandate measured a population growth of 2% for Christians annually.

    • Charon
      March 15, 2012, 1:59 pm

      Mayhem, what’s your definition of a hard fact? You know, it’s strange. Usually when folks tell the truth about I/P, they call it the truth. More often than not, those who add emphasis and adjectives to the word ‘fact’ as in your example of hard facts are referring to deceptive statistics. Half-truths, exaggeration, and even lies spun in the same fashion that corporations spin their annual numbers. It seems the whole world has been reduced to statistics like this, spun in whatever direction the status quo is heading.

      Israel has treated their Christians worse than anybody in the Middle East. Prior to 1948, a significant portion of Palestine was Christian. Some say 40% of the non-Zionists may have been Christian. Today that number is down to 10%. There is plenty of evidence that Israel deliberately targeted Christians for expulsion over Muslims. The vast majority of Christians were expelled or murdered during Nakba by the Israelis. People don’t know this because they were never told. In Palestine, there was no sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims. What Christians and Muslims did in the privacy of their own homes regarding their faiths is the only way to tell them apart.

      Christians and Muslims would attend mass at the same places and practice the same customs, traditions, and holidays. It was only after the Zionists ruined everything that this all changed. Christian symbols are defaced, like a Virgin Mary statue in Bethlehem was hit with shrapnel and had it’s arm taken off. The Zionists have burned bibles. They compensated the spring of the Highlands a few years back and now it’s dead. They compensate a great many things that weren’t theirs. Built a wall around one artifact and then bulldozed it. They dynamited a Byzantine-era church from Christianity’s earliest days (St Barbara in Aboud). That’s scratching the surface.

      This is hardly a surprise considering that’s what Israel does everywhere. They’ve removed artifacts and relics all over Palestine. Historic buildings bulldozed. Destroyed olive trees that were hundreds of years old. Destroyed ancient cemeteries including Jewish cemeteries. All to make room for horrible taste and boring architecture. It all has a military look. Most of it doesn’t even look modern. It looks old, boring, and dirty. No respect for the land or it’s history. Seriously, the Zionists don’t care about the history. The leaders know that with help from the British, a lot of that history was invented just to support a political and colonial agenda.

  4. bijou
    March 15, 2012, 8:41 am

    Rim Banna, A Time to Cry, is one of the most haunting, exquisite Palestinian songs about Jerusalem:

    • seafoid
      March 15, 2012, 9:51 am

      Fairuz comes close with
      زهرة المدائن

      link to youtube.com

      البيت لنا و القدس لنا

      The house is ours. East Jerusalem is ours

      • Taxi
        March 15, 2012, 11:30 am

        Seafoid my friend, I think the Fairuz lyric is:
        “The house is ours. Jerusalem is ours”. Both lines are morally and historically correct and Arab masses swoon to hear her sing them.

      • seafoid
        March 15, 2012, 6:40 pm

        Sah.

        When you look at the Zochrot videos the immensity of the ethnic cleansing becomes clear

        link to youtube.com

        link to youtube.com

        Meen kutiluhum?
        Al yahud.
        Laysh?
        Kutiluhum

        at 2.00

        They will always be al yahud I think

      • Blake
        March 15, 2012, 6:59 pm

        Ahh Fairuz, a Christian Arab. Her song “Never forget thee Palestine” is probably the most famous song in all of Arabia. She has been the most popular female singer in the Arab world for decades now.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 15, 2012, 6:50 pm

      the Rim Banna song is incredible. i saved it, would love to see it front paged.
      thanks bijou

  5. Annie Robbins
    March 15, 2012, 10:36 am

    last night i was reading Israel Really Isn’t All That Friendly to Its Christians , in the wsj. Fida’s letter is there along with others. i recommend reading them all.

    I am one of those Palestinian Christians that Mr. Oren refers to, who live inside Israel. At no time in my life have I ever felt the “respect and appreciation” by the Jewish state which Mr. Oren so glowingly refers to in his last paragraph. Israel’s Christian minority is marginalized in much the same manner as its Muslim one, or at best, quietly tolerated. We suffer the same discrimination when we try to find a job, when we go to hospitals, when we apply for bank loans and when we get on the bus. In my daily dealings with the state, all I have felt is rudeness and overt contempt.

    Fida Jiryis

    Fassuta, Israel

    • seafoid
      March 15, 2012, 11:35 am

      Super super article by Nurit of the wonderful Elhanan family.

      link to kibush.co.il

      For decades now the Zionist project of colonizing the land and judaizing it has required the removal of the Palestinians one way or another, either by law or by the sword, and there is no longer any need to cover up those supreme objectives and to disguise them with empty words about democracy or security or historic rights. All of us are mobilized, willingly or unknowingly, in the project of the judaization of the land and all of us have memorized, since we began to memorize, the absolute necessity of a Jewish state with a Jewish majority in the Land of Israel. And the Land of Israel, as we all know, includes the State of Israel, the Palestinian territories and a lot more. There is no map in Israel that is called “The State of Israel”. All the maps are called “The Land of Israel”. Already three or four generations of Israeli children have been learning from books that contain maps that show the Palestinian territories as part of the Land of Israel which is devoid of colour, empty of institutions and empty of people ; an ancient area that is waiting and longing to be colonized by Jews – or at least by non-Arabs. Israeli children have been learning for generations now that their neighbours – whether they be Palestinian citizens of Israel or subjects of the State of Israel stripped of human rights – are nothing but a terrifying demographic problem and a security threat. Those very children have meanwhile grown up, their senses of truth and justice and human brotherhood have been dulled by racist education and they have risen to be the politicians and generals who now declare openly and with the arrogance of all-powerful masters what was once concealed with hypocrisy: that the other face of the judaization project is the elimination of the Palestinian people , whether by rubber bullets or by bullets without rubber, by bombs or by laws:

      The elimination of the Palestinians is about Christians as well as Muslims. Oren’s “crosswashing” is BS.

  6. talknic
    March 15, 2012, 11:02 am

    Mayhem “Not one consideration of the hard facts and figures in Michael Oren’s article”

    How odd. Her considerations to many of the alleged “hard facts and figures in Michael Oren’s article” are in the article on this page, in black and white. But you can’t see them. AMAZING!!! One can only hope you don’t drive a car.

    • Mooser
      March 16, 2012, 2:47 pm

      “One can only hope you don’t drive a car.”

      Well, if Mayhem does want to drive a car, I wouldn’t stand in his way.

  7. lysias
    March 15, 2012, 11:24 am

    Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist government of Iraq treated Iraq’s Christians well. Second man in the regime Tariq Aziz was a Christian. After the U.S. invasion that Israel encouraged, Christians were murdered and terrorized in the civil war conditions that followed, and half the Christians left the country. Various people, notably including the Vatican, had warned the Bush administration that something like this was likely to follow a U.S. invasion.

    Most of the Iraqi Christian refugees found refuge in Ba’athist Syria, where the regime also treats Christians well. Now the U.S. and Israel are seeking to undermine that Ba’athist regime as well. And if the Syrian Ba’athists lose power, whatever regime follows is very likely to treat the Christians who supported Assad badly, especially considering that the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Syrian Ba’athists have persecuted for decades, is likely to play a large role in such a post-Ba’athist government.

    Israel is doing no favors to the Christians of the Middle East.

    • Mayhem
      March 16, 2012, 2:42 am

      @Lysias: your ignorance of the atrocious treatment that Christians have faced across the Arab world WITHOUT EXCEPTION is amazing. Under Sadaam Hussein’s regime Christians faced much repression – forced expulsion, seizure of property and even a requirement to declare themselves Arab and denounce their original ethnic origins.
      Today Assad is directing anger at Syrian Christians because many if them have refused to support his slaughter of the Syrian people.
      Like the Jews before them many Christians enjoyed considerable acceptance in Arab society. However with the advent of radical Islam we are witnessing a new climate where Christians living in Arab countries will no longer be safe. Syria will probably see the next major exodus of Christians.

      • Inanna
        March 16, 2012, 6:11 am

        A lot of the reason I don’t usually read the comment section is because of this type of stupidity. Do yourself a favor Mayhem. Go to google. Type in Treatment of Christians in Iraq and Syria. Read. Then get back to us.

      • Shingo
        March 16, 2012, 6:14 am

        We know you’re a pathological liar Mayhem, but you are really outdoing yourself this time.

        Under Sadaam Hussein’s regime Christians faced much repression – forced expulsion, seizure of property and even a requirement to declare themselves Arab and denounce their original ethnic origins.

        That’s simply rubbish. It was not until Saddam was toppled that the Christian population in Iraq (one if the oldest in the ME) was effectively wiped out.

        Today Assad is directing anger at Syrian Christians because many if them have refused to support his slaughter of the Syrian people.

        False. The Syrian population are among Assad’s strongest supporters, because he explicitly offers protection to them.

        Like the Jews before them many Christians enjoyed considerable acceptance in Arab society.

        And then along came the Zionist invaders and expelled them.

      • Mayhem
        March 16, 2012, 9:15 am

        @Shingo: it would appear to use all your brainpower to sling off at Zionists that there isn’t any capacity left over to deal with what else is going on in our world. When you can spare a moment from your thoughtless tirades check out 
        link to persecution.org to understand what is happening in Syria and look at
        link to falangist.net
        to appreciate how Christians suffered under Sadaam Hussein. Then come back to MW and say something that is true for a change.

      • talknic
        March 16, 2012, 9:14 am

        Mayhem
        “Under Sadaam Hussein’s regime Christians faced much repression – forced expulsion, seizure of property and even a requirement to declare themselves Arab and denounce their original ethnic origins”

        From New Jersey were they? Most Christians in the Middle East are Arabs!

        Some people will say anything no matter how idiotic it makes them look

      • Mayhem
        March 16, 2012, 10:06 am

        @talknic: do some thinking before you utter any more irrelevancies. So most of the Christians in the ME are Arabs. Big deal. My grandmother was Polish – most grandmothers in Poland were Polish.

      • lysias
        March 19, 2012, 10:10 am

        If Saddam’s government forced Christian Arabs to declare that they were Arabs, what’s so outrageous about that?

  8. MHughes976
    March 15, 2012, 11:25 am

    Christian Palestinians are still Palestinians and have no objective reason to welcome the dominating position of Jewish Israelis, which is their subordination. Their religious leaders have said as much in the Kairos Palestine Document, which we in the Church of England (for example) rather blissfully ignored.
    That said, I think that the position of Christians everywhere in the ME is very precarious and dangerous. Religious feelings are intensifying everywhere and in those circumstances religious minorities have to be at risk. The ‘temptation’ – that isn’t the right word, I know – to emigrate to the Christian West must be quite powerful.

  9. Pamela Olson
    March 15, 2012, 12:20 pm

    I’m so excited to read her book — I really can’t say enough, she’s amazing. I was lucky enough to meet her last time I was in Ramallah, and it made me wish I lived there so we could hang out!

  10. Blake
    March 15, 2012, 2:32 pm

    A majority of Palestinian Christians live outside their country in refugee camps in neighboring countries and are not allowed to return to their homeland. Zionist terrorist gangs did not discriminate against Non Jewish Palestinians about whom was to be forced out to get a Jewish majority and some believe Christians were deliberately targeted because of the animosity toward them.

    This is cheap political point scoring by “Israel”. Nothing new there.

  11. Walid
    March 15, 2012, 3:49 pm

    Fida’s book will help the Israeli cause more than the Palestinian-Christian one. In it, she’ll be telling Palestinians that have been aspiring to return that such a return to Israel is going to be a living hell. She lived in the comfort and pleasant atmosphere of Cyprus all her life until in her early 20s when she returned to occupied Palestine now called Israel; what was she expecting, to be received on a red carpet because she was a Christian and not a Muslim accustomed to Israel’s yolk and mistreatment? Whether toward Christians or Muslims, Israel is an equal opportunity tyrant. Her book will be a disservice to all Palestinians. And Oren is a jerk that no one should take seriously.

  12. Mayhem
    March 15, 2012, 5:44 pm

    If Hamas is to take control in any future Palestinian state the Christian population will flee in droves. There is no reason to believe that Christians would be treated any differently than they have been across the entire Arab world. Muslim extremists killed the manager of the only Christian bookstore in Gaza in 2007 because of his supposedly missionary activity.
    @Charon: expounds the most extraordinary statements like “israel has treated their Christians worse than anybody in the Middle East”. This is typical of the blindness of so many here on MW to what is really going on in the whole Middle East. Only Israel interests them. They selectively nitpick Israel at every opportunity and ignore the really profoundly evil happenings elsewhere.

    • Blake
      March 15, 2012, 6:54 pm

      @ Mayhem: They will flee in droves IF Hamas came into control. So say you an expert on deception. The pan-Arabism Baath party was founded by Christians. PLO, PFLP, and DFLP were founded by Christians.

      Christian Arabs in the Mid East side with Muslims against zionists. The Coptic Christians in Egypt hated Jews even more than the Muslims & led Muslims in the pogroms against Jews. Several Palestinian groups targeting Zionists such as PFLP, were founded & headed by Christian Palestinians. HAMAS has many Christian sympathizers & participants, including the head of the Greek Orthodox church in Israel. Helen Thomas is a devout Christian Arab. Most Lebanese Maronite Christians side with Hezbollah against Israel.

      Not even the native Palestinian Jews were zionists. Are we seeing a common denominator here? Natives regardless of their persuasion against the zionist impostors.

      • Mayhem
        March 15, 2012, 10:06 pm

        @Blake: you are telling us that the Christians across the Arab world can be as biliously anti-semitic as Muslims. You have said nothing to refute the likelihood of a mass Christian exodus from the ME. The Maronite Christians who still remain in Lebanon need to be on good terms with Hezbollah, because of the threats they continually face. Christians who befriend Hamas, like the very many more Christians who befriend Israel get involved in such liaisons because they see a common enemy.
        At the end of the day Blake all you are saying is that some Muslims and Christians are in bed together. And please spare us the reference to Helen Thomas, who must be one of the most despicable people on the planet. 

      • Taxi
        March 16, 2012, 1:25 am

        Actually mayhem, YOU are “one of the most despicable people on the planet” – cuz at least Helen Thomas ain’t got her boot on the necks of ANY natives.

        Palestinian christians, really Arab christians, hate israelis because of their brutal ethnic cleansing colonialism. Heck I know some UK and USA jews who hate israel for the same reason as Arab christians: their fascist violence and greed.

        It’s clear that israeli zionists are more threatened by Arab/Palestinian christians than by Arab moslems – hence the zio’s relentless fantasy of the ‘clash of civilization’.

        Revolting apologists for ethnic cleansing and Apartheid like mayhem are not welcome as foreigners in the mideast – not by moslems or by christian Arabs.

        I know this cuz I sat with a bevy of bikini clad christian lebanese ladies on a beach in lebanon a coupla years ago and they ALL, with their bare hands, wanted to administer a coup de grâce upon the israelis for what they’ve done to Palestine and Lebanon.

        Nobody, especially zionists, should ever underestimate the righteous and utter rejection of zionists by christian arabs.

      • Inanna
        March 16, 2012, 6:20 am

        LOL

        You obviously know nothing about Lebanon. The Lebanese Christian community does contain some collaborators like the former South Lebanese Army that enforced the Israeli occupation and some spies that Israel managed to recruit (many of whom have now been caught). But most Lebanese Christians view Israel and Zionism as the enemy, are serious about the boycott and would much rather stay in Lebanon with our Muslim brothers and sisters and defend it against Israeli aggression. In fact, at the last Lebanese elections, the majority of the Christian vote went to parties that are allied to Hezbollah, if not to Hezbollah itself.

        You can keep the Christian fascists and the Arabwashers, even apartheid South Africa would trot out blacks who said that everything was peachy there. But never forget that we Arab Christians are not friends of zionism. We will be there with our Muslim brothers and sisters to ensure that zionism is defeated and that Palestine is liberated and all the refugees can return. Israel can ally itself as much as it wants with Arab regimes – but they will fall and the will of our people will rise up to replace it. But don’t worry – we’ll treat you a lot better than you treated the Palestinians. We won’t kick you out. But I wonder are you willing to live with us?

      • Inanna
        March 16, 2012, 6:22 am

        Thank you Taxi, that’s exactly right.

      • Shingo
        March 16, 2012, 6:40 am

        Just a couple of links w hich blow the lid off Mayhem’s repugnant Hasbra.

        The Beleaguered Christians in Bethlehem
        link to stonegateinstitute.org

        Christians Discriminated Against by Israel
        link to truthtellers.org

        ISRAEL’S INCREASING ANTI-CHRISTIANITY
        link to truthtellers.org

        Why Are Palestinian Christians Leaving Israel?
        link to sojo.net

        Jimmy Carter Says Israel ‘Pressured’ And Encouraged Christians To Leave Palestine
        link to thegatewaypundit.com

      • Blake
        March 16, 2012, 7:00 am

        You are an impostor in Palestine so regardless of what you say “Mayhem” at the end of the day you people are rightfully despised by all the locals. You can speculate all you like for your cause (speculation is all it is), it will not change that fact that nobody likes their invaders and occupiers whoever they may be. That is just common sense.

      • Blake
        March 16, 2012, 8:01 am

        The alternate universe dwellers where the few become the majority, lies are the truth, etc. They follow the antonym dictionary.

      • Walid
        March 16, 2012, 11:18 am

        “… like the former South Lebanese Army that enforced the Israeli occupation and some spies that Israel managed to recruit (many of whom have now been caught).

        Inanna, Josh Ruebner provided numbers on this. While the SLA was viewed as a Christian army because most of its commanders were Christian, only half of its footsoldiers were Christian with the remainder comprised of Shia Muslims (30%), Druze Muslims (13%) and Sunni Muslims (7%). According to HR Watch, the SLA also filled its ranks through the involuntary conscription of residents of the occupied zone, including children.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 16, 2012, 11:50 am

        But never forget that we Arab Christians are not friends of zionism. We will be there with our Muslim brothers and sisters to ensure that zionism is defeated and that Palestine is liberated and all the refugees can return. Israel can ally itself as much as it wants with Arab regimes – but they will fall and the will of our people will rise up to replace it. But don’t worry – we’ll treat you a lot better than you treated the Palestinians. We won’t kick you out. But I wonder are you willing to live with us?

        !!!!!

        ;)

      • seafoid
        March 16, 2012, 11:55 am

        What happened to the soldiers of the SLA after 2000, Walid.

      • Walid
        March 16, 2012, 1:36 pm

        Many fled with the IDF to Israel. For those that had remained in Lebanon and given themselves up, Nasrallah gave the order that not a hand was to be put on them and not a word of insult thrown at them or any of their families. And this is exactly what happened. The Lebanese Government gave the collaborators a quick trial and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from 3 months to a year or so depending on the seriousness of their collaboration. For those that it could be proven that they had had a hand in the killing of Lebanese, the sentence was death but there weren’t many in that category as the killers and jailers had fled to Israel. A couple of years later, more Lebanese families that had fled to Israel got homesick and their wives and children were given a last chance to return to their homes without punishment while the men were tried according to their collaboration. A few hundred remained on welfare in Israel but now 12 years later, they want to return to Lebanon and face the music but the Lebanese Government is not letting them. Their welfare benefits in Israel have been reduced and they are living in misery with exception to the SLA’s commanding general that’s operating a restaurant in TA. Since most of those remaining in Israel are Christians, Christian Members of Parliament are campaigning to have a law passed to allow them to return but they’re not getting anywhere with it.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 16, 2012, 2:07 pm

        that’s really interesting walid.

      • mig
        March 16, 2012, 4:51 pm

        Walid :

        only half of its footsoldiers were Christian with the remainder comprised of Shia Muslims (30%), Druze Muslims (13%) and Sunni Muslims (7%). According to HR Watch, the SLA also filled its ranks through the involuntary conscription of residents of the occupied zone, including children.

        Yup, i personally witnessed these “voluntary” conscriptions few occasion, SLA ( or DFF as we called them in UNIFIL ), entered into house and dragged young male out and told that you just joined to SLA. To youngster they told that we know where your family lives, if you think to desert our ranks. And to family, that if you wanna see your young son again, shut up. I think that i got few photo’s still in my collection from these….

      • seafoid
        March 17, 2012, 7:15 am

        Thanks, Walid. Israel shafts everyone in the end.

      • Mayhem
        March 17, 2012, 7:33 pm

        @Inanna: I know the demographics of Lebanon. Back in 1926 when the state was created Christians formed 84% of the population; today it is around 39%.
        I have read Brigitte Gabriel’s powerful book ‘Because They Hate”.
        I have read nothing in this topic to contradict the conclusion that Christians are under serious threat in every Arab country, whilst Christians in Israel relatively speaking are many times better off, despite the intolerances that do exist and Michael Oren admits that.
        Here on MW nobody likes to admit to anything that takes the magnifying glass off Israel. The mayhem (sic) all around the ME is deemed a mere distraction from the central focus here: Do whatever you can by hook or by crook to demean Israel and don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

      • Shingo
        March 17, 2012, 8:09 pm

        I have read Brigitte Gabriel’s powerful book ‘Because They Hate”.

        Poerful Islamophobic bile that makes the simplistic and pin headed argument that Islam is backward and “teaches terrorism” – in spite of the fact that Menachen Begin boasted that he introduced terrorism the region.

        I’m sure this reading material forms your intellectual staple along with trash from Dershowitz and Joan Peters.

      • Shingo
        March 17, 2012, 8:51 pm

        I know the demographics of Lebanon. Back in 1926 when the state was created Christians formed 84% of the population; today it is around 39%.

        The same could be said of WASPs in the US in 1926 with regard to the Hispanic population.

        Demographics will alqays chanfe and in every democracy but Israel, it is considered innevitable – neither goos nor bad.

        It’s only right wing racists that obsess about maintaining demographic balances.

      • andrew r
        March 17, 2012, 9:08 pm

        I would think twice before relying on Bridgett Gabriel as a source on Lebanon.

        “For anyone like me who grew up in a civil war context, I will tell you her first big lie. She claims that during the civil war in Lebanon she lived for seven long years in a bomb shelter. As those of you who grew up in Lebanon, you know that people never stay in the bomb shelter for more than a few days because wars don’t go on uninterruptedly but they go through periods of intense fighting, then lulls, then cease-fires then temporary peace and then more fighting and so on. So this in itself is the biggest lie of the book. I have run into many liars from Lebanon, but her lies are by far the biggest ones.”

        link to angryarab.blogspot.com

        “I have read nothing in this topic to contradict the conclusion that Christians are under serious threat in every Arab country, whilst Christians in Israel relatively speaking are many times better off, despite the intolerances that do exist and Michael Oren admits that.”

        There are few Christians in Israel to threaten in the first place. Palestinian Christians were certainly under serious threat during the British Mandate and the 1948 war from Zionists. This is really cute. You cite the depopulation of Lebanese Christians as a sign of Muslim intolerance, yet their expulsion from Palestine is proof that Israel is a liberal, tolerant, modern blah blah blah.

      • teta mother me
        March 17, 2012, 10:23 pm

        The historical origin of the conflict zone that is the Middle East is Israel.
        Those are the facts.
        First the British, then Woodrow Wilson reneged on promises to the former regions of the Ottoman empire to help them achieve “self determination,” to satisfy their desires for nationhood and sovereignty. Both the British and Wilson reneged in favor of granting zionists a “homeland in Palestine,” which zionists intended to occupy as an oppressor and aggressor. Also a Jabotinskian fact.

        Discovering how badly Israel was formed, and how unenlightened its founding men were, makes one even more grateful for the genius of the founders of US.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 17, 2012, 10:27 pm

        I know the demographics of Lebanon. Back in 1926 when the state was created Christians formed 84% of the population

        do you mean before the state was created?

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        According to the agreements reached at San Remo, France had its control over what was termed Syria recognised, the French having taken Damascus in 1920. However, Syria was scheduled to be an independent country, a so called Class A Mandate, and the rights granted to France were far less than over other mandate territories. A Class B mandate granted the right to administer the territories. The entire mandate area was termed “Syria” at the time, including the administrative districts along the Mediterranean coast. Wanting to maximize the area under its direct control, contain an Arab Syria centered on Damascus, and insure a defensible border, France established the Lebanon-Syrian border to the “Anti-Lebanon” mountains, on the far side of the Beqaa Valley, territory which had belonged to the province of Damascus for hundreds of years, and was far more attached to Damascus than Beirut by culture and influence. This doubled the territory under the control of Beirut, at the expense of what would become the state of Syria.

        Consequently, the demographics of Lebanon were profoundly altered, as the territory added contained people who were predominantly Muslim or Druze: Lebanese Christians, of which the Maronites were the largest subgrouping, now constituted barely more than 50% of the population, while Sunni Muslims in Lebanon saw their numbers increase eightfold, Shi’ite Muslims fourfold. Modern Lebanon’s constitution, drawn up in 1926, specified a balance of power between the various religious groups, but France designed it to guarantee the political dominance of its Christian allies.

        a little like redistricting texas to make it republican. you don’t really have to ethnically cleanse anyone to do that, you just change the borders.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 17, 2012, 10:36 pm

        andrew, oren claims the christians in israel have expanded, then he includes imported russian christians.

      • eGuard
        March 17, 2012, 11:11 pm

        Hi Mayhem. You stil have a question to answer: What facts did you miss in the story of Fida Jiryis? Really, you can’t go commenting around like noone remembers what you say.

      • Shingo
        March 17, 2012, 11:48 pm

        Great observation Andrew.

        After all, in 1925, the Palestinians constituted roughly 80% of the demographic in region now known as Israel.

        Today it is 20%.

        What a dufus this Mayhem is!!

      • tree
        March 18, 2012, 12:14 am

        oren claims the christians in israel have expanded, then he includes imported russian christians.

        Russian Christians who are only there because of their relationship to individual emigrant Russian Jews.

      • Robert
        March 18, 2012, 1:22 am

        Mayhem,

        A word about Brigitte Gabriel: She is a loon from Marjayoun, Lebanon. She is funded by Israel, and has changed her name several times to profit from new circumstances. She wants to spread Islamophobia in the US and the world.

        She changed her name from Hanan Qahwaji, to “Rachael” on Israeli TV, to Nour Semaan, to Brigitte Gabriel.

        Please check out this review:
        link to mycatbirdseat.com

        Here is another view of what happened to Qahwaji/Gabriel from Franklin Lamb:
        link to weekly.ahram.org.eg

      • RoHa
        March 18, 2012, 1:36 am

        Now, now, Annie. Don’t go bringing facts into it.

      • Walid
        March 18, 2012, 7:59 am

        The Christian population of the Middle East is definitely in decline everywhere. Lebanon that at one point had about 15% of the ME’s Christians has lost close to a third of them through economic emigration in the last 4 or 5 years and Egypt that contained about 50% of the ME’s Christians has been seeing major drops too. Last month it was reported that as soon as the results of the Egyptian elections were announced that showed the fundies getting the majority of parliamentary seats, 10,000 Copts lined up at foreign consulates to apply for visas. There’s a rumour going around that the US has opened the floodgates to allow in Copts.

        In spite of the public relations brouhaha about the brotherly love between Muslims and Christians, just about the only place where Christians have not been made to feel unwelcome is in Lebanon. In spite of the West’s concern for Christians, those that have been the most responsible for emptying the Middle East of its Christians are the countries of the West. During Lebanon’s civil war, the US sent a fleet of ships to transport the Christians out of Lebanon but to Lebanon’s good fortune, the Christians refused to leave. More recently 50% of Iraq’s Christians fled and the other 50% are living in terror because the US decided to liberate Iraq. Last month, Sarkozy told the Lebanese Patriarch that’s on a worldwide tour campaigning to repatriate Christians to the Middle East, that he should arrange for Lebanon’s remaining Christians (over a million) to move to France and other countries in Europe where they’d be welcome and safe. The Patriarch declined the offer and told him that he was on a mssion to bring back the Christians, not to help them leave and the Patriarch’s refusal to go along with the relocation of Christians has gotten him in hot water with the pro-US Christian factions in the country.

        With the fundamentalists’ aversion to Christians and any non-Sunni Muslims having already taken over or about to take over in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, and Syria and with Israel that doesn’t want any non-Jews, the Christians in the ME have reason to worry. This morning Egypt’s chief Muslim cleric (of Al-Azhar) refused to meet with the Lebanese Patriarch that’s currently on tour in Egypt. Anyone that says there’s no trouble for Christians in the Middle East needs to catch up on what’s been happening.

  13. Shingo
    March 16, 2012, 7:01 am

    Isn’t it amazing how practically everything the Zionists tell us is a bald faced lie. I mean, you’d expect them to tell the truth once in a while, but they simply don’t let up.

  14. Ira Glunts
    March 16, 2012, 10:44 am

    Then Senator Barack Obama visited Fassuta in 2006. This is what he had to say about his visit in a speech to AIPAC in 2007.

    Peace with security. That is the Israeli people’s
    overriding wish.

    It is what I saw in the town of Fassouta on the border with Lebanon.

    There are 3,000 residents of different faiths and histories.
    There is a community center supported by Chicago’s own Roman Catholic
    Archdiocese and the Jewish Federation of Metro Chicago. It is where the
    education of the next generation has begun: in a small village, all faiths
    and nationalities, living together with mutual respect.

    I met with the people from the village and they gave me a tour of this
    wonderful place. There was a moment when the young girls came in and they
    played music and began to dance.

    After a few moments, I thought about my own daughters, Sasha and Malia and
    how they too could dream and dance in a place like this: a place of renewal
    and restoration. Proof, that in the heart of so much peril, there were
    signs of life and hope and promise—that the universal song for peace
    plays on.

    link to blogs.suntimes.com

    At that time (and I assume today), Fassuta was a village comprised almost solely of Melkite Christian Palestinians. No Israeli Jews lived in Fassuta.

  15. Blake
    March 17, 2012, 10:48 am

    Please watch this video:

    Shawa family: Plight of Palestinian families in exile-Diaspora-03-13-2012

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