Why Christians are leaving occupied Palestine

The Church of Saint Porphyrius
The Church of Saint Porphyrius, Gaza

Palestinian Christians have a special relationship with the holy land of Palestine for it is the birthplace of Christianity. They have been living in Palestine since the time of Jesus for over 2000 years. Cities such as Bethlehem and Nazareth hold major importance, not only for Palestinian Christians, but for Christians all around the world as Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus in Christianity. Since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, Palestinian Christians have been subjected to brutal military occupation in their homelands. Israel does not differentiate between Palestinian Christians and Muslims when it carries out its occupational policies.

As a result of Al Nakba in 1948, Al Naksa in 1967 and many other wars on the Palestinian people, the majority of Palestinian Christians have been forced to flee and seek refuge in neighbouring countries and abroad. To put this in numbers, before 1922, the total percentage of Christians living within the borders of the Palestinian territory was 4% but in 2005, it was estimated that the percentage of Palestinian Christians living in the Palestinian territories has dropped down to from 3.4% to 2.1%.

Bethlehem is dominated in equal measure by churches and mosques, a symbol of the increased diversity of the region’s people. Since 1948 many Palestinian Christians have been living in refugee camps outside the sacred city. The Christian population in Bethlehem now stands at a mere 28% of the total population. Just as other Palestinians they face many challenges moving from one city to another due to Israel’s Apartheid checkpoints. It is virtually impossible for them to travel to the Gaza Strip which is home to some of the oldest Christian holy sites in the world. Likewise, Christians living in Gaza face many obstacles when travelling to Bethlehem or other holy cities in the West Bank. Since Shalit’s capture by the Palestinian resistance, only 20% of Gazan Christians who apply for permission are issued permits. People between the ages of 16-36 years are not allowed to travel due to security measures implemented by Israel .

Palestinian residents of Bethlehem are all subjected to the same military occupation. This includes going through humiliating military checkpoints, targeted assassinations, house demolitions, curfews and an Apartheid wall that encircles Bethlehem.

A representative from the Centre of Political and Development Studies (CPDS) had the opportunity of visiting the Church of Saint Porphyries. The church which is located in Saha Area, Gaza city was built approximately 1600 years ago and is the oldest of its kind in Gaza.

A mosque by the name of Kitab Wiliya stands directly next to the church. The only thing that separates the two places of worship is mere thin wall. The church is administrated by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Although politically Palestinians may be divided, religion ironically brings all Palestinians together. The Palestinian Christians have the same dream of returning back to their homelands that was stolen from them with the creation of the state of Israel. Palestinian Christians stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellow Muslim Palestinians. For this reason the Palestinian Christians have sacrificed a lot to keep the Birthplace of Christianity protected and preserved.

In the fifth century, St Porphyries came to Gaza and built a church. It took him five years to build it and he got the financing from Constantinople. Today the St Porphyries church stands as one of the oldest churches in Gaza. St Porphyries himself was buried inside the church. His tomb and icon are still inside the church. Israel has been trying to portray the Palestinian issue as a “Muslim Versus Jew” conflict. However, this is not the case. I conversed with a Palestinian Christian in Gaza and put forward some questions concerning the role of Christians throughout the long history of conflict. The Interview went as follows:

How do you feel when you know that there are Christians that support Israel?

A: They are Christian Zionists not Christians. Jesus taught to forgive, love your enemy and to carry on the brother hood in the whole world. They are not true Christians.

How is your relationship with the Muslims in Gaza, do you both want freedom for Palestine?

A: Of course. In Palestine, Muslims and Christians have been hand in hand resisting against the Israeli occupation. We are Arab and Palestinians. We share the same feelings and suffering from the Israeli occupation. So we work together.

How do you perceive the Palestinian cause?

A: Thanks for this question. I don’t like it when people talk about Islamic holy sites and forget about Christian ones. There are also many Christians living in the area of East Jerusalem. You have to talk about Palestinian Muslims and Christians together.

Palestine Christians expect from their fellows all over the world to stand by them to free Palestine, so that all people of Palestine, regardless their religion can pray peacefully for a better tomorrow.

DSCF0015
The Church of Saint Porphyrius, Gaza

About Talgha Bendie

Talgha Bendie is an activist from South Africa working with The Centre For Political and Development Studies (CPDS)-Gaza
Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Middle East, Nakba, Occupation

{ 57 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Citizen says:

    So, where’s Huckabee on this issue? He’s traipsed through Israel dozens of times and has his own show on prime cable TV time. Just doing his own version of Jim Nabors without a singing voice?

    Oh yeah: link to mondoweiss.net

    It takes a strong will to be so persistently ignorant.

  2. Blake says:

    Palestinian Christians call themselves ‘living stones’ there, a term our media will never use as it publicizes their long long history there as the first Christians.

    Palestinian Bishop Ramzi R. Musallam: “I support Palestine the first land that accepted Jesus and followed Him. Palestine will be protected by Christ through His blood. People will come to know the truth and follow.”

  3. Avi_G. says:

    Today the St Porphyries church stands as one of the oldest churches in Gaza.

    This article is missing a comparison between the way Palestinians treat holy sites of other religions and the way Israelis treat holy sites of other religions, whether it’s settlers burning mosques, Israeli authorities demolishing historical sites, or destroying graves from time immemorial courtesy of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

    link to haaretz.com

    • Mayhem says:

      @Avi_G, the article to which you have referred at Haaretz has been covered by a piece at MW, see link to mondoweiss.net
      I tried to post then that this opportunistic article is just priggish, sanctimonious guff (hypocritical crocodile tears) about a mosque that nobody has been missing for decades.

      It illustrates this anti-Zionist habit of digging around in the shards of history to find every little piece of dirt to throw at the Jews, who in this case had just fought off a series of attacks that had threatened their very survival.

      This kind of thing reveals a position that is only interested in demonising and delegitimising the other side in an effort to win cheap brownie points.

      There is certainly nothing to suggest that Palestinian Muslims are any different fundamentally from other Muslims who have shown scant regard for the symbols of other religions e.g. the Taliban destroying the incredible statues of the buddah in Afghanistan,

  4. dbroncos says:

    The GOI wants to avoid at all costs a conflict with world wide Christendom and especially with American Christians. That’s why the Presbyterian boycott is so signifigant. The Presbyterian BDS initiative shines a light on the plight of Palestinian Christians who the GOI have carefully hidden from view. It also asks a simple question of people from any and all religious faiths: Do you and your fellow believers believe in justice? Let’s hope Presbyterian BDS goes through because an initiative like this one, that involves a huge American Christian organization, will surely spell trouble for Israel firsters in ways that secular BDS initiatives (TIAA- CREF) do not.

  5. We should be frank about it. The fact is, American Christians are not, by and large, all that serious about their faith. This explains why they are indifferent to the fate of Christians in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon. Note how much this is in contrast to Western Christians of earlier generations, who painstakingly, if often hypocritically, scoured the globe for persecuted communities of the faithful.

    Christianity in America is powerful only in relative terms. In comparison to Europe, yes, America is religious. But Tocqueville wrote of an America in which all business and all entertainment stopped on the Sabbath. And not because of legal regulation principally, but because of social consensus. That is not the America of today.

    • lysias says:

      Strange change from 100 years ago. At the time of the Armenian massacres of the late 19th century and of the Armenian genocide of 1915-22, there was great sympathy in America for the Armenians precisely because they were/are Christian. That’s why mothers, telling their children to eat what was on their plates, used to tell them to think of the starving Armenians.

      At that time, the Protestant churches in America had many missions and schools for the Christians in the Middle East.

    • Mooser says:

      “That is not the America of today.”

      Yes, that’s true, thank God. And the last thing you want in any situation is American Christians on your side as Christians.

  6. Citizen says:

    I sent Bendie’s article via email fyi to a Christian fundy I know–she’s a nice, decent, good person in her daily life, which has not been easy, and generally, she’s far from stupid–here’s her full response:

    “There is something wrong with a person who says they are a Christian and yet holds such disregard for the Israel. I do not hold much credence to such people. I know that God loves Israel, and the Jews. Jesus Christ came to us through the Jews. Jerusalem is Gods’. Many people are running around now claiming to be Christian. Matt 7:21-29 is the only answer to that. Just being good does not cut it, evil can do acts of kindness too; Christianity is walking with God and if you are walking with God then you have to know God loves the Jews. so do I, I can not help it that is God in my heart and I will not deny Him. ”

    So, any takers?

    • Citizen – forward her images of Christian churches in the Middle East: Coptic, Syriac, Orthodox, Maronite, Catholic, etc. Is she saying these are all fake Christians because they care more about Jesus than about a modern nation-state? If so, then she simply confirms my prior statement in this thread.

    • lysias says:

      Many people are running around now claiming to be Christian.

      So her answer is apparently that the people in the Middle East who claim to be Christians are not in fact Christians at all.

      I wonder what makes her so confident that the people in Israel who claim to be Jews are real Jews, if those are her standards.

      • Citizen says:

        Suresh, lysias, here’s my follow up to her response I show above:

        Me: So, you think God loves the Jews no matter what they do to anyone, including, for example Christian Arabs, who get booted from the land they have live in for thousands of years–by Jews, many of whom have been born and bred in the USA and moved illegally onto said Arabs land in the last few decades? What are said Arabs in God’s eyes, chopped liver? How would you like to get booted from your home, and/or have it bulldozed, to make room for some Jews from Brooklyn to take it over at government expense? That’s some God you clasp to your heart, Rose. I notice you do not deny the facts, which are available to anyone.

        Here’s her response:

        God hates the sin and loves the sinner. That goes for all man kind. However , the Jews are very special. He chose them first ,of all man kind. They turned their back on Him, but just like a father waits for his wayward son to come home so too God waits for the Jews. All of humanity is hurting, and killing each other, we are all abusing each other every day in some way, whether we are aware of it or not with all OUR standards and expectations we put on one another, so none of us are innocent, all have fallen short of the love we are meant to show one another. that is why Jesus Christ had to come , for God is just and Holy and to be just in the mess we have and are making ,Christ died for it all ,yes paid the price for all the wrong . So God is not looking at the wrong now because the He covered that Himself,God ,Himself paid for all we have done , are doing , and will do. That suppose to give us the freedom to grow, and to recover from our mistakes , to get back up and seek all that which God intended for our lives. Now he is looking at whether or not we are going to walk with Him or not, because, when it is all done and said ,there can only be one God and His family. It was what He intended from the very beginning.

        And here’s my response to her latest comment:

        Yeah, OK, Rose, I’m sure you’d feel the same, think the same, if a Caterpillar bulldozer appeared at your door to bulldoze your ancestral you home down, or you were simply kicked out so Izzy from Brooklyn could take over your home, leaving you out in the street with a bag of clothes and a pot and pan to go elsewhere (so long as you weren’t forbidden to go there). Sure is an odd god you worship. But I like the way he died for our misdeeds or omissions so we don’t have to be accountable.

        I am waiting for her response to this email, especially my heavy irony at the end…

    • ColinWright says:

      She should read the parable of the evil husbandmen. Rather clearly, in ‘killing Christ,’ the Jews have forfeited their claim to the Holy Land. The parable is in at least three of the Gospels.

      • Mooser says:

        “Rather clearly, in ‘killing Christ,’ the Jews have forfeited their claim to the Holy Land.”

        Wait a minute! I thought that kind of restrictive covenant is invalid in real-estate dealings today.

    • ColinWright says:

      Strictly speaking, this is quite irrelevant — but try sending her this.

      link to maannews.net

      The title of the video could be ‘what’s in the sausage.’ She can skip to about 1:15 if she gets bored.

      • Citizen says:

        Latest from the fundie:

        Ask Him yourself if you listen and watch He will answer you. God is fair and just. where I am in my life right now all South Africa and Israel get from me is my prayers, If God wants more from me He will show me, it is His problem and He has His resources to provide a way out for all . It seems to me that you refuse to accept my positions so why bother with seeking my opinion aside from mocking it? Does my faith entertain you? Really do you think my relationship with God through Jesus Christ is a big joke? I was just wondering what our e-mail relationship is here?
        I know and understand things are not right over there and I believe it is everyone’s fault , just like I feel our own country is being flushed, it too is all of our faults in someway we all have a part in it.
        The Supreme Court Judge was right about one thing , We have what we chose and now we all have to live with it, just like the rest of the world. Besides , it is you who think the Palestine’s are fair and just not me!

        (I’m about to give up on her; the other fundy I tried to communicate with for so long via email does not respond to me anymore at all. This one is about to do the same. No biggie, I just thought this blog might benefit from knowing there’s lots of fundies in the USA and this is a good example of their sincere and honest take on subjects discussed here. Pretty depressing, eh? )

  7. Mayhem says:

    Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the population of Christians is increasing, Go figure.

    • lysias says:

      I thought a bunch of Iraqi Christians who fled American-occupied Iraq had settled in Ba’athist Syria. Surely that has increased the number of Christians in Syria?

      • ColinWright says:

        Syria must be even more of a paradise than Israel. In any case, ‘Mayhem’ is reversing the facts of the situation. I went through this with someone else elsewhere. Since 1947, the proportion of Christians in the population of Israel has declined far more sharply than it has in any of the surrounding Muslim states.

        Zionists invariably lie. Go figure.

        • Mayhem says:

          @Colin, you choose to bluster over the facts. I stand by what I said and you have said nothing to refute it other than employing the usual anti-Zionist taunts.

        • lysias says:

          You didn’t answer me. Has the number of Christians in Syria not risen, with the influx of Christian refugees from American-occupied Iraq?

        • ColinWright says:

          I’m blustering…

          Sigh. Okay. Document-what-I-already-know-to-be-true time. From my handy-dandy 1951 Encyclopaedia Brittanica Atlas:

          Palestine in 1946. 1,845,560 people, of whom 145,060 were Christians. 8% Christian. Wikipedia cites a current figure of ‘less than 4%’ for the same area.

          No corresponding figure for Egypt in the Encyclopaedia — but my 1953 Rand McNally Almanac states that Copts composed 8% of the population then. The usual figure for now seems to be 10% — although I have heard higher.

          In other words, while the proportion of Christians in the population of Egypt has stayed about the same or risen somewhat, the proportion of Christians in the population of Israel-and-her-conquests has been roughly halved.

          I knew this was so. You knew that I knew this was so. I shouldn’t have to spend time demonstrating things that I know to be so and that you know to be so.

          “@Colin, you choose to bluster over the facts. I stand by what I said and you have said nothing to refute it other than employing the usual anti-Zionist taunts.”

          As we can see, (1) I was not blustering, (2) what you said was false, and (3) I am able to refute it without reference to any ‘anti-Zionist taunts.’

          …but you could have found the same information yourself easily enough. You just chose to insist on a claim that you could have easily ascertained was untrue. That’s wasting everyone’s time. Don’t do it again.

        • Ellen says:

          Mayhem, you are blindly repeating the newest and latest Hasbara lie. You could not even back it up with any credible source…instead reverting to the Goebbels method of repeating a lie long enough until it becomes “Truth.”

          Why the lie? Because the truth is a treat to the ongoing largess of support and money Israel receives from the USA. So Hasbara bots are now out in full force to fight off the truth creeping into public awareness.

          The Christain population in Palistine and what is now Israel has been falling since the 30s.

          Here’s a report out of Israel on the death of the Christian population under the occupation of Israel.

          link to haaretz.com


          Today, Christians make up just 1 percent….In the 1920s they were a tenth of the population of Palestine — land where today Israel exists alongside the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

        • Mayhem says:

          It seems like people like Ellen and Colin are entrenched in their views and can’t see the forest for the trees.
          I spoke about the Christians in Israel proper whose numbers in recent years have been increasing, the only country in the Middle East where this is happening i.e. the only country where Christians feel safe. Syria’s Christian population increase as a flow over from the Iraq war is purely a temporary aberration.
          Refer to statistical data that illustrates my point here link to www1.cbs.gov.il

          The Christians like the Jews before them are leaving the Arab countries because Muslim rule makes their lives intolerable.
          @Ellen, the Haaretz article you have referenced discusses the proportion of Christians in the occupied territories and so is irrelevant to my comments.
          @Colin, your references are from 60 years ago and don’t give us any idea as to what is going on today. Palestinian Christians left in droves to be sure after 1947 and interestingly enough many of them got as far as they could from the Middle East to countries like Chile where they wouldn’t have to cope with the trials and tribulations of their previous homeland.
          As to the situation of the Coptic Christians it is acknowledged that their future in Egypt is very poor. Refer link to meforum.org

        • Roya says:

          @Mayhem: The article you’re citing about Christians in Egypt is from a think tank headed by Daniel Pipes. Speaks for itself.

        • Ellen says:

          Mayhem,

          Your comment to an article about the state of Christianity in Bethlehem and Nazareth was an intended irrelevant diversion in an attempt to discredit the author.

          Instead of citing discredited propagandists like Pipes, or possibly Camera and a tarnished Wikipedia you might want to look at sources right out of the Hebrew University, for the UN documenting the rapid falling rate of fertility among Christians in Israel over the last 50 years. No amount of propaganda can change the truth no matter how much one might want to believe the big lie.

          The stats show that In recent years, and at best, the decline in fertility has leveled a bit.

          link to un.org

          Fact is: life is more and more perilous for Christians in Israel. Just read the most recent State department report on religious tolerance and laws in Israel.

          link to state.gov

        • Mayhem says:

          Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the population of Christians is increasing

          @Ellen, I would assert that my remark, although not exactly on this topic, is definitely reasonable and related to it; you have responded to it twice now with articles about the occupied territories. Do you have some inability to focus specifically on the point I have made?
          I suppose Israel is to blame now for their Christian population having a low fertility rate? Slipping polonium into baby food perhaps?

        • Roya says:

          @Mayhem: How can you have the temerity to declare that your absurd statement is “definitely reasonable” considering that I have disproved it? Hmmm? Hmmm?

          Oh, how I love fighting Zionists with facts!

        • Roya says:

          “I suppose Israel is to blame now for their Christian population having a low fertility rate? Slipping polonium into baby food perhaps?”
          It was documented a while back that Israel has been testing unauthorized and unapproved contraceptives on African refugees. The results have been lower fertility rates, miscarriages, and congenital defects. Considering this success in addressing the refugee problem, who’s to say Israel hasn’t done the same to address the Palestinian problem?

        • Mayhem says:

          @Roya, Iran is ranked 5th on the Open Doors 2012 World Watch List of the top 50 worst persecutors of Christians. Refer link to christianpost.com
          So is this something to celebrate?
          You can check out the full watch list here link to worldwatchlist.us
          And the Palestinian Territories happen to be 44th on the list headed by the likes of Afghanistan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Northern Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, etc. Yes go figure.

        • Roya says:

          @Mayhem. No. You said that Israel is the only place in the Middle East where the Christian population is growing, and I disproved it. That’s plan and simple, no need to change the subject.

        • Citizen says:

          Interesting that Saudi Arabia is ranked high as a persecutor of Christians, but that’s never in the news, not even Christian news, and it does not trouble the US government in the least. Open Doors says it only counts persecution purely for religious reason, not for political or ethnic reasons. Guess that’s why Israel is not on the list since there the three reasons are enmeshed, combined.

        • Ellen says:

          Mayhem,

          I responded with a recent study done on Isreal by an Israeli University. It was not on the occupied territories.

          Why do you lie?

        • Mayhem says:

          @roya, no need to be bloody minded. I admit I should have qualified my remark. Here goes:
          “Israel is the only place in the Middle East where a content Christian population is growing”
          My basic premise holds i.e. Christians are being treated despicably in Muslim countries.

        • Roya says:

          @Mayhem: If by “bloody-minded” you mean I’m not about to let you walk all over me, then expect to see a lot more of this “bloody-mindedness.”
          A CONTENT Christian population? Do you seriously believe the bullshit you’re spewing out or are you just trying to pull my leg? If (a), then I’m sorry for you. It must not be fun being a victim of Zionist indoctrination. If (b), good one.

        • Roya says:

          Of course not. Saudi Arabia is the United State’s and Israel’s crown jewel in the Arab Middle East, so they couldn’t possibly do anything wrong.

        • Mayhem says:

          @Citizen, you seem to enjoy making things up to suit your argument.
          You have falsely claimed “Open Doors says it only counts persecution purely for religious reason”.
          Check out their ranking methodology at link to worldwatchlist.us

        • Mayhem says:

          @Ellen, you posted a link to an article from Haaretz about the lot of Palestinian Christians in the occupied territories, a copy of the 2010 International Religious Freedom Report produced under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State and some U.N. report about population growth in the region.
          Any study done on Israel by an Israeli University is not apparent here.

    • Mooser says:

      “Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the population of Christians is increasing, Go figure.”

      I really couldn’t blame any Israeli Jew who converted.

    • Blake says:

      @ Mayhem: They are not native Palestinian Christians. I believe something like 30% of Russians there lied to get out of the USSR.

    • Roya says:

      “Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the population of Christians is increasing, Go figure.”

      Absolutely. Christians are just thriving in Israel/OT. They love having their houses demolished, they love that 80% of them have been forced into exile since 1948, and most of all they adore having to get impossible permits to visit their churches on religious holidays. In fact, the Palestinian Christians who called for boycott of the state in which they thrive through the Kairos document must be those “self-hating Christians.”

      link to online.wsj.com

    • Roya says:

      @Mayhem: Oh, and btw, the Iranian Christian population increased 39% between 1996 and 2006. I didn’t bother checking other countries since just one is enough to counter your fantastical claim, but I’m sure that it could easily be disproved for other Middle Eastern countries as well.
      link to amar.sci.org.ir (1996)
      link to amar.sci.org.ir (2006)

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the population of Christians is increasing”

      LMAO. Sure, the zionist entity loves Christians, so long as they’re not Palestinian Christians seeking to return to their land, from which they were ethnically cleansed. They can use those Christians as hasbara.

  8. Abu Malia says:

    ” Christianity is walking with God and if you are walking with God then you have to know God loves the Jews. so do I, I can not help it that is God in my heart and I will not deny Him. ”

    Ok, so there is this God who created everything and loves all his children, especially his fair-haired Jewish boy. We know he is partial to his Jewish boy because he said so himself, in the bible – even went as far as promising the inheritance of prime real estate. These are all true and indisputable facts backed by empirical evidence – believe me!

    But God had a change of mind. He sent an urgent communication to all his kids. He used his usual backdoor channels; via courier service. He personally chose a messenger named Mohamed to deliver a series of memos – later compiled and named the Quran.

    This is what the first memo from God said (i’m paraphrasing). ” All contracts, covenants and agreements signed between God and his Jewish boy are void and null”

    Game recognize game! as they say it in the hood.

    • Citizen says:

      Abu Malia, see my latest comment above giving the back and fourth between myself and my fundy friend, Rose. I can guarantee you Rose has no belief in Mohamed whatsoever, although she’d agree with you God’s favorite, the Jews, screwed up and God’s awaiting their return to his way, which in her mind, is her way via Jesus.

  9. MHughes976 says:

    God loves Jewish people but does not love Jewish people more than any others. At least I think that’s what the Gospels say.

    • Citizen says:

      MHuges, 31 Million Christian evangelicals in the USA disagree with you.

      • American says:

        @Citizen

        Not all Christian Evangelicals are christian zionist…somewhere in my posts way back I posted a breakdown of evangelical churches by breaking out all religions that are not majority from census data and then researching their individual positions on zionism and etc.
        Evangelical covers a lot of different what I would call ‘church sects’ within the evangelicals. I don’t remember the exact numbers and don’t want to cull thru all my back posts .
        But I seem to remember that among all non majority churches I researched, using ones and their membership numbers that made statements ‘against’ christian zionism —and considering the ones I couldn’t find a definite statement against it to be’ for it’—-the number came out at less than 10 million.

        • Citizen says:

          The sort of Christian fundies I communicate with never label themselves in any way except to say they are the true Christians. They know nothing about Zionism. They never mention any preacher or church or sect as the one they belong to….

      • ColinWright says:

        31 Million Christian Evangelicals either don’t read the New Testament at all or read it very selectively.

        In A River Runs through It, the narrator’s Presbyterian minister father defines Methodists as ‘Baptists who have learned to read.’

        There’s more than a grain of truth to that. These people only read the bits of the Bible that suit them.

        • Citizen says:

          Colin, the fundies I know definitely do send me bits of the bible that suit them- when I’ve tried to offer other biblical bits in seeming contradiction, they’ve never taken a single bite. And they don’t ever attack any facts I send, they just ignore them, and their sources; they simply tell you what’s in their heart and it is Jesus and God’s love for the Jews and those who follow the Jews. They are not college grads, so they apparently are not even aware that if somebody sends them facts, they need to check out if they are indeed facts. The one exception I met on that is a Jews For Jesus woman, who promptly went to Zionists web sites and recommended them to me; she says she may have a jew in the family tree somewhere, and hopes that she does.

        • Blake says:

          Correct Colin: Dispensationalism, a nineteenth-century evangelical, futurist, biblical interpretation of the Bible, where it claims you can get the truth from cherry picking a hundred different verses and patching them together without looking at the Bible as a whole.

        • ColinWright says:

          “…she says she may have a jew in the family tree somewhere…”

          I would imagine most of us do…just by the odds. In my case, there was a certain Kemnitzer, who came over from Germany in the middle of the nineteenth century. Kemnitzer is probably a Jewish name (Kemnitzer — anglicization of Chemnitzer — Chemnitz a German city — German Jews forced to take Christian names typically took the name of the city they lived in). He seems to have stepped off the boat and decided that since he didn’t have to be Jewish any more, he wasn’t going to be Jewish any more.

  10. ColinWright says:

    Well, another morning of shooting ducks in barrels.

    It’s a worthy cause, and there’s a certain cheap gratification to it — but doesn’t anyone who is for Israel in any way have anything challenging to offer? How can they simultaneously support something and be so unable to defend it?

  11. justice28 says:

    The statistics regarding the percentage number of Christian Palestinians is incorrect.
    The article “The Vanishing Church” link to americamagazine.org
    indicates that before the creation of Israel Christian Palestinian made up 18 percent of the population and not 4 percent as your article states.