Treatment of Christians in Muslim Occupied Territories

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS POPE* A Muslim and a Christian: When pictures are worth a thousand words

An Excellent Response to Larry Derfner’s Highly Dubious J-Post Article on Pali Christian-Muslim Relations…….

With thanks to the Tundra Tabloids


In Muslim controlled areas of the P.A.,
“in your face contempt” is a daily occurrence

Last week Thursday, J’lem Post columnist, Larry Derfner, wrote an article about Palestinian Christian-Muslim relations that to some extent, soft peddled the situation of oppression and intimidation by Muslim Palestinians towards their Christian in both areas of the disputed territories. Christians face a “systemic racism on a daily and hourly basis” at the hands of the majority, and columnists like Derfner, instead of really dealing with the issue as it really is, helps to further extend their misery by repeating blatant regurgitated Muslim talking points.

Thankfully in today’s Front Page Mag, Seth Frantzman rips the curtain away from the Derfner article, revealing what the real situation is like for Christians living in the disputed territories at the mercy and good will of their Muslim superiors. I could care less that some Christian Arabs have obtained (seemingly) seats of power and authority in the P.A. government apparatus, it’s the Muslims that pull all the levers of power, these Christians are mere window dressings as well as useful stooges. Read all what Frantzman has to say about it, as well as taking the time to read Dr.Justus Weiner’s seminal work “Human Rights of Christians in Palestinian Society“ KGS

Israel’s Christian Beneficiaries

As an article in today’s New York Times proves, Palestinian and other Arab Christians are a perennial political football, especially with Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Holy Land. Seen by some as the epitome of what happens to minorities under Islamist rule when their shops are firebombed in Hamas-ruled Gaza, they are also continually used by the Western media to show how the Israeli security fence divides those in Bethlehem from Jerusalem. Even as their community shrinks, they seem to get more and more attention. They were a centerpiece of Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.

It is worthwhile, therefore, to consider a little about their recent history and dispel some of the myths that have grown up about them. A recent Time Magazine article by Andrew Lee Butters notes that:

the creation of Israel has been a disaster for Christians in the Middle East. Many of the Palestinian refugees…were Christians. The flood of Palestinian refugees into Lebanon helped spark a civil war between Muslims and Christians there…the ongoing occupation of the West Bank [by Israel] is strangling the life out of those Christian communities that are left.

The truth is quite different. There were roughly 150,000 Arab Christians in British mandatory Palestine in 1947, on the eve of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Some 75,685 Christians fled the areas that became Israel, leaving 32,000 in Israel in 1949, mostly in Nazareth, some villages in the Galilee and in Haifa, Acre and Jaffa. Family reunification and repatriation programs brought their numbers to 39,000 by 1951. Most Christian refugees came from Jaffa, Haifa and West Jerusalem and almost all of them fled before Israel declared independence in May of 1948.

In fact, Ben-Gurion ordered the IDF give special protection to Nazareth when it was seized on July 16: “Those who penetrate into the city will fight valiantly against invaders and gangs, wherever they resist; at the same time they will meticulously and conscientiously refrain from harming, despoiling or pillaging holy places.” Christian villages in the Galilee, many of which are also shared with Druze, were given special protective treatment as well and few were harmed by Israelis or abandoned by their Christian inhabitants.

Christians actually benefited demographically from the creation of Israel, rising from 1 in 7 of the Arab population to 1 in 3 by the 1950s. Rather than forming “many” of the refugees, they formed a small minority and fared much better than their Muslim counterparts. Most were middle class, educated and spoke foreign languages. Because of this, prominent Palestinian Christians, such as the families of Edward Said and John Sanunu (Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff), easily assimilated in the West. Being overwhelmingly urban in 1947, 115,000 of them lived in towns and cities. This made them both vulnerable during the war and also led to their ability to flee the fighting easily.

Christian communities suffered most in the West Bank where Muslim refugees were cynically settled in their midst. Thus, Ramallah was 90% Christian before the war and contained only 5,000 inhabitants while Bethlehem was 80% Christian and had only 9,000 inhabitants. By 1967, there were 16,000 people in Bethlehem of whom only 6,400 were Christian and Ramallah is a large Muslim city today.

Lebanon was certainly harmed by the influx of Palestinian refugees but its Christians were hurt primarily as a result of the 1970 Jordanian Civil War, after which Arafat’s PLO created a state within a state in Lebanon and, in alliance with other Muslim militias, destabilized the country. Far from “strangling the life” out of Christian communities in the West Bank, where there are barely 50,000 Christians, the access to Israel and its economy, education and medical facilities helps them. In contrast, the Hamas victory in Gaza after the Israeli withdrawel hasn’t made their life better. The Christians in the Palestinian territories and the ones in Israel have flourished even though demographically they have declined to 2% of the population.

The other side of the story of Palestinian Christians is that they have had a long and hallowed role in Arab nationalism. Mathilda Moghannem, a Protestant Palestinian feminist, declared in January of 1948 that “Christians will become Muslims to defeat Zionism.” George Habash, founder and leader of the communist terrorist PFLP, was a Christian as was Yasser Arafat’s wife. In the 1970s a Catholic Christian priest, Hilarion Carucci, was even convicted of running guns for the PLO.

Palestinian Christians suffer periodic bouts of intimidation and harassment.Their churches are spray-painted with graffiti and while Christian women marry Muslim men and Palestinian law ensures their children must be raised Muslim, when a Christian man is rumoured to date a Muslim woman riots have ensued. Larry Derfner recently wrote in the Jerusalem Post that they are a “minority that tends to along to get along…[and] keep their complaints to themselves” and that attacks on them may reflect “class resentment.” Such talk about minorities might remind us of how they were supposed to behave as Dhimmi under Islamism or how the Jews once lived in Europe before the Holocaust. People resented the Jews’ class as well, hardly an excuse to attack and harass them.

6 thoughts on “Treatment of Christians in Muslim Occupied Territories”

  1. I read the Derfner article. It was a classic of its kind. It just doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that a. any or even all of the *Muslims* to whom he spoke, were quite probably lying through their teeth…since Islam permits Muslims to lie in order to protect Islam and b. the dhimmified Arabised Christians to whom he spoke, are in many cases about as free to speak as a small shopkeeper in Chicago or Calabria during the heyday of the Mafia.

    Derfner needs to read Bat Yeor’s The Dhimmi and find out about the ghastly, sadistic rules that forbade dhimmis from 1. complaining about the vile cruelty with which their Muslim overlords treated them 2. forbade them to resist said cruelty 3. forbade them to complain to non-Muslim outsiders or to seek help from such outsiders…all of this on pain of a resumption of full-scale Jihad, if it were even *suspected* that this or that dhimmi had complained/ resisted/ sought outside help.

    (I must say I get annoyed when people carelessly describe George Habash as a ‘Christian’ – it would be more accurate to say that he was born to nominally Christian *parents*, and leave it at that, for he was a communist janissary of the Jihad, and did not evince one scintilla of evidence, throughout his entire life, of anything even remotely resembling a genuine Christian profession of faith. He would have been baptised as a baby – but then so was my red-hot-atheist brother…)

  2. you are the most uneducated people that I have come across in a long time. Islam was the first religion to give religious freedom to other religions. When I look at the genocide in chechneya of muslims, genocide of the palestinians for decades, genocide of muslims in aftganistan and pakistan, it is clear that there is a war against islam. your website is just more propaganda to mislead the public and you are racists. christians and muslims have been living side by side in peace in some of the arab world for 1430 years. zionism tries to mislead the public and wants to create conflict between the two religions. you all need to get an education.

  3. Dear Jen Schmidt,

    You reserve your point but we think different, So let me ask you.

    Whats the Punishment for Apostasy in Islam?

    And you call Islam was the first religion that gave religious freedom?

    If you do not have the intestinal fortitude to know whats going on, its best that you stuck your head in the sand.

    Speaking about Education, 1400 years ago, Arab was mostly Christian, Jews & Pagans. How did they became Muslims?

    And to believe that lived side by side is a pure Myth. The Arabs massacred more people and any religious based wars.

    Zionism is a concept of a homeland for the Jews, So jews could live freely in their own terms, wait for their messiah etc.

    However, you failed to write about Islam’s World Domination Plans, and countless of Muslims that are willing to kill people to achieve it. This is SO OPEN, and every muslim protesting in the street is shouting for this.

    Ands since Muslims would force others to Convert, Pay Jizya OR DIE in all of their muslim rule, I would rather choose the Zionist.

    Look at Jerusalem & Israel. Its open to anyone, Any religion.

    Look at Saudi Arabia. No Churches, No Temples, Only mosques.

    Even a Jewish airline is not permitted to fly over Saudi Arabia of fear of contaminating the country.

    The people of the free nation would reject Islam, not because of an attack, but as a Defence.

    Islam drew first blood & delegitamised other religions. How will this sink well with non muslims? It will definitely create friction & wars.

    Jen Schmidt, Theres a definition for people like you: Dhimmi.

  4. Jen schmidt…..Why do you use a Western Name…you want to’re ashamed of your Arabic name,you don’t want anyone to know who you really are….just Sayin.

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