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Arab church that backs Israel shuttered by Palestinian Authority
whyisrael ^ | 19 March 2012

Posted on 03/31/2012 7:51:27 PM PDT by Milagros

By Ryan Jones.. The First Baptist Church in Bethlehem was ordered closed by the Palestinian Authority on Saturday, according to Rabbi Russell Resnik of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations. Resnik reported the incident after meeting with Pastor Steven Khoury, the son of First Baptist’s head pastor, Naim Khoury.

TOPICS: Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: arabapartheid; bethlehem; christians; gaza; islsmicapartheid; israel; jews; muslims; palestine; westbank; zionism
Christians dwindle in "Palestinian" areas

Christian pogrom in Bethlehem


Arab Islamic apartheid against Christians Vs the only free State -in the region- Israel

Israel is the only Middle Eastern country where the Christian population is thriving instead of disappearing. Between 1948 and 1998, Israel’s Christians grew fourfold, from 34,000 to 130,000.[source]

Eli E. Hertz: “Only in Israel Does Freedom of Religion Flourish.” He quotes: “Moslems have enjoyed, under Israeli control, the very freedom which Jews were denied during Jordanian occupation.” Judge, Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, 1968, He elaborates: “In Israel, both Jews and non-Jews are free to practice their faiths freely and openly on individual and institutional levels. That contrasts sharply with neighboring Arab states, where intolerance is the norm and the number of non-Muslims is constantly shrinking. The Palestinian Authority’s conduct – including the destruction of Jewish sites and violations of the holiness and neutrality of Christian ones – raises serious doubts as to whether the PA can be a trusted custodian of sacred sites in the Holy Land – Jewish or Christian.”[source]

Philadelphia Daily News’ C. M. Flowers wrote (at the heels of the so-called “Arab spring,” Sep. 2011): “The very real persecution of Christians in the Arab world”

If the “Arab Spring” bathed the Middle East in some much-needed sunlight, there’s at least one group that sees ominous clouds on the not-so-distant horizon. That would be the region’s embattled and apprehensive Christians, who’ve lived a kind of double life for many decades.

While nominally citizens of the countries they inhabit, most non-Muslims, the majority of whom are Christian, are treated as second-class members of society because so many governments in that part of the world adhere to sharia, and anyone familiar with the Islamic legal system knows that it codifies discrimination.

For example, while Christians are free (and in some cases pressured) to convert to Islam, Muslims are barred from converting to Christianity. In a notorious case now in the headlines, Yusuf Naderkhani, a Christian pastor, has been sentenced to death in Iran for refusing to renounce his faith, to which he’d converted as a teen.

…an Egyptian Christian who petitioned the government to allow his daughters to receive a Christian education was forced into hiding after receiving death threats when his request was made public.

So Christians in the Middle East can be forgiven if they don’t embrace the Arab Spring with as much fervor as their Muslim brothers and sisters because – to put it bluntly – the devil they know is at least more predictable than the devil they don’t – which is, without a doubt, Islamic fundamentalism.

And in many parts of the Middle East, that’s the only form of Islam there is, despite what you hear from organizations such as the Council on American Islamic Relations.

She goes on in explaining how Christians are effected when Arab-Islamic countries under “secular” tyrants are toppled.

While Christians were as oppressed as the next citizen in countries when secular tyrants like Hosni Mubarak, Moammar Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein ruled the roost, at least they weren’t prey to the sectarian hostility rampant in other places such as Iran and Afghanistan, hotbeds of jihadism.

It’s true that Egyptian Christians were always treated poorly by the government, but so was the Islamic Brotherhood, which was crushed into submission by the iron will of Mubarak and his military junta. Christians were merely as persecuted – or as tolerated – as any other group that the government didn’t like.

But now, as the tyrants topple like dominoes, Christians have good reason to worry that they will be unique and tragic victims of this Arab awakening.

To its great and unexpected credit, the New York Times actually publicized that fear this week in a front-page, above-the-fold article about Syrian Christians who are ambivalent about the campaign to overthrow Hafez al-Assad.

The reason for this ambivalence is simple: Like Mubarak and Hussein, Assad continues the proud tradition of secular despotism, persecuting those who wear the cross, the hijab and the kippah with equal fervor. Those who say religion is the root of all evil in an attempt to maintain the devout wall between church and state conveniently overlook secular societies such as Syria and Baathist Iraq that terrorized their citizens in a religious vacuum.

However, they would be right about one thing: Godless regimes generally treat all victims equally, whereas those founded on a specific creed play favorites. And while it’s hard to find very many nations where Christianity is the official state religion, and fewer still where they persecute nonbelievers, there’s really only one country in the Middle East that provides equal rights to all its citizens, of whatever creed: Israel.

In fact, if you speak to Israeli Arabs, they will tell you that, while they may disagree with government policy in Palestine, they’re not afraid to bow toward Mecca in the streets of Jerusalem, or attend Christian services in Bethlehem. In short, they’re not forced to live their faith in the shadows.

That’s clearly not the case in much of the Arab world, and Syrian Christians know it. So do their Lebanese Maronite friends, who’ve spent the last decade watching with increasing anxiety as Hezbollah and its Islamist members have infiltrated Beirut, making it difficult even… be seen going into a Catholic church…[source]


Arab Muslim Palestinians' Persecution of Christians


Arab "Palestinian" Christians have been suffering and STILL suffer from Arab "Palestinian" Muslim [apartheid] majority.

Just like the Arab Christian Lebanese in "Damour" (Yasir Arafat's Planned Christian Genocide, Hobeika - Damour, where "Palestinian" Muslims massacred Christians senselessly, which brought the reprisal by Arab Christians upon Arab "Palestinian" Muslims in Sabra & shatila.

In fact, some estimate 300,000 victims in - Lebanon between the years 1970s-2000 by Syria and 'Palestinians'.

The Islamization of Bethlehem, that began by Yasser Arafat, has forced Christians out.

The "Palestinian" Christians are forced to join the senseless criminal violence against Israeli victims, otherwise they are threatened.

Some Arab "Palestinians" that might be Christian, won't admit the awful truth openly, that scared they are!
But some find courage to break the ranks like:, a "Palestinian" Arab (former terrorist) who converted from Islam, terrorism, hatred & bloodshed to Christianity. Which is why he advocates now for Israel the real victim, exposes the lies and incitement he was exposed to while being Muslim.
Also see:

The truth about Christians in 'Palestine'

Christian persecution by Arafat

The Islamization of Bethlehem by Yassir Arafat

GENIE'S OUT OF THE BOTTLE - Jerusalem Post - Dec 15, 1992
Palestine should be Islamically redeemed - as a religious obligation ... The Islamization of the Israeli-Arab conflict gives it a totally new dimension.'S+OUT+OF+THE+BOTTLE&pqatl=google

Jewish Post & News - May 18, 1994
... 40000 Christians have de cided that there is no future for them in Palestine . There have also been indications of increasing Islamization on the street. ...,2568490

COMMUNITY AT THE CROSSROADS Jerusalem Post - Dec 15, 1995
Sue Fishkoff
"The Christians are no longer a majority in Bethlehem," adds Father [Claudio Baratto]. "Territorially and politically, the future is not very clear. And the Christians are more in doubt {about the future of the area} than anyone. But if you take out the Christian presence from Bethlehem, you have nothing."
Actually, the celebrations will take place under two authorities, Israeli and Palestinian. In a religious ceremony meticulously detailed by the status quo, which dates from Turkish rule, the Latin Patriarch will leave his residence in JerusalemUs Old City and lead the traditional procession to Bethlehem. Halfway down the road, the procession will pass through Israeli and Palestinian checkpoints, concluding in Bethlehem, where Mayor [Elias Freij] is already putting final touches on floodlighting Manger Square - handled by an Italian company to the tune of $1 million - and security procedures, which are strictly homegrown.
George Sammour, tourism and licensing director for the Bethlehem Municipality, has been collecting demographic statistics unofficially for more than a decade. His 1994 numbers place Bethlehem's Christians at slightly less than 40 percent of the city's population, with 14,819 Christians compared to 24,983 Moslems.
"Still, the Christians fear that the Moslems may act the same here as in other ... Christian community's fears of oppression in a future Palestinian state, ...

Palestinian Authority's Treatment of Christians [October 30, 1997]

How Strong is Hamas? - - Jul 12, 2001
Emmanuel Sivan: Hamas is a nationalist movement, but also has as [its] goal the Islamization of Palestine, so in that respect there is a connection with ...
[Newsweek: How Strong is Hamas? - Radical Islam expert... - Newsweek - Dec 7, 2001,0F08968CC6EE4AD0.html]

From Muhammad to Bin Laden: religious and ideological sources of the homicide bombers phenomenon [Pages 167-168] - David Bukay - Transaction Publishers, 2008 - 377 pages
The Christian plight in the territory called Mandatory Palestine is a second example, and really represents the Arab-Islamic harsh situation and their persecution. From almost 18% of the overall population, they are now less than 3%. The Christian population of the Palestinian Authority territory, once representing 20%, is now only 2.4%, and the countdown continues. In 1948, the Bethlehem area was 80% Christian. In 1990, it became 60%, and in 2005 it is less than.... All in all, Majid Aziza analyzed the Christian situation in Palestine and declared that they are almost extinct as a result of coordinated Palestinian Muslim assault and extermination, and the marginalization of the role of the Christians.
But the worst is that the perpetrators of these crimes successfully blame Israel for committing them.
According to the Catholic Custodian of the Holy Land, Pierbattista Piz- zaballa, Christians in the Bethlehem region alone have suffered 93 cases of injustice in 2000-2004. Almost every day the Christian communities are harassed by the Islamic extremists. It is “Muslim land mafia” which threatens Christian land and house owners and compels them to abandon their properties. The campaign of persecution has succeeded. Bethlehem and Nazareth, historic Christian towns for nearly two millennia are now primarily Muslim. To date, unfortunately, the problem is that the Protestant churches do not speak out against Palestinian Muslims for tormenting and expelling Palestinian Christians. He who lives in the Middle East knows quite well the anthem of the Palestinian Muslims: “we will fight the Saturday people, and than the Sunday people” (nukatil ahl al-sabt wa-ahl yawm al -ahad ba`din). In March 1989, a huge piece of graffiti was written in Jerusalem, saying: “after we will drive away the infidels from there (the Jews in the State of Israel), we will drive away the infidels from here (the Christians)...
All in all, Majid Aziza analyzed the Christian situation in Palestine and declared that they are almost extinct as a result of coordinated Palestinian Muslim assault and extermination, and the marginalization of the role of the Christians.

The Beleaguered Christians of the Palestinian-Controlled Areas,.. Palestinian Christians have suffered as dhimmis for centuries.

by David Raab 1

The Christian community in the areas administered by the Palestinian
Authority (PA) is a small, but symbolically important one. About 35,000
Christians live in the West Bank and 3,000 in Gaza2, representing about 1.3 per cent of Palestinians. In addition, 12,500 Christians reside in eastern

This population is rapidly dwindling, however, and it is not solely the
result of the difficult military and economic situation of the past two
years. Rather, there are numerous indications that the Christian population
is beleaguered due to its Christianity. Taken in context of the condition
of Christians in other Middle Eastern countries, this picture is especially
credible and troubling.


Regional Repression Of Christians

Under Islam, Christians are considered dhimmi, a tolerated, but second class
who are afforded protection by Islam. Dhimmitude is integral to Islam; it
is a "protection pact" that suspends "the [Moslem] conqueror's initial right
to kill or enslave [Jews and Christians], provided they submitted themselves
to pay tribute."3

However, the reality of Christianity under Islam has often been difficult.
"Over the centuries, political Islam has not been too kind to the native
Christian communities living under its rule. Anecdotes of tolerance aside,
the systematic treatment of abusive and discriminatory by
any standard...Under Islam, the targeted dhimmi community and each
individual in it are made to live in a state of perpetual humiliation in the
eyes of the ruling community."4 As described by a Christian Lebanese
president, Bashir Gemayil: "a not a full citizen and cannot
exercise political rights in any of the countries which were once conquered
by Islam."5

The current Christian reality in many Middle Eastern countries is also
difficult. In Egypt, "Muslim, but not Christian, schools receive state
funding...It is nearly impossible to restore or build new
churches...Christians are frequently ostracized or insulted in public, and
laws prohibit Moslem conversions to Christianity...Islamic radicals have
frequently launched physical attacks on [Christian] Copts."6

Saudi Arabia "is one of the most oppressive countries for Christians. There
are no churches in the whole country. Foreign workers make up one-third of
the population, many of whom are Christians. For their entire stay, which
may be years, they are forbidden to display any Christian symbols or Bibles,
or even meet together publicly to worship and pray. Some have watched their
personal Bibles put through a shredder when they entered the country."7

An official Saudi cleric, Sheik Saad Al-Buraik, recently pronounced in a
Riyadh government mosque, "People should know that...the battle that we are
going through is...also with those who believe that Allah is a third in a
Trinity, and those who said that Jesus is the son of Allah, and Allah is
Jesus, the son of Mary."8

In Iran, "the printing of Christian literature is illegal, converts from
Islam are liable to be killed, and most evangelical churches must function
underground."9 Christians are not allowed to testify in an Islamic court
when a Muslim is involved and they are discriminated against in employment.
A 1992 UN report cites cases of imprisonment and torture of Muslims who
converted to Christianity and of Armenian and Assyrian pastors, the
dissolution of the Iranian Bible Society, the closure of Christian
libraries, and the confiscation of all Christian books, including 20,000
copies of the New Testament in Farsi.10

In Israel too, Moslem fundamentalists seek to assert dominance over
Christian Arabs. "Attacks against and condemnation of Christians are also
often heard in mosques, in sermons and in publications of the Muslim
Movement."11 Recent events in Nazareth are illustrative.

Nazareth is especially important to the Catholic Church and, in 1969, the
church consecrated a massive, modern structure over the spot where Christian
tradition holds that Mary had her home...The Basilica of the Annunciation
became the dominant landmark of Nazareth. Israel decided to turn a small
square at the base of the hill on which the basilica stands into a broad
plaza where pilgrims could gather.

Nazareth, however, had grown...from a small Galilee village with a
predominantly Christian Arab population into a regional center of about
200,000, 70 percent of them Muslim. So, when the plans were announced, an
emerging Islamic movement seized on the fact that a small Muslim
shrine...stood on the square and announced plans to build a grand mosque on
'their' land...

...The Muslims, not waiting for plans to be approved or even to be drawn,
promptly began pouring a foundation, with flags of Islam fluttering on all

To Catholics, the size was not the issue. Any mosque on the site, they
believed, would challenge the Christians by blocking the square and by
raising high minarets from which the Muslim calls to prayer would echo
through the basilica. On Easter 1999, violence broke out between Christians
and Muslims.12

Official PA Domination Of Christians

Islam is the official religion of the Palestinian Authority.13 In addition,
fundamentalist Hamas and Islamic Jihad have promoted Islamic influence on
Palestinian society.

Officially, the PA claims to treat Palestinian Christians equally and
pointedly seeks public display of such. Christmas is recognized as an
official holiday; Chairman Arafat attends Mass and holds an official
reception that day. Arafat has stated as his mission "the protection of the
Christian and Muslim Holy places."14 Several Christians have held prominent
PA positions.

Occasionally, however, contrary messages slip through. In a Friday sermon
on October 13, 2000, broadcast live on official Palestinian Authority
television from a Gaza mosque, Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya proclaimed:

Allah the almighty has called upon us not to ally with the Jews or the
Christians, not to like them, not to become their partners, not to support
them, and not to sign agreements with them.15

In addition, no PA law protects religious freedom.16 While asserting that
all Palestinians' "liberty and freedom to worship and to practice their
religious beliefs are protected," a PA Information Ministry statement also
stresses that:

The Palestinian people are also governed by [Islamic] Shari'a law...with
regard to issues pertaining to religious matters. According to Shari'a Law,
applicable throughout the Muslim world, any Muslim who [converts] or
declares becoming an unbeliever is committing a major sin punishable by
capital punishment...the [Palestinian Authority] cannot take a different
position on this matter.17

In attempting to assuage Christians, the statement goes on to say that
capital punishment for conversion "has never happened, nor is it likely to
happen" in the Palestinian territories, but that "norms and tradition will
take care of such situations should they occur."

The PA's judicial system also does not ensure equal protection to
Christians. For example, a recent Israeli government report noted the
failure of the judicial system in Bethlehem to provide protection to
Christian land-owners.

The Comtsieh family (a Christian family) has a plot of land with a building
that serves as a business center in the city. Several years ago a Moslem
family from Hebron took possession of the building and started to use it
without permission. The Comtsieh family filed a claim with the judicial
system and after long and arduous court hearings, the court ruled in the
claimant's favor. However, the verdict was never enforced by the police and
representatives of the family from Hebron later appeared with a new court
verdict (signed by the same judge who ruled in the claimants' favor
previously), canceling the previous verdict and ratifying the Hebron
family's ownership of the property.18

An Israeli government report in 1997 asserted actual harassment of
Christians by the PA.

In August 1997, Palestinian policemen in Beit Sahur opened fire on a crowd
of Christian Arabs, wounding six. The Palestinian Authority is attempting to
cover up the incident and has warned against publicizing the story. The
local commander of the Palestinian police instructed journalists not to
report on the incident...

In late June 1997, a Palestinian convert to Christianity in the northern
West Bank was arrested by agents of the Palestinian Authority's Preventive
Security Service. He had been regularly attending church and prayer meetings
and was distributing Bibles. The Palestinian Authority ordered his

The pastor of a church in Ramallah was recently warned by Palestinian
Authority security agents that they were monitoring his evangelistic
activities in the area and wanted him to come in for questioning for
spreading Christianity.

A Palestinian convert to Christianity living in a village near Nablus was
recently arrested by the Palestinian police. A Muslim preacher was brought
in by the police, and he attempted to convince the convert to return to
Islam. When the convert refused, he was brought before a Palestinian court
and sentenced to prison for insulting the religious leader...

A Palestinian convert to Christianity in Ramallah was recently visited by
Palestinian policemen at his home and warned that if he continued to preach
Christianity, he would be arrested and charged with being an Israeli spy.19

Another report in 2002, based on Israeli intelligence gathered during
Israel's Defensive Shield operation, asserts that "The Fatah and Arafat's
intelligence network intimidated and maltreated the Christian population in
Bethlehem. They extorted money from them, confiscated land and property and
left them to the mercy of street gangs and other criminal activity, with no

Similar findings were reported in the Washington Times following the PA
takeover of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Residents of this biblical city are expressing relief at the exile to Cyprus
last week of 13 hard-core Palestinian militants, who they said had imposed a
two-year reign of terror that included rape, extortion and executions. The
13 sent to Cyprus, as well as 26 others sent to the Gaza Strip, had taken
shelter in the Church of the Nativity, triggering a 39-day siege that ended

Palestinians who live near the church described the group as a criminal gang
that preyed especially on Palestinian Christians, demanding "protection
money" from the main businesses, which make and sell religious artifacts.

"Finally the Christians can breathe freely," said Helen, 50, a Christian
mother of four. "We are so delighted that these criminals who have
intimidated us for such a long time are now going away."

The gang's hostility toward Christians extended to a 17-year-old altar boy
fatally shot during an Israeli incursion in October.

A small stone monument the family erected in Johnny Talgieh's memory on the
spot in Manger Square where he died was kicked and spat on by gang members,
then toppled with ropes and cables and left smashed on the ground.

"They did not want to recognize that a Christian could be considered a
[martyr]," said a family member..."They hate us Christians more than they
love Palestine." 21

Adding insult to injury, during this reign of terror, PA's Al Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades (declared a terrorist organization by the United States) sent a
letter to the Bethlehem municipality "requesting" aid in the form of
monetary contributions for military operations. Cynically adding a symbol
of Christianity to their extortion demand, the letter was signed "Fatah/Al
Aqsa Martyrs (and Church of) Nativity Brigades" [emphasis added].22

PA Disrespect For Christian Holy Sites

The PA has shown contempt for certain Christian holy sites, and there has
been significant desecration as well. For example, without prior consent of
the church, Yasser Arafat decided to turn the Greek Orthodox monastery near
the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem into his domicile during his visits
to the city. 23 On July 5, 1997, the PLO seized Abraham's Oak Russian Holy
Trinity Monastery in Hebron, violently evicting monks and nuns.24

During the 2000-2002 Palestinian War of Terror, the PA's Tanzim militia
chose the Christian town of Beit Jala to shoot at Jerusalem over other
locations from which they could have similarly targeted communities built on
land captured in 1967. They specifically positioned themselves in or near
Christian homes, hotels, churches (e.g., St. Nicholas), and the Greek
Orthodox club, knowing that a slight deviation in Israeli return fire would
harm Christian institutions or homes.25 In other words, they preferred
making Israel look bad to preserving the sanctity and integrity of Christian
sites and property.

At one point, Andreas Reinecke, head of the German Liaison office to the PA,

I would like to draw your attention in this letter to a number of incidents
which occurred at "Talitakoumi" school in Beit Jala...which is funded mainly
by the Protestant Church in Berlin.

Over the last few days the school staff noticed attempts on the part of
several armed Palestinians to use the school premises and some of its
gardens for their activities. If they succeed in doing this, an Israeli
reaction will be inevitable. This will have a negative impact on the
continuation of the functioning of the school, in which no less than 1,000
[Christian] Palestinians study...[Furthermore,] You cannot imagine the kind
of upheaval which will be provoked among the supporters of this school [in
Germany] should they discover that the school premises are used as a battle

The most glaring example of PA disregard for the holiness of Christian
shrines, however, was the March 2002 takeover of the Church of Nativity in
Bethlehem by PA forces and their taking of over 40 Christian clergy and nuns
as hostages. This takeover was not an act of desperation or seeking of
refuge in the heat of battle. It was premeditated specifically to make
Israel look bad. According to our own source and confirmed by a senior
Tanzim commander, Abdullah Abu-Hadid, "The idea was to enter the church in
order to create international pressure on Israel...We knew beforehand that
there was two years' worth of food for 50 monks. Oil, beans, rice, olives.
Good bathrooms and the largest wells in old Bethlehem. You didn't need
electricity because there were candles. In the yard they planted
vegetables. Everything was there."27

The official PA forces' behavior during the episode showed outright disdain
for the shrine, as described in the box below.

The PA Takeover Of The Church Of The Nativity

On April 2, 2002, as Israel initiated its Defensive Shield operation to
combat the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure in Bethlehem, "a number of
terrorists took over St. Mary's Church grounds and...held the priest and a
number of nuns there against their will. The terrorists used the Church as
a firing position, from which they shot at IDF soldiers in the area. The
soldiers did not return fire toward the church when fired upon. [emphasis
added] An IDF force, under the command of the Bethlehem area regional
commander, entered the Church grounds today without battle, in coordination
with its leaders, and evacuated the priest and nuns."28

That same day, "More than 100 Palestinian gunmen..., [including] soldiers
and policemen, entered the Church of the Nativity on Tuesday, as Israeli
troops swept into Bethlehem in an attempt to quell violence by Palestinian
suicide bombers and militias."29 The actual number of terrorists was
between 150 and 180, among them prominent members of the Fatah Tanzim. As
the New York Times put it, "Palestinian gunmen have frequently used the area
around the church as a refuge, with the expectation that Israel would try to
avoid fighting near the shrine."30 [emphasis added]

And in fact this was the case. The commander of the Israeli forces in the
area asserted that the IDF would not break into the church itself and would
not harm this site holy to Christianity. Israel also deployed more mature
and more reserved reserve-duty soldiers in this sensitive situation that
militarily called for more-agile, standing-army soldiers.31

The Palestinians, on the other hand, did not treat it the same way. Not
only did they take their weapons with them into the Church of the Nativity
and fire, on occasion, from the church, but "the entrance to the church is
also heavily booby-trapped."32

On April 7, "one of the few priests evacuated from the church told Israeli
television yesterday that gunmen had shot their way in, and that the
priests, monks and nuns were essentially hostages...The priest declined to
call the clergy 'hostages,' but repeatedly said in fluent English: 'We have
absolutely no choice. They have guns, we do not.'"33

Christians clearly saw the takeover as a violation of the sanctity of the
church. In an interview with CWNews, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the
Vatican's Undersecretary of State and the top foreign-policy official,
asserted that "The Palestinians have entered into bilateral agreements [with
the Holy See] in which they undertake to maintain and respect the status quo
regarding the Christian holy places and the rights of Christian communities.
To explain the gravity of the current situation, let me begin with the fact
that the occupation of the holy places by armed men is a violation of a long
tradition of law that dates back to the Ottoman era. Never before have they
been occupied-for such a lengthy time-by armed men."34 On April 14, he
reiterated his position in an interview on Vatican Radio. 35

On April 24, the Jerusalem Post reported on the damage that the PA forces
were causing:

Three Armenian monks, who had been held hostage by the Palestinian gunmen
inside the Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, managed to flee the church
area via a side gate yesterday morning. They immediately thanked the
soldiers for rescuing them.

They told army officers the gunmen had stolen gold and other property,
including crucifixes and prayer books, and had caused damage...

One of the monks, Narkiss Korasian, later told reporters: "They stole
everything, they opened the doors one by one and stole everything... they
stole our prayer books and four crosses... they didn't leave anything.
Thank you for your help, we will never forget it."

Israeli officials said the monks said the gunmen had also begun beating and
attacking clergymen.36

When the siege finally ended, the PA soldiers left the church in terrible

The Palestinian gunmen holed up in the Church of the Nativity [had] seized
church stockpiles of food and "ate like greedy monsters" until the food ran
out, while more than 150 civilians went hungry. They also guzzled beer,
wine and Johnnie Walker scotch that they found in priests' quarters,
undeterred by the Islamic ban on drinking alcohol. The indulgence lasted
for about two weeks into the 39-day siege, when the food and drink ran out,
according to an account by four Greek Orthodox priests who were trapped
inside for the entire ordeal...

"They should be ashamed of themselves. They acted like animals, like greedy
monsters. Come, I will show you more," said one priest, who declined to
give his name. He gestured toward empty bottles of beer and hundreds of
cigarette butts strewn on the floor. The priest then took the reporters to
see computers taken apart and a television set dismantled for use as a
hiding place for weapons...

"You can see what repayment we got for 'hosting' these so-called guests,"
said Archbishop Ironius, as he showed reporters the main reception hall of
the Greek Orthodox Monastery...

The Orthodox priests and a number of civilians have said the gunmen created
a regime of fear.

Even in the Roman Catholic areas of the complex there was evidence of
disregard for religious norms. Catholic priests said that some Bibles were
torn up for toilet paper, and many valuable sacramental objects were
removed. "Palestinians took candelabra, icons and anything that looked like
gold," said a Franciscan, the Rev. Nicholas Marquez from Mexico.37

A problem that arose during the siege again shows Christian fear of Muslim
domination. Two Palestinian gunmen in the church were killed, and the PA
wanted to bury them in the basilica. For Christians, this was a potential
"absolute disaster."

"With two Muslim bodies inside the Church of the Nativity, Christianity
could be facing an absolute disaster in Bethlehem," said Canon Andrew White,
the special representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Middle
East. "It would be catastrophic if two Muslim martyrs were buried in the
church. It could lead to a situation like that in Nazareth [DR: as
described above]," he said. 38

Only after intensive mediation efforts, were plans to bury the bodies inside

Similar Behavior In Jerusalem

Despite having no legal standing in Jerusalem, PA officialdom has acted
similarly there.

The PA, in fact, denies historic Jewish-thus Christian-ties to Jerusalem.
Walid M. Awad, Director of Foreign Publications in the Palestine Ministry of
Information, asserted: "The location of the [Jewish] Temple on the Temple
Mount is in question...There are scholars who say that it might be in
Jericho or somewhere else 4 kilometers outside of Jerusalem." Asked "The
New Testament talks of Jesus going to the Temple in Jerusalem. Are you
suggesting that Jesus went to Jericho rather than Jerusalem?", he responded
"It depends on what temple you think he went to."39 U.S. Ambassador Dennis
Ross asserted: "The only new idea [Arafat] raised at Camp David was that the
temple didn't exist in Jerusalem."40

A Christian leader, Father Marun Lahham worries, "Frequent Muslim
declarations that...Jerusalem is [an] Islamic [city] trouble Christians."41

The PA has begun to interfere with Jerusalem Christians:

...the Palestinian Authority-appointed Waqf (Moslem religious property)
authorities attempted to break through into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
from the adjacent al-Hanaqa Mosque. [They] decided to install a latrine on
the roof of the Church. According to a May 11, 1997, report in Ha'aretz, "A
Waqf internal report, written two weeks ago by the Waqf's Jerusalem
engineer, 'Isam 'Awad, confirms many of the Christians' claims in the
conflict that has emerged adjacent to the Holy Sepulcher Church regarding
construction in the Church. The Church's claim [is] that the Waqf has
harmed the historical and architectural substance of the Holy Sepulcher, as
a result of a construction addition to the courtyard of the 'Hanaqa,' which
leans on the wall of the Holy Sepulcher and even darkens it by its height.

Israel attempted to calm down the conflict after the Churches complained and
issued a work stoppage order against it, which was promptly ignored. The
same Ha'aretz story reported that "The Jerusalem district archeologist in
the Antiquities Authority, John Zeligman, wrote to the Waqf director, 'Adnan
Husayni, pointing out to the Waqf the damage to a site that is declared to
be an antiquity and threatens to go to law if work is not halted
immediately." Finally, the illegal construction was halted due to Israeli
and world pressure, but we can be certain that without such pressure the
desecration would have continued.42

The PA-appointed Waqf is also working feverishly to convert the Temple
Mount, a site holy to Christians and Jews, into a mosque and erase any
traces of the Temple. In June 2000, Ha'aretz reported that "the Islamic
Movement in Israel has master plan to build a fourth mosque on the eastern
side of the Temple Mount" and that, in fact, according to a head of the
Movement, "the entire area of the Temple Mount is an inseparable and
integral part of the Al Aqsa Mosque."43

The Wakf made a mockery of the laws of the State of Israel. Wakf officials
[had] requested and received a permit to open an emergency exit in the new
mosque in Solomon's Stables. [But], in fact, the Wakf tried to break
through four of the underground arches in the northern part of Solomon's
Stables. To do so, it dug a huge hole 60 meters long and 25 meters wide in
the earth of the Temple Mount...6,000 tons of earth [were] removed. Some of
it was scattered at dumpsites. Some was dumped in the Kidron River.
Antiquities dating back to [the first and second Temple eras] were tossed on
garbage heaps.44

Israel Antiquities Authority Director-General Shuka Dorfman affirms
"categorically" and "in an unequivocal manner, that there is archeological
damage being done [by the Waqf] to antiquities on the Temple Mount."45

Under the "guardianship" of the Waqf, "Palestinian pirates are brazenly
digging up Jewish artifacts from the holy Temple Mount site and trying to
sell them on the black market for as much as $1 million."46

More recently, since the start of the Palestinian War of Terror, the Waqf
has precluded Christians from visiting the Temple Mount, despite the fact
that no security considerations whatsoever are involved.

Reduction Of Christian Political Power

Historically, not only has Bethlehem been a Christian city governed
primarily by Christians, but, with its sister towns of Beit Jala and Beit
Sakhur, it has been the largest enclave of Christians on the West Bank.

Since assuming control in 1995, however, the PA has been Islamizing
Bethlehem. It changed its municipal boundaries and severely tipped the
demography by incorporating 30,000 Moslems from three neighboring refugee
camps, Dehaisheh, El-Ayda' and El-Azeh. It also added a few thousand
Bedouins of the Ta'amrah tribe, located east of Bethlehem and encouraged
Moslem immigration from Hebron to Bethlehem. The net result is that the
area's 23,000 Christians were reduced from a 60% majority in 1990 to a
minority in 2001.

Also, defying tradition, Yasser Arafat appointed a Moslem from Hebron,
Muhammed Rashad A-Jabari, as governor of Bethlehem. He fired the existing
Bethlehem city council that had consisted of nine Christians and two
Moslems, replacing it with a 50:50 council. While the mayor is a Christian,
the top bureaucratic, security and political echelons, and lower levels as
well, have been drained of Christians.47 Furthermore, "according to the new
local council elections' regulations designed by the PA-but not yet put into
effect, however-mayors will be nominated by the council members in their
towns. Christians fear that these new regulations will open the way to the
nomination of Muslim mayors to the traditional Christian towns."48

While six out of the eighty-eight seats in the Palestinian Legislative
Council have been reserved for Christians49, representing more than double
their proportion in Palestinian society, the Council is a fairly powerless
entity. Similarly, no Christian holds a position of power in the
Palestinian government.

Harassment Of Palestinian Christians By Palestinian Muslims

Palestinian Christians are perceived by many Moslems-as were Lebanon's
Christians-as a potential Fifth Column for Israel. In fact, at the start of
the recent War of Terror in 2000, Moslem Palestinians attacked Christians in
Gaza, as confirmed by Fr. Raed Abusahlia, chancellor of the Latin
Patriarchate in Jerusalem.50

Anti-Christian graffiti is not uncommon in Bethlehem and neighboring Beit
Sahur, proclaiming such things as: "First the Saturday people (the Jews),
then the Sunday people (the Christians)."51 The same has often been heard
chanted during anti-Israel PLO/PA rallies. Accused of wearing "permissive"
Western clothing, Bethlehem Christian women have been intimidated. Finally,
rape and abduction of Christian women is also reported to have occurred
frequently (especially in Beit Sahur), as was the case in Lebanon.52

Christian cemeteries have been defaced, monasteries have had their telephone
lines cut, and there have been break-ins to convents.53

In July 1994, the Wall Street Journal reported that Palestinian Moslems
would not sell land to Christians and that Christian facilities and clubs
had been attacked by Moslem extremists. Christian graves, crosses, and
statues had been desecrated; Christians had suffered physical abuse,
beatings, and Molotov cocktail attacks.54

Continuing the Islamic tradition of Saladin-who constructed two mosques
contiguous to and taller than the Church of the Holy Sepulcher-mosques have
mushroomed adjacent to and usually taller than churches. Loudly amplified
Moslem sermons have been aired during Christian services, including the
Pope's April 2000 address in Nazareth, which had to be halted until the
Moslem call to prayer was concluded.55

In February 2002, Palestinian Moslems rampaged against Christians in
Ramallah, and the Palestinian Authority failed to intervene. As reported by
the Boston Globe,

...the rampage began after Hanna Salameh, a member of a wealthy Christian
family, allegedly killed Jibril Eid, a Muslim construction contractor from
the Kalandia refugee camp, after the two men argued at the Israeli army's
Kalandia checkpoint...Salameh also allegedly assaulted Eid's brother and a
police officer, then fled the scene and turned himself in to police in
Ramallah. A few hours later, hundreds of men poured out of the refugee camp
and went to Ramallah, where they burned Salameh's house and store. They then
burned his brother's store, damaged several businesses owned by Christians
not related to the Salamehs, and torched the exercise room and terrorized
more than 100 children at Sariya, a scouting and youth center.

Palestinian police did nothing to stop this destruction, according to
numerous witnesses, but drew the line as the mob moved toward Christian
churches, whose leaders the Palestinian Authority is cultivating for
international support in its struggle with Israel.

While officials of the Palestinian Authority and of Fatah insisted that the
incident was simply about revenge and anger, many in Ramallah said

"The truth is this is a problem between Christians and Muslims," said one
Christian businessman. "There is no security for us. Everyone is taking the
law in his own hands...This [accused] man's brother, they burned his house,
his shops, his cars, and the police of Ramallah stood by and watched. This
is the democracy of Palestine?"

...[even] some members of the security services participated in the mob
action, witnesses said.

"The chief of security at Kalandia was in charge of this rampage," said a
Muslim shopkeeper. "The mayor of Ramallah came, saw what was happening, and
withdrew. I am a Muslim, but I condemn this. These are savage people." 56

And, similar attacks have occurred in eastern Jerusalem.

Over the weekend, a gang of Moslem youths ransacked a pool hall near the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is frequented by Christian youths. Four
of the Christians were stabbed and lightly wounded; one of them required
hospitalization. Witnesses said about fifty Moslem youths marched through
the Christian Quarter to the pool hall Saturday afternoon, chanting
anti-Christian slogans. They attacked the Christians inside, and broke
chairs, tables, and other objects...Old City police chief Dep. Cmdr. David
Givati, confirmed that there have been a number of attacks by Moslems on
Christian targets recently.57



Per the Oslo Accords, between 1995 and 1997 the Palestinian Authority was
given civilian control over 98% of the Palestinian population of Gaza and
the West Bank. One might have expected Palestinian Christians, in the
spirit of Palestinian self-determination, to embrace PA jurisdiction. This
has not been the case; Palestinian Christians are fleeing.

Palestinian Christians have fled Islamic rule in the past. In the final
census conducted by the British mandatory authorities in 1947, there were
28,000 Christians in Jerusalem. The census conducted by Israel immediately
after the Six Day War in 1967, which ended the 19-year Jordanian control of
the eastern portion of the city, found just 11,000 Christians remaining in
the city. Some 17,000 Christians (or 61 per cent!) left during the days of
Jordan's rule over Jerusalem.58

True, there has been a steady outflow of Christians from the Holy Land for
some time. Daughter communities in North and South America had already
outnumbered their mother communities by 1948.59 But, this outflow has
accelerated since the imminence of PA control.

Between the 1993 signing of the Oslo Accords until the 1995 transfer of
Bethlehem to the PA, Palestinian Christians lobbied Israel against the
transfer. The late Christian mayor, Elias Freij, warned that it would
result in Bethlehem becoming a town with churches, but no Christians. He
lobbied Israel to include Bethlehem in the boundaries of Greater Jerusalem,
as was the Jordanian practice until 1967.60

In December 1997, The Times of London reported: "Life in (PA ruled)
Bethlehem has become insufferable for many members of the dwindling
Christian minorities. Increasing Muslim-Christian tensions have left some
Christians reluctant to celebrate Christmas in the town at the heart of the
story of Christ's birth."61 The situation has become so desperate for
Christians that, "during his visit to Bethlehem, Pope John Paul II felt it
necessary to urge Palestinian Christians already in March 2000: 'Do not be
afraid to preserve your Christian heritage and Christian presence in

More recently, on July 17, 2000, upon realizing that then Prime Minister
Barak was contemplating repartitioning Jerusalem, the leaders of the
Greek-Orthodox, Latin and Armenian Churches sent a letter to him, President
Clinton, and Chairman Arafat, demanding to be consulted before such action
was undertaken. Barak's proposal also triggered a flood of requests for
Israeli I.D. cards by thousands of East Jerusalem Arabs. (This plus the
fact that Israel's own Christian population is actually growing refute any
claim that emigration is a result of Israel's treatment of Christians.)

Muteness to Obsequiousness

Despite their beleaguerment, Palestinian Christians do not speak out about
their situation. Indeed, some seem to go out of their way to profess unity
and harmony with Palestinian Moslems.

Intellectuals and clergymen...never tire of insisting that harmony has
always prevailed between Muslims and Christians in Palestine. The Anglican
Bishop of the Diocese of Jerusalem Riyah Abu-'Assal stated emphatically:
"The entire history of Palestine never witnessed any religious conflict
between Christians and Muslims." In her book This Side of Peace, Hanan
Ashrawi declares that while growing up she felt no difference between
Palestinian Christians and Muslims: "We did not know who was what, and it
was not an issue."63

Some publicly reject claims of maltreatment. For example, the Christian
National Institutions in Palestine and the Holy Lands averred on January 4,

We reiterate our strongest condemnation to all the lies and allegations of
the Israeli officials about Christians being oppressed by the [PA].
Therefore, we declare our absolute rejection to all those lies.64

Some go so far as to distort Christian belief to actively ally with their
Moslem compatriots. A glaring example was recently reported in the
International Herald Tribune:

"We are marching to Jerusalem, martyrs in the millions," chanted students at
Ramallah's Anglican elementary school, as Arafat waved from the balcony of a
cultural center next door.65

Yet, as Hanan Shlein writes in Ma'ariv, while "out of fear for their safety,
Christian spokesmen aren't happy to be identified by name when they complain
about the Muslims' treatment of them, the record they talk of
harassment and terror tactics, mainly from the gangs of thugs who looted and
plundered Christians and their property, under the protection of Palestinian
security personnel."66

In fact, the Christians' silence may be precisely because they are a
beleaguered minority with a long history of dhimmitude. As Lebanese
Christian Habib Malik describes:

This sentiment is motivated primarily by a desire for a unified position vis
à vis Israel. But it also stems from a deeper dhimmi psychological state:
the urge to find-or to imagine and fabricate if need be-a common cause with
the ruling majority in order to dilute the existing religious differences
and perhaps ease the weight of political Islam's inevitable discrimination.
The history of Palestinian Christianity has, for the most part, been no
different from that of dhimmi Christianity throughout the Levant.67

One Christian cleric in Jerusalem whom I interviewed compared the behavior
of Christian dhimmis to that of battered wives or children, who continue to
defend and even identify with their tormentor even as the abuse persists.

In fact, Palestinian Christians have suffered as dhimmis for centuries. An
English traveler in the Holy Land in 1816, for example, remarked that
Christians were not permitted to ride on horseback without express
permission from the Moslem Pasha.68

Other European travelers to the Holy Land mentioned the practice whereby "a
dhimmi must not come face to face with a Muslim in the street but pass him
to the left, the impure side" and described how Christians were humiliated
and insulted in the streets of Jerusalem until the mid-1800s. The British
consul in Jerusalem wrote that in the Holy Land, particularly in Jerusalem
until 1839, Christians were pushed into the gutter by any Muslim who would
swear: "turn to my left, thou dog." They were forbidden to ride on a mount
in town or to wear bright clothes.69

In the early 1900s, sporadic attacks on Christians by bands of Muslims
occurred in many Palestinian towns.70 During the Palestinian Arab revolt in
the late 1930s, which involved very few Christians, if Christian villagers
refused to supply the terrorist bands with weapons and provisions, their
vines were uprooted and their women raped. The rebels forced the Christian
population to observe the weekly day of rest on Friday instead of Sunday and
to replace the tarboosh by the kaffiyeh for men, whereas women were forced
to wear the veil. In 1936, Muslims marched through the Christian village of
Bir Zayt near Ramallah chanting: "We are going to kill the Christians."71

From 1953 until 1967, Jordan undertook to Islamize the Christian quarter in
the Old City of Jerusalem by laws forbidding Christians to buy land and
houses...It ordered the compulsory closure of schools on Muslim holidays and
authorized mosques to be built near churches, thus preventing any
possibility of enlargement.72

In the early 1900s, an additional dynamic took root with the advent of the
Jewish return to the area. Palestinian Christians began to band with the
Moslems to oppose Jewish immigration and presence, at least in part as a way
to deflect Moslem hostility away from themselves and onto Israel. As Sir
John Chancellor, British High Commissioner in Palestine, put it in 1931:

Christian Arab leaders, moreover, have admitted to me that in establishing
close relations with the [Palestinian] Moslems the Christians have not been
uninfluenced by fears of the treatment they might suffer at the hands of the
Moslem majority in certain eventualities.73

[Palestinian Christians] "internalized this dependence on the Muslim
majority as a social characteristic that persisted even after the Ottoman
reforms of the nineteenth century abolished these rules...The Christians
worried that Muslim religious emotions aroused against the Jews might
subsequently be turned against them."74

It is no surprise, then, that Palestinian Christians do not speak out
against their treatment. What may be surprising is the extent to which this
condition has taken some Palestinian Christians: denigration of
non-Palestinian Christians. As Father Manuel Musalam, head of the Latin
Church in Gaza, told Palestinian Authority Television:

Therefore I, the Christian Palestinian, say in all rage and daring to the
Christians of the world: You are loathsome! You are contemptible!...[We
Palestinian Christians] are facing the filthy Christians of the West...What
kind of Christianity is this? This is not Christianity; it is not even
paganism. This is Christianity of the jungle. Our New Testament is not
their New Testament, our Jesus is not their Jesus...I will say still more:
Our God is not their God.75


The number of reported incidents, the diversity of sources, and the fleeing
of Christians warrant concern and further investigation.

1 David Raab is a strategy consultant who writes frequently on the Middle
2 Daphne Tsimhoni, "The Christians in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip," Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2001
3 Bat Ye'or, Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide, Fairleigh
Dickenson University Press, 2002, p. 41
4 Habib C. Malik, "Christians In The Land Called Holy," First Things: A
Journal of Religion And Public Life, January 1999
5 Bashir Gemayel, Liberté et Sécurité (Beirut, 1983), pp. 37-38, cited in
Bat Ye'or, p. 248
6 Jonathan Adelman and Aggie Kuperman, Rocky Mountain News, December 22,
7 "Muslim Countries Becoming Bolder in Persecuting Christians," Battle Cry
Magazine, September/October 2001
8 "Saudi Telethon Host Calls for Enslaving Jewish Women," from the Saudi
Information Service as reported in the National Review Online, April 26,
9 Adelman and Kuperman
10 Bat Ye'or, p.225
11 Raphael Israeli, Green Crescent Over Nazareth: The Displacement Of
Christians By Muslims In The Holy Land, (Frank Cass: London, 2002), p. 60
12 Serge Schmemann, "Israelis Bar Mosque On Site In Nazareth," International
Herald Tribune, March 4, 2002
13 Tsimhoni
14 Tsimhoni
15 MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 138, October 13, 2000
16 International Religious Freedom Report: Israel and the Occupied
Territories, U.S. Department of State, Released October 26, 2001
17 Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information, December 1997, as reported
18 Dani Naveh (Israeli Minister of Parliamentary Affairs) et al, The
Involvement of Arafat, PA Senior Officials and Apparatuses in Terrorism
against Israel, Corruption and Crime, 2002,
19 The Palestinian Authority's Treatment of Christians in the Autonomous
Areas, Israeli Government, October 1997, translated to English by IMRA
20 Naveh
21 Sayed Anwar, "Exiled Palestinian militants ran two-year reign of terror,"
The Washington Times, May 13, 2002
22 Naveh
23 The Palestinian Authority's Treatment of Christians in the Autonomous
24 Associated Press, as reported in Yoram Ettinger, "The Islamization of
Bethlehem By Arafat," Jerusalem Cloakroom #117, Ariel Center for Policy
Research, December 25, 2001
25 Yoram Ettinger
26 Letter from Andreas Reinecke to Colonel Jibril Rajoub, Head of the PA
Preventive Security Apparatus in the West Bank, May 5, 2002, from IDF
Spokesperson, May, 12, 2002
27 Yediot Ahronot on May 24 as reported in Daily Alert, Conference of
Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, May 30, 2002
28 IDF Spokesperson, April 3, 2002
29 Serge Schmemann et al, "Israeli Military Sends Tanks Into Largest West
Bank City," New York Times, April 3, 2002
30 "Sharon Proposes Arafat's Exile While Israeli Forces Shell His Compound,"
New York Times, April 2, 2002
31 Amos Harel, "IDF Declares: We Won't Forcefully Enter The Church Of The
Nativity Holy To Christians," Haaretz (Hebrew Edition), April 5, 2002
32 Baruch Kra et al, "IDF Maintains Cautious Approach In Bethlehem,"
Haaretz, April 10, 2002
33 Paul Martin, "Arafat Tells Gunmen To Refuse Deal," The Washington Times,
April 8, 2002
34 "Top Vatican Official Speaks On Bethlehem Crisis," CWNews, April 10,
35 "Vatican Proposes Independent Force To Halt Mideast Violence," Worldwide
Faith News website,, 15 April, 2002
36 Margot Dudkevitch, "Gunmen Stole Gold, Crucifixes, Escaped Monks Report,"
The Jerusalem Post, April, 24 2002
37 "'Greedy Monsters' Ruled Church," The Washington Times, May 15, 2002
38 Ori Nir et al, "Arafat's Terror In Church: Armed PA Security Forces
Keeping 50 Youths Hostage In Church Of The Nativity Cellar," Haaretz, April
22, 2002
39 Interview with Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA), 25 December
40 Interview, Fox News Sunday, April 21, 2002
41 Al-Quds, June 18, 1999, as reported in MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 41,
August 2, 1999
42 Murray Kahl, "Yasser Arafat and the Christians of Lebanon," 13 January
43 Nadav Shragai, "Islamic Movement Planning Fourth Mosque For Temple
Mount," Haaretz (Online English Edition), June 18, 2000
44 Andrea Levin, "EYE ON THE MEDIA: Desperately Seeking the Temple Mount,"
The Jerusalem Post, July 11, 2000
45 Etgar Lefkovits, "Antiquities Authority: Wakf damaging Temple Mount," The
Jerusalem Post, March 22 2001
46 Uri Dan, "Temple Mount Artifacts Looted", The New York Post, April 22,
47 Ettinger
48 Tsimhoni
49 Tsimhoni
50 Margot Dudkevitch et al, "Church Denies Christians Fleeing PA Areas," The
Jerusalem Post, October 26, 2000
51 Andre Aciman, "In the Muslim City Of Bethlehem," New York Times Magazine,
December 24, 1995
52 Ettinger
53 The Palestinian Authority's Treatment of Christians in the Autonomous
54 Bat Ye'or, p. 244
55 Tsimhoni
56 Charles Radin, "Mob Fears Grow In West Bank," The Boston Globe, February
6, 2002.
57 Bill Hutman, "Concern Over Moslem Attacks On Christians In Old City,"
Jerusalem Post, July 18, 1994
58 The Palestinian Authority's Treatment of Christians in the Autonomous
59 Tsimhoni
60 Ettinger
61 Reported in Adelman and Kuperman
62 Yasser Arafat, Christmas, and the PFLP, JERUSALEM ISSUE BRIEF, Jerusalem
Center for Public Affairs, Vol. 1, No. 13, 25 December 2001
63 Malik
64 WAFA (Official Palestine News Agency), January 5, 2002,
65 John Lancaster, "Hailed As Hero, Arafat Emerges From Siege And Tours
Ramallah," International Herald Tribune, May 3, 2002, p.1
66 Ma'ariv, December 24, 2001. Translated from the Hebrew by Palestinian
Media Watch.
67 Malik
68 James Silk Buckingham, Travels in Palestine, (London, 1821), cited in Bat
Ye'or, p. 98
69 James Finn, as cited in Bat Ye'or, p.100 and footnote 65
70 Yehoshua Porath, The Palestinian Arab National Movement, 1929-1939: From
Riots to Rebellion (London, 1977), p.109, cited in Bat Ye'or p. 160-161
71 Porath, pp. 268-70
72 Bat Ye'or, p. 235
73 Yehoshua Porath, The Emergence Of The Palestinian Arab National Movement,
1918-1929, (London, 1974), p. 303, cited in Bat Ye'or, p. 160
74 Tsimhoni
75 Palestinian Television (Palestinian Authority), April 22, 2002, as
transcribed and translated by MEMRI, Arab Christian Clergymen Against
Western Christians, Jews, And Israel, #93, May 1, 2002

Christians Under Threat [Jan. 1998]
'Palestine' is an Islamic state, top Arafat advisor tells pastors concerned about Christian persecution under PA. In recent issues, the Digest has reported on the ...

Human rights of Christians in Palestinian society Justus Reid Weiner - [Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs] 2005 - 47 pages
It must be acknowledged that, since the time the PA has assumed control over Christian areas in the West Bank, the basic human rights of Christians in these areas have been made increasingly vulnerable.

Endangered Species | The Weekly Standard Sep 13, 2010 ... In the West Bank and Gaza today, Christians are probably less than 2 ... report on the "human rights of Christians in Palestinian society.

Christians Fleeing Palestinian Controlled Areas In addition to the economic decline, there were several cases of physical attacks on Christians in Gaza, influenced by Islamist incitement against Israel ...

Fact Sheets #59: Christians in the Palestinian Authority "The Islamic people want to kill us. That's their principle and belief. ... Relations between Palestinian Christians and Muslims have deteriorated in the ...

Palestinian Christians: Victims, Not Partners
Human Events,  Feb 16, 2004   by Spencer, Robert
E-mail Print Link This week the Chicago Tribune prefaced a series of articles on Islam, including one about how radical Muslims gained control of a large Chicago-area mosque, by reassuring readers that "Islam, the world's fastest-growing religion, preaches tolerance, non-violence and respect for human life."
But this week I interviewed Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist who has become a Christian and has recently been speaking out against jihad ideology. He confirmed something I discussed in Onward Muslim Soldiers: that this talk of tolerance and non-violence is often cultivated by radical Muslims as part of a larger tactical strategy.
Local Muslims say outreach needed Polls find negative view of Islam In the Palestinian Authority, this strategy involved the co-opting of the embattled Palestinian Christian minority into the larger jihadist agenda. With Christians, Shoebat explains "we saw a need for unity." Palestinian Christians were happy to oblige. Most Palestinian Christians, says Shoebat, were "educated on Replacement Theology, in which God was done with Israel and Jews. They were in turn supportive of the Palestinian cause to liberate all Palestine."

Christians in Israel, neighboring areas | Palestine Facts

What has happened to Christians living in Israel and neighboring areas?
The Christian tradition in the Middle East goes back to the first century, but the most important date is 636, the Muslim Arab Conquest. Before that date the Middle East was inhabited by mostly Christians and Jews, subjects of the Christian Byzantine Empire. Afterward, Muslim Arabs dominated the region. Exceeding even the Roman’s zeal for conquest, the Arabs wanted to muslimize everyone by force and over thirteen centuries of continuous oppression, they have largely succeeded, leaving only a few struggling groups.

At the beginning of the 20th century, rising nationalist feelings in the region led the Copts of Egypt, the Assyro-Chaldeans of Iraq, the South Sudanese, and the Lebanese Christians, to try to obtain independence. But the Islamic powers in the region denied these Christians their right to self-determination. At the expense of the Middle East Christians, Arab identity and Islamic domination were firmly established. Only the Jews of Israel were able to establish a non-Islamic nation in the region. Israel has suffered perpetual war and terrorism for that accomplishment.

Islam remains intolerant of any other group of people. Others are not accepted on an equal basis, only as dhimmis to be subjugated by Islam. Muslim children are taught to chant:

•We shall fight on Saturday and then on Sunday
In other words, first the Jews and then the Christians.

Thus, the outlook appears bleak for Christianity in the Middle East, in the very home of the religion, where Christ walked the earth and the central events of Christianity occurred. Emigration began in the aftermath of World War I when Muslim Arabs gained political control, continued through the middle of the twentieth century, and then accelerated in the 1990s with the rise of radical Islam. Indigenous Middle Eastern Christians are fleeing in droves, escaping Muslim violence and persecution, and deteriorating economic conditions. The only exception is Israel, where the Christian population is slowly increasing.

Situation in Lebanon
The Christians of Lebanon — Maronites, Orthodox, and other communities including Protestants — number about 1.5 million, the remnant of a Christian nation that resisted the Islamic conquorers for 13 centuries. Since Lebanon made an ill-conceived pact with the PLO in 1969, hundreds of thousands were massacred, displaced and exiled. During the Israeli operations in Lebanon in 1978 and in 1982, the Christian Lebanese sided with the Israelis against the Syria-backed Islamic Lebanese. In 1985, the Israelis withdrew except for a security buffer zone exposing the Christians to reprisals. Since 1990, the end of the Lebanese civil war, the Christian areas of Lebanon have been under Syrian occupation.

Christians in the north and central parts have been systematically politically and socially oppressed since the Lebanese civil war ended. Hundreds have been arrested, tortured, and jailed by pro-Syrian forces. In the south of Lebanon, thousands of Christians are bombarded constantly by Hezbollah. Thousands of Lebanese Christians fled when Israel pulled out of the security zone in 2000. There are more than seven million Lebanese Christians outside of Lebanon, including more than 1.5 million Americans of Lebanese descent.

Situation in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority
After World War II, Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, was 80% Christian and Nazareth 60%. Now those percentages are 20% and 30% respectively, and are shrinking. Jerusalem Christians were a plurality in the 1920s; today, they number under 2 percent of the city’s population.

Serious violations of religious freedom are reported from within the Palestinian Authority, especially the persecution of Muslims who have converted to Christianity. In the Christian town of Bet Jella, a human rights lawyer reported brutal interrogation methods and arbitrary arrests based on fabricated criminal charges against Muslims who have converted to Christianity and their families. His report includes testimony about torture from victims who were terrified to criticize the Palestinian Authority and their secret police.

In Nazareth, the Christian population has decreased dramatically due to the rise and spread of militant Islam. The Islamic Movement (a radical Muslim group) has demanded the construction of a mosque near the Church of the Annunciation, a mosque even some moderate Muslims oppose. On Easter, 1999, the Muslim group burned Christian stores and targeted Christians over the issue; attempts to intervene were frustrated because Christians are terrified to speak out.

Hundreds of Christian families have left Palestinian towns like Bet Jella and Bethlehem during the al-Aqsa intifada, caught literally in the crossfire between Palestinians and Israelis. On the West Bank, a nearly-permanent Muslim boycott of Christian businesses is achieving its objective: driving the Christians to emigrate.

In October 2000, Christians were attacked in Gaza after a Palestinian Muslim leader called for a “jihad” against both Jews and Christians.

In February 2002 a Muslim mob, including Palestinian Authority Special Forces, burned Christian businesses and attempted to destroy the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in Ramallah. The attack occurred after a Christian man killed a Muslim while being pursued by a Muslim gang because he refused to pay protection money for safe passage to his home.

Situation in Jordan
In Jordan, a relatively moderate nation, 94% of the population practices Sunni Islam. The percentage of Christians in Jordan (including the West Bank) in 1952 was 18% but has fallen to under 4%, with the majority being Greek Orthodox. Two percent of the population follows other religions, including Shi'a Islam.

Christian emigration continues because anti-Christian persecution is still widespread. Christian schools have been harassed by the government and converts have been arrested and jailed. Christian businesses have been attacked.

Situation in Egypt
The largest Christian community of the Middle East is found in Egypt, which has ten to twelve million Copts, a Christian group comprising about 15 – 20% of the country’s population. The Coptic Church is an independent church that broke away from the Byzantine Orthodox in the 6th century. Copts were the majority religion in Egypt until at least the 9th century, when it was overtaken by Islam brought by Arab conquerors.

Egypt is torn by strife generated by Islamic opposition to Egypt’s official secularism and its ties with the West. Islamic radicals attacked government officials, Copts, tourists and security officers in an insurgency that has killed 1,200 people since the early 1990s.

Egypt is a major recipient of US foreign aid, despite blatant violations of religious freedom which occurs regularly. The Copts require presidential permission to open a church, their history can no longer be taught in schools, and converts to their faith can be arrested under the National Security Act. Few Copts are found in the Egyptian government.

The London Daily Telegraph reported:

•… in a single month during 1998, Egyptian police detained about 1,200 Christians in Al-Kosheh, near Luxor in Upper Egypt. Seized in groups of up to 50 at a time, many were nailed to crosses or manacled to doors with their legs tied together. Then they were beaten and tortured with electric shocks to their genitals while police denounced them as “infidels.”
Other Muslim/Arab areas
In Sudan, at the crossroads of Islam and Christianity in Africa and one of the only nations on earth where slavery is still common, the Islamic fundamentalist government has been waging war on its millions of Christian citizens. As a result of the vicious civil war going on since 1955 between the Muslim Arab North and the Christian Black South, it is estimated that some two million people have died thus far. Those that are not killed outright are forced to convert to Islam and then sold into slavery.

Although the population of modern Turkey is more than 99% muslim, less than one hundred years ago, under the predecessor Ottoman Empire, it was about 30% Christian. The situation changed when some two million Armenian Christians were massacred between 1905 and 1918, a genocide which the Turkish government still denies. Of the remaining Christians, many fled immediately, while others facing death threats, systemic harassment, and discrimination, emigrated later. The Greco-Turkish war of 1922 resulted in most of the 200,000 Greek Christians leaving the country, with only a small remnant remaining, who continue to complain of government harassment and discrimination.

In Saudi Arabia, Christians are less than 1% of the 21-million population, and the public practice of Christianity is virtually unknown since by law there are no Christians in Saudi Arabia.

Situation in Israel
Jews are over 80% of the population of Israel; most of the remaining number are Sunni Palestinian Arabs. Christians make up 2% to 3% of the population. Of the Christian population in Israel, over 80% are Arabs. Many of the non-Arab Christians came to Israel with their Jewish spouses during the waves of immigration in the 1980s and ’90s, mainly from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia.

The percentage of Christians in the Israeli population has steadily declined due to the immigration of Jews from all over the world. However, the absolute number of Christians has increased as Christians have entered Israel from Europe or areas in the Middle East. The Christian population of Israel has grown from 34,000 in 1949 to about 140,000 today.

Israeli law provides for freedom of religion and religious communities have legal authority in matters such as marriage and divorce. Some Christians live in Israel because that is where Jesus lived and the central events of Christianity took place. Some maintain the Christian holy sites and keep them open and accessible to all. They are welcomed by Israel and there is no friction with Jewish residents. However, some Christians have come to Israel as aggressive missionaries and that is not welcome, giving rise to restrictive laws. Despite pro-Arab claims, however, there is no evidence of Jewish persecution of Christians in Israel.

From Muhammad to Bin Laden: religious and ideological sources of the homicide bombers phenomenon (Google eBook) - Page 168
David Bukay - [Transaction Publishers,] 2008 - 377 pages - Google eBook
It is "Muslim land mafia" which threatens Christian land and house owners and compels them to abandon their properties. The campaign of persecution has succeeded. Bethlehem and Nazareth, historic Christian towns for nearly two millennia ...

Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land, Jihadists Reveal Their Global Plans--To a Jew! - Page 149
Aaron Klein - [WND Books,] 2007 - 204 pages
The Christians know it. The situation is a powder keg that can explode again at any time." The trend of the persecution and intimidation of Christians in Bethlehem and Nazareth is part of a larger story of jihad against non-Muslims...

...The campaign of persecution has succeeded. Even as the Christian population of Israel grows, that of the Palestinian Authority shrinks precipitously. Bethlehem and Nazareth, historic Christian towns for nearly two millennia, are now primarily Muslim. In 1922, Christians outnumbered Muslims in Jerusalem; today, Christians amount to a mere 2 percent of that city's population.
"Is Christian life liable to be reduced to empty church buildings and a congregation-less hierarchy with no flock in the birthplace of Christianity?" So asks Daphne Tsimhoni in the Middle East Quarterly. It is hard to see what will prevent that ghost-like future from coming into existence.
One factor that could help prevent this dismal outcome would be for mainline Protestant churches to speak out against Palestinian Muslims for tormenting and expelling Palestinian Christians..

Persecuting the Holy Land's Christians By: Jamie Glazov Monday, December 26, 2005



... Christians, Strangers in a Familiar Land" | Christianity... - Jan 8, 2003
...But Christians familiar with the rising tide of Muslim persecution in other ... point out that since the PA took over Bethlehem in 1993, Christians have ..

Paul Marshall on Bethlehem on National Review Online - Dec 22, 2003
Islamization pressures now reach beyond Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and their kindred. The draft Palestinian constitution says, "Islam is the official religion in ...



PALESTINE Palestinian Christians fear their country might become an Islamic state
- Dec 7, 2004 – Palestinian Christians fear their country might become an Islamic state. Bethlehem (AsiaNews) – In Bethlehem, people are getting ready for...
Palestinian Christians fear creation of Islamic state - Palestinian Christians fear creation of Islamic state December 07, 2004. In Bethlehem, preparations for Christmas are more energetic this year,..



"Palestinians" burn Christian village (Published - 2005)

Sep 13, 2005 ... World silent after Muslim gang attacks 'Palestinian' Christian village ... "And if it's not the members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad, ...

Houses torched as Muslim -Christian tensions flare. AKI, 6 Sept 2005

Honour killing feud exposes rift between Palestinian Muslims and Christians LARA SUKHTIAN (AP), 7 Sept 2005

Homes razed in mob fury at couple's 'affair'
Chris McGreal in Jerusalem, 5 September 2005,2763,1562709,00.html

Muslims ransack Christian village
By Khaled Abu Toameh, 6 Sept 2005
FrontPage Magazine - Muslims Ransack Christian Village
Mideast Dispatch Archive: Muslims ransack Christian village in ...

'Islamic mafia' accused of persecuting Holy Land Christians (09 2005)

Denial of Religious Rights by the Palestinian Authority Not just Jews, but Christians have also been victimized by Islamic intolerance for 'infidel' holy sites.

Dhimmi Watch: Fitzgerald: IslamoChristians and Bethlehem


The Pogrom on Christians

Muslims victimize Christians 26 October 2005 - IMRA
Oct 26, 2005 - Christian businessman. "In recent years there has been an upsurge in the number of attacks on Christians in Bethlehem." ...



O, Muslim town of Bethlehem (Muslim persecution of Bethlehem's Christians)

The situation has become so desperate that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, are to lead a joint delegation to Bethlehem this week to express their solidarity with the beleaguered Christian populace. The town, according to the Cardinal, is being "steadily strangled". The sense of a creeping Islamic fundamentalism is all around in Bethlehem. A mosque on one side of Manger Square stands directly opposite the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, while in the evening the muezzin's call to prayer clashes with the peal of church bells. Shops selling Santa Claus outfits and mother-of-pearl statuettes of the Virgin Mary have their shutters painted a sun-bleached green, the colour of Islam. And in the Al-Jacir Palace, Bethlehem's only luxury hotel, there is a baubled Christmas tree in reception and a card showing the direction of Mecca in the rooms.

George Rabie, a 22-year-old taxi driver from the Bethlehem suburb of Beit Jala, is proud of his Christianity, even though it puts him in daily danger. Two months ago, he was beaten up by a gang of Muslims who were visiting Bethlehem from nearby Hebron and who had spotted the crucifix hanging on his windscreen. "Every day, I experience discrimination," he says. " "It is a type of racism. We are a minority so we are an easier target. Many extremists from the villages are coming into Bethlehem." Jeriez Moussa Amaro, a 27-year-old aluminium craftsman from Beit Jala is another with first-hand experience of the appalling violence that Christians face. Five years ago, his two sisters, Rada, 24, and Dunya, 18, were shot dead by Muslim gunmen in their own home. Their crime was to be young, attractive Christian women who wore Western clothes and no veil. Rada had been sleeping with a Muslim man in the months before her death.

A terrorist organisation, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, issued a statement claiming responsibility, which said: "We wanted to clean the Palestinian house of prostitutes." Jeriez says: "A Christian man is weak compared to a Muslim man. "They have bigger, more powerful families and they know people high up in the Palestinian authority." The fear of attack has prompted many Christian families to emigrate, including Mr Canawati's sister, her husband and their three children who now live in New Jersey in America. "I want to leave but nobody will buy my business," Mr Canawati says. "I feel trapped. We are isolated." This isolation was heightened when, last year, Bethlehem found itself behind Israel's security wall, a 400-mile-long concrete barrier which separates Jewish and Palestinian areas and is designed to stop suicide bombers - in 2004, half the Israeli fatalities caused by such attacks were committed by extremists from Bethlehem. Last year, tourists trying to get to the town were forced to queue for hours as their papers were checked, while Bethlehem inhabitants going the other way must now apply for an infrequently granted permit to visit Jerusalem, barely ten minutes away by car. "It is like living in a prison," says Shadt Abu-Ayash, a 29-year-old Roman Catholic shopkeeper. The Roman Catholic Mayor of Bethlehem, Dr Victor Batarseh, says: "The political situation in Lebanon and the instability of politics in Palestine has affected tourism and pilgrimage. "Hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops are owned by mostly Christians so it affects them badly. "We have 65 per cent unemployment and about 2,000 bedrooms in hotels that are empty." Bethlehem's hotel owners estimate that tourist numbers have dropped sharply, from 91,276 each month for the millennium celebrations in 2000 to little more than 1,500 a month now.

During the past six years, 50 restaurants, 28 hotels and 240 souvenir shops have closed. Samir Qumsieh is general manager of Al-Mahed - Nativity - which is the only Christian television station in Bethlehem. He has had death threats and visits from armed men demanding three acres of his land - and he is now ready to leave. "As Christians, we have no future here," he says. "We are melting away. Next summer I will leave this country to go to the States. How can I continue? "I would rather have a beautiful dream in my head about what my home is like, not the nightmare of the reality."

Liberal Palestinians fear Hamas win - The Globe & Mail RAMALLAH, WEST BANK...
"We're all afraid. We're worried about the future, that we'll become a second Iran."
Media Analysis of the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post
... "Liberal Palestinians fear Hamas win," by Mark MacKinnon, Globe and Mail On election day, MacKinnon interviews a Christian Palestinian...
Liberal Palestinians Fear Hamas Win Islamist party poised for breakthrough in election. For the full story, go to The Globe & Mail - Liberal palestinians fear hamas
{ January 25 2006 }. Original Source Link: ( May no longer be active)

Palestinians burn West Bank YMCA Follows Muslim warnings for Christian group to leave Hamas-controlled town or see violence
Posted: September 09, 2006

Cleric says Christians 'adopted Satan as God'
Pro-Israel denominations should be expelled from 'world church,' says PA Muslim leader
Posted: May 09, 2006
1:00 am Eastern [WND]
JERUSALEM – Christians who support Israel are distorting their true faith, have adapted Satan as god and comprise the greatest danger to world peace, according to a senior Palestinian Authority cleric. The cleric, whose article on Christianity and Israel is posted on an official PA government website, also accuses Zionist Christians of persecuting Palestinians and directing the war in Iraq, and he calls for pro-Israeli Christian denominations to be expelled from the "world church."
"Very few people know the truth about this [Christian Zionist] movement, which unconditionally supports the Zionist enemy and unconditionally opposes Islam and the Muslims," writes Hamed Al-Tamimi, director of inter-religious dialogue for the PA's Judicial Council.
The article, posted in Arabic, was translated by Palestinian Media Watch.
Continues al-Tamimi: "The Zionist-Christian motivation, in addition to imperialist motivation, was behind the cursed Balfour Declaration – Balfour and Prime Minister Lloyd George were Christian Zionists ... and the truth is we should not deny [that] these Crusader motivations stand [today] behind the British and American policy in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Arab and Muslim countries.
"Christian Zionists are a group who adopted Satan as god who drives their crazy nature. They have praised depravity and cursed virtue, they have turned the moral scale upside down and have reached [a point] in which forgery, deception and lying have turned into descriptions of world policy, which is led by the Zionism on both its branches – the Jewish and the Christian."
Al-Tamimi then quotes from a speech by Riad Jarjour, secretary-general of the Middle-Eastern Churches Committee, who calls for Christian Zionist denominations to be "expelled by the world church, since [they are] a dangerous distortion and a big deviation from the true Christian faith, which concentrates on Jesus. [Christian Zionism] defends a national political program which considers the Jewish race supreme."
Without citing examples, the PA cleric goes on to accuse Christian leaders of persecuting Palestinians:
"Their association and their organizations, headed by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, carry out their criminal activities against the Palestinian issue and the Palestinian people, as Walter Riggans, the secretary-general of the International Christian Embassy, proudly and defiantly announced: 'We are more Zionist than the Israelis'"
While Christian violence against Palestinians is very rare, there are rampant reports of violent Muslim campaigns against Christians in areas controlled by the PA.
Anti-Christian riots have been reported in Ramallah, Nazareth and surrounding villages as well as in towns in Gaza.
In Bethlehem, local Christians have long complained of anti-Christian persecution, including intimidation against Christian businessmen, anti-Christian shooting attacks, rape and murder of Christian women, and the confiscation of local church land for construction of mosques. The city's Christian population, once 90 percent, has declined drastically since the PA took control in December 1995. Christians now make up less than 25 percent of Bethlehem, according to Israeli surveys.

A Great Misunderstanding - February 14, 2006 - The New York Sun
New York Sun - Feb 14, 2006
Hamas has two fights going, said Professor Dued, one for the Islamization of the world and the second for Palestine. In a word, it's a pathetic joke to try ...

Palestine: Who Will Finance A Hamas-Led Government? - Radio...
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty - Feb 5, 2006
... is extremely unlikely to give up its beliefs and stated positions -- including the call for Israel's destruction and the Islamization of Palestine.

Muslim Palestinians attack Churches & News agency
Catholic Palestinians downplay Muslim attacks on Christian ... Catholic Online, CA - JERUSALEM (CNS) Christian Palestinians tried to downplay the significance of Muslim attacks on seven Christian churches in the West Bank and Gaza in ...

Palestinians attack more West Bank churches Reuters AlertNet

Masked Palestinians Attack News Agency All Headline News - Jerusalem, Israel (AHN) - Masked Palestinians Tuesday stormed the central Gaza offices of the official Palestinian Authority news agency, WAFA, destroying all ...

'Palestinian' Militants who in a statement, posted in the name of the Holy Jihad Vow to Target Non-Muslims or infidels to abduct & kill any non-Muslims who visit the 'Palestinian' territories , unless their demands are met.

Related on 'Islamic apartheid'

The largest practitioner of apartheid on the planet is Islam, in terms of both religious apartheid and gender apartheid


'Convert or Die' - 'Palestinians'

Two journalists Steve Centanni & Olaf Wiig kidnapped by Islamic Palestinians 'Holy Jihad Brigades' were forced to convert to Islam at gun point.


Before the journalists' release, a new video was released, showing Wiig and Centanni dressed in beige Arab-style robes. The kidnappers claimed both men had converted to Islam. "We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint,"...,2933,210767,00.html

Steve Centanni, 60, an American correspondent, and his freelance cameraman Olaf Wiig ... "Then they forced us to convert to Islam at gunpoint," said Centanni. ...

Officials: Hamas forcibly converted Christian woman to Islam. Gaza-based professor goes missing for weeks, indicates she is abducted, then surfaces a Muslim ...,7340,L-3434253,00.html

Hamas forced professor to convert' - JPost - Middle East - Aug 5, 2007 - Fatah officials claim Gaza university president assisted in kidnapping.
Fatah officials in Ramallah claimed over the weekend that Professor Sana al-Sayegh, who teaches at Palestine University in Gaza City, was kidnapped by Hamas militiamen who forced her to convert to Islam against her will... Some 3000 Christians live in the Gaza Strip. Following the Hamas takeover of the Strip, many of them have expressed their desire to leave..

INTERNATIONAL DIGEST: Gaza Christian kidnapped, forced to marry Muslim; ...
Posted on Aug 14, 2007 | by Mark Kelly NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--A Christian university professor in Gaza was kidnapped, forced to marry a Muslim professor at the same university and now her family is being told she wants no contact with them unless they convert to Islam.
Sana al-Sayegh, head of the Science and Technology Department at Gaza City's Palestine International University, disappeared June 24, according to Palestinian Authority officials and the woman's family. Five days later, she contacted her family to say she was being held against her will so she could be married to a Muslim man.

(See related forced conversion: Yemen 1165/1678, Al Qaeda , Iraq, Moplah - India, Convert or die Iran - 1839, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan & Bulgaria, UK)


Palestinian Christians Look Back on a Year of Troubles - New York Mar 11, 2007 – TAYBEH, West Bank -- Jack Massis, 51, a grocer here in this last entirely Christian village in the West Bank, speaks matter-of-factly about how ...

January 2007, Nazareth Muslims: 'Islam will dominate the world', March through town... 'meant to intimidate Christians'

Driving the Christians out
Source: The Jerusalem Post
Jan 25, 2007
A few decades ago Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, was a thriving town, a tourist magnet and a majority Christian town.
Today barely 15 percent of the population is Christian, and according to one of them, "every day we hear of another Christian family that has immigrated to the US, Canada or Latin America."
"I believe," said another, "that 15 years from now there will be no Christians left in Bethlehem. Then you will need a torch to find a Christian here."
The disappearance of Bethlehem's Christian Arabs is not a natural phenomenon; it is the consequence of a concerted effort to bring that potent sympbol of Christendom into submission to Islam.
Resorting to violence, terrorism, brazen land-theft and massive abuse of power, Muslim Arab civilians and Muslim members of the Palestinian Authority are effectively and purposefully driving the Christians away.
No-one cares about the plight of Bethlehem's Christians. And knowing the consequences of themselves publicising the abuse they face, most keep quiet, make their plans, and slip quietly away.
Soon only Muslims will benefit from whatever interest the Christian world retains in Bethlehem.

Bethlehem Christians claim persecution by Muslims Jan 25, 2007...
BETHLEHEM - A number of Christian families have finally decided to break their silence and talk openly about what they describe as Muslim persecution of the Christian minority in this city.
The move comes as a result of increased attacks on Christians by Muslims over the past few months. The families said they wrote letters to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the Vatican, Church leaders and European governments complaining about the attacks, but their appeals have fallen on deaf ears.

'Christians must accept Islamic rule' - Israel News, Ynetnews
Ynet News: Militant leader in Gaza says missionaries will be 'dealt with harshly,' demands women wear headscarfs.,7340,L-3414753,00.html

israelinsider: Briefs: Gaza Jihadis justify attack on school ...
Gaza Jihadis justify attack on school, blaming UN "Christian missionaries".
Published: May 9, 2007 ...

Gaza's Christian Arabs Living in Fear

Bombs hit Christian bookstore, two Internet cafes in Gaza City ¦Bombs hit Christian bookstore, two Internet cafes in Gaza City-News and commentary 11:17 Senior Hamas official: Suicide bombers ruined past peace bids

Reuters AlertNet - Bombs hit Christian bookshop, Internet cafe in GazaGAZA, April 15 (Reuters) - Bombs damaged a Christian bookstore and an Internet
Elsewhere in Gaza City, a bomb destroyed an Internet cafe, police said.

Christians warned: Accept Islamic lawAsked if Hamas is seeking to impose hard-line Islamic law on the Palestinians, al-Zahar responded, ¦ Christian bookstore bombed by terrorists ¦

Gaza's Christians under the Islamic gun Jun 19, 2007 ... There are not very many of them, but Gaza's Christians are already being singled out for special treatment in the newly-created "Hamastan" ...

Washington Times - Hamas control has Gaza's Christians on edge Jun 27, 2007 ... THE WASHINGTON TIMES TEL AVIV The future of a tiny Christian community in the Gaza Strip is in doubt after the takeover of Gaza by the ...

Palestinian Christian activist stabbed to death in Gaza - Haaretz ...Oct 10, 2007 ... A Palestinian Christian activist who had received repeated death threats was ... The Interior Ministry run by Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas ...

Gaza Christians warned to submit to Islam Jun 19, 2007 .... Gaza-based Muslim groups affiliated with Hamas and possibly Al Qaeda have warned local Christians ...

Palestinian Christians fear... Yet Palestinian Christians are also "afraid that Palestine might become an Islamic state", this according to the nuns of Bethlehem's Baby Caritas Hospital, ...

Reuters lies about why Christians are fleeing PA areas Reuters on Monday reported matter-of-factly that Israeli oppression is fueling a Christian exodus from Palestinian Authority-controlled areas, ...

CAMERA: Reuters fails to root out facts on Palestinian Christians Mar 12, 2007 ... But it's another matter entirely to read that Palestinian Christians are also free from persecution at the hands of their Muslim neighbors, ... Christian Monastery Attacked in Gaza During the recent fighting in Gaza between Hamas and Fatah, the Christian community in Gaza was also targeted. The Palestinian paper Al-Ayyam reported that ¦

Gaza Christians Wary After Hamas Takeover 06/19/2007 Hamas is not opposed to Christian worship, said Massad. Christians want to live their faith, he said, but he admitted that they don't have "full freedom" in

Digg - Hamas Destroys Christian School and Church Now that there are no Jews in Gaza and Hamas is in control, they're beginning the process of driving out the remaining Christians: Gaza's Christians fear

Gaza Christians Living Under Growing Islamic Threat, VA - Aug 16, 2007 Hamas maintains that al-Sayegh's conversion was a matter of personal choice and that it is vigorously protecting the rights of Gaza's Christians, ...

Hamas control has Gaza's Christians on edge - Washington Times
Jun 27, 2007 - THE WASHINGTON TIMES TEL AVIV - The future of a tiny Christian community in the Gaza Strip is in doubt after the takeover of Gaza by the militant Islamist group Hamas.
Recent attacks and threats against churches and institutions affiliated with the Christian community of about 2,000 have raised questions about the fate of minorities in the densely populated coastal strip of 1.5 million people now under Islamist control.

Officials: Hamas forcibly converted Christian woman to Islam | Ynet News, Middle East News: Gaza-based professor goes missing for weeks, indicates she is abducted, then surfaces a Muslim.,7340,L-3434253,00.html

Hamas pressing Gaza Christians to become Muslims The Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip are pressuring local Christians to either become Muslims or leave the area, according to Palestinian officials who spoke ...

Eye On The World: Hamas demands Christians adopt Islam or leave

Christian Persecution Blog: Hamas Turns on Gaza Christians, This morning I was reading in Israel Today a brief story about how Hamas has turned on Gaza Christians over the weekend. Here's the story in its entirety

Leaders of Hamas and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror groups in Bethlehem also told WND they were not aware of any al-Qaida elements in Bethlehem.
Local Christian leaders speaking to WND said they cannot confirm any al-Qaida groups present in Bethlehem, but stated they are concerned by what they said was growing radicalization and militancy among Palestinian groups who reportedly have been targeting Christians in the city...

Christian activist slain in Hamas controlled Gaza Oct 8, 2007 ... The body of Rami Khader Ayyad, a prominent Palestinian Christian activist, ... Ayyad had been threatened by Islamic extremists in the past. ...

Christian Bookstore Owner Was Tortured Before His Death - October ...Oct 11, 2007 ... The body of Rami Ayyad, director of Gaza's only Christian bookstore, ... Ayyad had told relatives he was receiving death threats from Islamists.

Jihadia salafiya

'Christians must accept Islamic rule' - Israel News, Ynetnews
19 Jun 2007 - Jihadia Salafiya is suspected of attacking a United Nations school in Gaza last month, after the school allowed boys and girls to participate in the same sporting event.,7340,L-3414753,00.html

Expert: 'Christian groups in PA to disappear'Expert: 'Christian groups in PA to disappear'
Etgar Lefkovits , THE JERUSALEM POST Dec. 4, 2007
The ever-dwindling Christian communities living in Palestinian-run territories in the West Bank and Gaza are likely to dissipate completely within the next 15 years as a result of increasing Muslim persecution and maltreatment, an Israeli scholar said Monday.
"The systematic persecution of Christian Arabs living in Palestinian areas is being met with nearly total silence by the international community, human rights activists, the media and NGOs," said Justus Reid Weiner, an international human rights lawyer in an address at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, where he serves as a scholar in residence.
He cited Muslim harassment and persecution as the main cause of the "acute human rights crisis" facing Christian Arabs, and predicted that unlessgovernments or institutions step in to remedy the situation - such as with job opportunities - there will be no more Christian communities living in the Palestinians territories within 15 years, with only a few Western Christians and top clergymen left in the area.
"Christian leaders are being forced to abandon their followers to the forces of radical Islam," Weiner said.
Facing a pernicious mixture of persecution and economic hardships as a result of years of Palestinian violence and Israeli counter-terrorism measures, tens of thousands of Christian Arabs have left the Palestinian territories for a better life in the West, in a continuing exodus which has led some Christian leaders to warn that the faith could be virtually extinct in its birthplace in a matter of decades.
The Palestinian Christian population has dipped to 1.5 percent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, down from at least 15% a half century ago, according to some estimates.
No one city in the Holy Land is more indicative of the great exodus of Christians than Bethlehem, which fell under full Palestinian control last decade as part of the Oslo Accords.
The town of 30,000 is now less than 20% Christian, after decades when Christians were the majority. Elsewhere in the Palestinian territories, only about 3,000 Christians, mostly Greek Orthodox, live in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, out of a strongly conservative Muslim population of 1.4 million.
"In a society where Arab Christians have no voice and no protection it is no surprise that they are leaving," he said.
In his address, Weiner pointedly downplayed the effects that Israeli security measures, such as the security barrier being built between Israel and the West Bank, have had on the Christian Arabs living in the West Bank.
The barrier, which is especially conspicuous at the entrance to Bethlehem where it is a concrete wall, is an issue which many Palestinian Christian clerics have pointed to, along with the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as a central cause of Christian emigration.
Weiner argued there was a "180 degree difference" between the public statements coming out of the mainstream Christian leadership in the Holy Land - who "sing the PA's tune" and blame Israel for all the Christian Arabs' ills - and people's experience on the ground.
"The truth is beginning to come out," he said. "The question is what is being done with the truth."
His comments come just months after a prominent Christian activist, Rami Khader Ayyad, 32, was killed in Gaza.
"For too long the plight of Christian Arabs has been put on the back-burner or ignored altogether," said Rev. Malcolm Hedding, executive director of the International Christian Embassy, a Jerusalem-based evangelical organization.
[...] "There is a one-sided debate in which Israel is responsible for everything," he said. "The Christian world needs to stand up and speak out about this."

IFCJ: Persecution of Christian Arabs Needs to be Stopped International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
Thursday, December 13, 2007. Bethlehem Christians to Receive IFCJ Support

With the Christmas holiday fast approaching, the town of Bethlehem, the historic birthplace of Jesus, is facing a continuing exodus of its Christian residents as a result of growing persecution by radical Muslims.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ).. strongly condemns the oppression of Christians in Bethlehem by Islamic extremists, which has risen sharply since Israel turned over control of the town to the Palestinian Authority in 1995. At the time of Israel's withdrawal, Christians made up 62% of Bethlehem's population.
Today, that figure stands at approximately 15%, a historic all-time low.

The persecution of Christians by hard-line Islamists is commonin Palestinian-controlled areas and indeed throughout the entire Middle East.
In Gaza, where 3,000 Christians live among 1.5 million Muslims, it is particularly violent and sometimes deadly. Just recently, Rami Khader Ayyad, owner of a Christian bookstore, was murdered by extremists. Following Hamas' violent take-over of Gaza in June 2007, numerous attacks against Christians were also reported, including the ransacking of a convent.

IFCJ has decided to highlight these human rights violations and call attention to the persecution of Christians occurring in these areas. In addition, the organization is providing funds for a special holiday program to feed underprivileged Christian Arabs in Bethlehem. The assistance is being extended through the First Baptist Church of Bethlehem, headed by Pastor Naim Khoury, and will help provide food aid to hundreds of Christians, many of whom have been harassed and threatened by Muslim radicals because of their faith. Pastor Khoury has survived three separate assassination attempts in recent years, while his church has reportedly been bombed by Islamic extremists fourteen times.

"The oppression of Christian Arabs by their Muslim brethren has caused thousands to flee Palestinian-controlled areas over the past decade. The U.S. and the international community need to pressure the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to reverse this deplorable trend and ensure the safety and prosperity of its Christian population," said Rabbi Eckstein, IFCJ President and Founder. "Through this gift, IFCJ is providing material support to the needy and saying to Bethlehem's Christians that they are not forgotten - that both Jews and Christians stand with them in their time of need."


'Peace partner' accused in YMCA attack Muslim gunmen crushed gates, set Christian building ablaze
Posted: October 14, 2008 8:23 pm Eastern
- 2008 - WorldNetDaily
JAFFA, Israel Members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization were arrested yesterday for allegedly leading a 2006 anti-Christian attack in which gunmen set fire to the Young Men's Christian Association in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya, WND has learned.
Following the arrest of four militants in conjunction with the attack, Rabih Elkhangy, the Fatah mayor of Qalqiliya, held a press conference yesterday in which he claimed the arrested attackers were from the rival Hamas terror organization.
But WND has learned that of the four arrested, two are Fatah members, one is a Fatah sympathizer and the fourth is a member of Jihadiya Silafiya, a Palestinian Islamist organization ideologically allied with al-Qaida values.
Sources in the security organizations of Qalqiliya admitted Hamas members were not arrested for the attack. They pointed out most Hamas leaders from Qalqiliya were jailed by the PA in recent months for other purposes.

Palestinians torch Qalqilya YMCA - Israel News, Palestinians torch Qalqilya YMCA. Prior to attack, Christian groups warned to vacate Hamas-controlled West Bank town; identities of attackers known to local,7340,L-3302162,00.html

Muslims destroy YMCA, Christian books 15 Feb 2008 - Abu Saqer's Jihadia Salafiya, the army of Islam, is suspected of carrying out anti-Christian attacks in Gaza, including firebombing the bookstore in April and lobbing of grenades at a church in September.

Abu Saqer told WND in an interview last year that all Christians in Gaza who engage in missionary activity will be "dealt with harshly."

Jihadia Salafiya also is suspected of firebombing Internet cafes and a United Nations school in Gaza that allowed boys and girls to participate together in a sporting event. One person was killed in the attack.

Now that Hamas is in power, "the situation has changed 180 degrees in Gaza," said Abu Saqer.

"Jihadia Salafiya and other Islamic movements will ensure Christian schools and institutions show publicly what they are teaching to be sure they are not carrying out missionary activity," he said...
"This missionary activity is endangering the entire Christian community in Gaza," he said.

Abu Saqer claimed there was "no need" for the thousands of Christians in Gaza to maintain a large number of institutions in the territory.

Pressure Intensifies for Gaza Christians - Christian World News ...Aug 1, 2008 ... Islamic extremists are continuing efforts to eradicate Christians and their institutions.

Gaza Muslims continue ethnic-cleansing effort
By Stan Goodenough
February 17, 2008
Muslims attacked the library of the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) in Gaza Friday in the latest move to drive Christians and Christianity out of the Islamist-controlled Strip.
According to a report in The Jerusalem Post Sunday, gunmen - some masked, others not - "stormed" the library, kidnapped two security guards, looted electronic equipment and stole a vehicle, then detonated a number of bombs inside the building, totally destroying the book collection.
Intent on making the area Islamically "pure," Muslim Arabs have looked for "reasons" to "justify" their targeting of the tiny Christian community - around 3000 strong - that lives in the midst of Gaza's 1.4 million Muslims.
The persecution has increased since Hamas violently took control of Gaza a year ago.
On October 6 last year, Muslims abducted Rami Ayyad, the manager of Gaza's only Christian bookstore that had been bombed by masked Muslims six months earlier.
Ayyad, 31, was the father of two small children; his wife was pregnant with their third. His shot and repeatedly stabbed body was found a day after he disappeared.
For Gaza's Muslims, ridding themselves of any active Christian presence would be cherry on top after successfully forcing Israel to remove every single Jew from Gaza in 2005.
"Palestinian" crowds have often been heard to chant: "First we'll fight on Saturday and then on Sunday" - meaning, after they rid themselves of Jews they will rid themselves of Christians.


Gaza Christians fear Hamas - The Catholic Leader: World News Catholic Leader
Published: 1 February 2009
JERUSALEM (CNS): Christians and moderate Muslims quietly expressed concern about what their place in the Gaza Strip would be now that Hamas remains strong after a three-week Israeli offensive.

Palestinian Christian Suffering - Op-Eds - Israel National News 24 Dec 2009 ... Palestinian Christians suffer under Muslim rule. ... After the Palestinian Authority (PA) took control of Bethlehem in 1994, they altered ...

PA Muslims Desecrate Christian Gravestones
PA Muslims went on a rampage Sunday and desecrated 70 Christian graves two weeks after the pope praised efforts for a new PA state.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/25/2009, 9:14 AM
Palestinian Authority Muslims went on a rampage Sunday and desecrated 70 Christian graves two weeks after the pope praised efforts for a new PA state and tried to appease Muslim anger over previous disputes between the two religions.
The vandals smashed gravestones and knocked metal and stone crosses off graves in the village of Jiffna, near Ramallah, home to approximately 900 Christians and 700 Muslims. Greek Orthodox Church official George Abdo told Reuters the head and hand of a statue of Madonna also was severed.

Daniel Schwammenthal: Bethlehem's Persecuted Christians - 28 Dec 2009...The Forgotten Palestinian Refugees
Palestinian Christians are suffering under Muslim intolerance. ... of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Christians live on a knife's edge.

The Beleaguered Christians in Bethlehem :: Hudson New York
 - May 12, 2009 – The Beleaguered Christians in Bethlehem :: Hudson New York.


For Christians In The Middle East, The Only Safe Place Is Israel ... [April 21, 2011]
 - This past weekend one of the most abominable anti-Israel bashers (whom I will not give the dignity of naming), a self-proclaimed member of the 'human rights' community in the United States, spoke in our town at the invitation of the local so-called 'Peace Coalition'.

In a talk peppered with one unsubstantiated 'fact' after another, she outrageously and repeatedly accused Israel of every conceivable crime. In the context of asserting that Muslims and Christians have always lived together in peace, she even declared that "Israel is murdering Christians."

Demographic statistics tell a different story. Over the last century in Jordan, the Christian population has dropped from 18% to 2%; in Syria from 50% to 4%; in Lebanon from 55% to 35%; in Turkey, the number of Christians has declined from two million to 85,000. In Egypt, the Christian population has declined to under 5% and hardly a day goes by without a report of Muslims attacking Egyptian Coptic Christians. In Iraq, Iran, the Sudan, and Gaza, Christianity is on the verge of eradication.

Nowhere is this trend more evident than in Bethlehem. According to a Muslim reporter for the Jerusalem Post:  "Many Christians in Bethlehem and the nearby [Christian] towns of Bet Sahour and Bet Jalla have repeatedly complained that Muslims have been seizing their lands either by force or through forged documents. In recent years, not only has the number of Christians continued to dwindle, but Bethlehem and its surroundings also became hotbeds for Hamas and Islamic Jihad supporters and members. Moreover, several Christian women living in these areas have complained about verbal and sexual assaults by Muslim men. Over the past few years, a number of Christian businessmen [have been] forced to shut down their businesses because they could no longer afford to pay "protection" money to local Muslim gangs"  (

For these reasons, since the early 1990s when the Palestinian Authority took over control of Bethlehem, the population of Christians in the city has dramatically decreased from 60% then, to 10% today, raising fears of no Christian presence in the city of Jesus' birth within two decades.

Where are those who constantly clamor for religious freedom? Where are the human rights groups like our local 'peace coalition'? Where is the world media? They are uniquely and obsessively focusing on Israel.

Ironically, there is only one Middle Eastern country where the Christian community is growing: the Jewish state of Israel. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, the Christian community has increased from 34,000 people in 1949 to 163,000 today. It is projected that by the end of this decade there will be 187,000 Christians in Israel.  So the next time you hear about Israelis persecuting Christians. . .

1 posted on 03/31/2012 7:51:37 PM PDT by Milagros
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To: Milagros

That is one helluva post. Lots of information to digest.

PS: Please give us the name of the Israel-basher mentioned in the last item. Need to know who the enemy is so that we can watch out for their appearances and challenge them.

2 posted on 03/31/2012 9:38:44 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

Will look into it. Thanks for the feedback.

3 posted on 04/01/2012 12:34:22 AM PDT by Milagros (Y)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.


Islamic mercy, they didn't burn it down.

4 posted on 04/01/2012 4:04:02 PM PDT by SJackson (As a black man, you know, Barack could get shot going to the gas station, M Obama)
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