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Monday, April 17, 2006

Update on Palestinian Christians, Especially Those Who Debbie Schlussel Hates 

Sheep's Crib, in a recent post, quoted from this article about Christian Palestinians and Israelis. Here's my selection of quotes:

Reports indicate that an increasing number of Christians in the Holy land, particularly in the Palestinian territories, are emigrating to look for a better life, leaving behind a small minority of Holy Land Christians amongst Muslims and Jews....

Christians made up the majority of the Holy Land when Islam began to rise in the 7th century and decreased their numbers to about 20 percent of the population up until a century ago, according to Reuters.

Today the Christian population has dwindled to about 50,000 Christians in the Palestinian territories (about 1.5 percent of the population) and about 100,000 Christians in Israel (approximately two percent)....

Reasons for Christians leaving the Holy Land include the migration of educated, middle-class Christian population in response to violence by Arab-Israeli wars in the 20th century, corruption and lawlessness, and persecution.

Recent harassment of Christians include the beating of a 76-year-old Greek Orthodox monk, the twice firebombed parish school in the West Bank city of Ramallah, and graphic graffiti found on monastery property depicting nuns being raped last year.

In Gaza, the Palestinian Bible Society bookstore was bombed by unidentified militants on Feb. 3 using two small pipe bombs which destroyed the steel and glass doors. The bookstore was reopened on Apr. 3 after a five-week-long closure in response to threats to bomb the building, reported the pastor of Gaza Baptist Church, Hanna Massad, to Open Doors USA. Massad’s wife is the Bible Society bookstore’s director.

I've blogged about Palestinian Christians before - once in November 2004, and once in September 2005. In the second post, I wrote about an attack on the town of Taybeh, a Christian town that is home to a brewery.

But, horror of horrors, a brewery office in Palestine posts a picture of Yasser Arafat. This angered Debbie Schlussel:

Now that the Islamic fundamentalist terrorist group HAMAS has taken over the government of the Palestinian Authority, Buthina and Nadim Khoury are worried that their beer company, Taybeh Beer, may be outlawed.

They're not worried about terrorists running their government or killing more innocent civilians with homicide bombs. Nope. They're worried about their bottom line....

Taybeh has already lost 80% of its market anyway because its biggest customers were Israelis . . . before Palestinians started blowing them up.

We, at DebbieSchlussel.com, don't particularly feel for the Taybeh Beer crew. Because we just couldn't help but notice the smiling photo of late terrorist-in-chief Yasser Arafat peaking out from behind Taybeh owner Nadim Khoury on his office bulletin board....And Taybeh Beer is the official beer of the Electronic Intifadah (Palestinian Terrorist Uprising).

Here's what Electronic Intifadah said about Taybeh:

I asked a secondary school student giving a group of us foreigners a tour of the village whether there was any opposition from neighboring villages to a beer festival (conveniently scheduled right before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan). The answer was a firm no - and when I mentioned the violence Taybeh has recently seen, he maintained that the problem was between two families, rather than two religions - and that Taybeh has good relations with its neighbors.

Ties between Taybeh and a nearby village were put to the test after a Muslim woman from Deir Jrier was murdered by her family when it was discovered that she was pregnant out of wedlock, and it was alleged that she had a romance with a member of the Khoury family. While the details about what happened beforehand are unclear - some say that the conflict became inflamed when the Khoury family allegedly managed to have the woman's body exhumed without their permission - members of the murdered woman's family took their rage out on Taybeh village, setting fire to 14 houses belonging to the Khoury family.

Palestinian security forces were delayed from intervening because of problems coordinating with the Israeli occupying forces (because it is considered part of Area B, uniformed and armed Palestinian security forces can only be present with coordination with the Israelis). There is now an agreement between the two families, and it also seems agreed that the conflict was a tribal family one, rather than one between Muslims and Christians.

Returning to Schlussel, there is one Arab Christian that she liked...sort of:

Today, we note the passing of Edward Masry, the trial lawyer who won a gazillion dollar settlement from PG&E, as glamorized in the Julia Roberts movie, "Erin Brockovich."

While we dislike trial lawyers, frown upon his soaking of PG&E when he never proved the company contaminated any water, and disapproved of the phony movie about him, we note something else we find more important: Although Arab groups dominated by Muslims constantly claimed Masry as a famous Arab American, his politics were otherwise. A Christian of Syrian descent, Masry was a strong supporter of the State of Israel and opponent of Islamic extremists.

"My father was a Christian from Syria who came to the United States in 1912 because of repression in his native country," Masry once told a Jewish newspaper. "He was one of the first to give money to Israel in 1948. His sympathies were pro-Zionist, not pro-Arab."

And a blog called "The NeoConservative Christian Right" only supports some Christians:

The Christians of Jerusalem and many Left leaning Christians in the West are calling for support of Palestinian-Arab Mohammedans. They want Western Governments to continue to financially support the terrorist lead Palestinian Authority.

Are these people like moronic? In particular it is shocking to read this about Christians in Jerusalem. I understand many of these Christians are Arab Christians, yet do they not comprehend under Mohammedan rule they would merely be second class citizens under Sharia Law enforced dhimmitude.

These people need to re-read the first few chapters in the Apocalypse of John as it pertains to the then dominant Christian Churches of Asia and Greece. These Christians are falling into this self-deluded pit.

One more. mparent7777 links to this article:

So why are Palestinian Christians abandoning their homeland?

We have lost hope, that’s why. We are treated as non-people. Few outside the Middle East even know we exist, and those who do, conveniently forget.

I refer, of course, to the American Religious Right. They see modern Israel as a harbinger of the Second Coming, at which time Christians will go to paradise, and all others (presumably including Jews) to hell. To this end they lend military and moral support to Israel.

Even by the double-dealing standards of international diplomacy this is a breathtakingly cynical bargain. It is hard to know who is using whom more: the Christian Right for offering secular power in the expectation that the Jewish state will be destroyed by a greater spiritual one; or the Israeli Right for accepting their offer. What we do know is that both sides are abusing the Palestinians. Apparently we don’t enter into anyone’s calculations.

The views of the Israeli Right are well known: they want us gone.

Less well known are the views of the American Religious Right. Strangely, they find the liberation of Iraqis from a vile dictator just, but do not find it unjust for us to be under military occupation for 38 long years....

We all know that Muslims and Jews get ceaseless support (political, spiritual and financial) from Saudi Arabia and America respectively, while Palestinian Christians get nothing from Australian and other Western “Christian” governments. (The Pope has been an exception.)

Prior to the 1967 war, the Christian youth at the Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist and other churches in Bethlehem used to pray and rejoice and have a good chat with hundreds of American Christian pilgrims. In particular Texas and California were two places from where many came to visit the Holy Land. Today only fading memories prevail. Bethlehem has been vacated by Christian families. The remaining Christians are paying the price by experiencing curfews which last for weeks. They remain sandwiched between Muslims and Jews without drawing the slightest concern from the many so-called Western Christians.

Come and See quotes from an article about Taybeh:

There are three churches in the village: Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic. In other towns in the Holy Land, Christian congregations often argue among themselves over control of holy sites, and they celebrate major festivals according to different calendars. In Jerusalem and Bethlehem, for example, there are three different Christmases continuing into January.

But in Taybeh, the churches are united. They celebrate Christmas together every Dec. 25.

Holiday preparations in this oasis of Christianity, like the pace of life in general, have remained almost unchanged for centuries. This morning, villagers and their guests attended services at one of the three churches, then took to the streets for the customary visits among family and friends -- bringing the traditional dishes they have been preparing for weeks....

One clear day last week, the Rev. Raed Abusahlia, the Roman Catholic priest, climbed the magnificent fourth-century Byzantine ruins of the original St. George church, with its ancient stone baptismal font in the shape of a cross, and looked out over the biblical wilderness, across the mountains of Samaria toward the Judean desert, the Dead Sea and the ancient city of Jericho. Fifteen miles to the south, Jerusalem sparkled in the winter sunlight.

"We are fanatic, but in a positive way," he said. "We have this consciousness to keep at least one totally, entirely Christian village in the Holy Land. We don't sell our property, we don't even rent a house to anybody who is not from Taybeh."

According to the Gospel of St. John, Jesus fled to the village -- then called Ephraim, one of six "cities of refuge" in the Holy Land -- to escape persecution after the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. "Jesus therefore no longer went about openly among the Jews, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples," said the Gospel (11.54).

The village name was changed to Taybeh by Salah A-Din -- known in the West as Saladin, the Islamic warrior who wrested the Holy Land from the Christian crusaders in the 12th century. "The folktale states that Salah A-Din visited the village Ephraim and found its people very hospitable and generous, thus he made a statement that they are taybehn people in Arabic, meaning 'good and kind,' " Maria Khoury said.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

It's so sad.
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