Eleven Things Christians Should Know

  1. “Bethlehem will become a town of churches devoid of Christians if you transfer the area to the Palestinian Authority,” predicted the late mayor of Bethlehem, Elias Freij, pleading—in 1993—not to transfer the area to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) control. The heads of Bethlehem and Beit Jallah monasteries begged the U.S. and Israel—in 1993—to refrain from transferring the area to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Their request was denied in order to advance the Oslo Process.
  2. Christian Arabs shrank from a sizeable 15 percent minority to a 1.5 percent splinter group in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Their plight has intensified since the 1993 establishment of the Palestinian Authority, which has supported/tolerated physical, social, economic, legal, and political harassment/terrorism against Christian minorities.
  3. There are more Christian refugees from Beit Jallah (contiguous to Bethlehem) in Belize, Central America, than Christians left in Beit Jallah. There are more Christian refugees from Ramallah in Michigan and in South America than Christians remaining in Ramallah. Bethlehem was transformed from a Christian—to a more than 80 percent Muslim—majority.
  4. Islam considers Christian minorities as dhimmis guilty of rejecting Muhammad, tolerated as long as they are submissive, inferior to Muslims, handy scapegoats, and therefore subjected to legalized persecution. Legalized persecution has been employed since the seventh century in order to assert Islam over other peoples, most of whom have either vanished or severely shrunk. A Muslim who converts is subject to capital punishment.
  5. Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity was hijacked in April-May 2002 by 200 Palestinian terrorists fleeing the Israel Defense Forces. Nuns and priests were held hostage and the church was looted. Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) pressured Israel to allow the return of the hijackers—who were previously deported by Israel—to his territory.
  6. “After we do away with the Saturday People, we shall take care of the Sunday People” has been a regular feature during anti-Israel PLO/PA rallies.
  7. During 1970-1982, PLO terrorism in Lebanon accelerated the flight of Lebanese Christians, reducing them from the ruling sector to a precipitously dwindling minority. In 2007, the Palestinian Authority-supported/tolerated oppression has intensified the flight of Christians from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.
  8. Egregious violations of human rights by all Arab regimes have been a core cause for the lack of inter-Arab peace for the last 1,400 years.
  9. A great deal of suspension of disbelief underlines the assumption that peaceful-coexistence could be achieved with a regime (the PLO/Palestinian Authority) that is the role-model of human rights violations, hate education, conventional terrorism, hijacking, homicide bombing, abrogation of commitments, and oppression of Christian minorities.
  10. President [George W.] Bush (Sept. 20, 2001, Joint Session of Congress): “They [the Taliban] want to drive Christians and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa….What is at stake is not just America’s freedom. This is the world’s fight. This is civilization’s fight.”
  11. Ignoring the plight of Christian minorities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza and overlooking the oppressive nature of the Palestinian Authority (Abu Mazen since 1993 and Hamas since 2006) for the sake of the “peace process” guarantees repeated failure, a setback to peace, and a boost to radicalism and terrorism at the expense of vital U.S. values and national security interests.

by Yoram Ettinger

Excerpted from Straight From the Jerusalem Cloakroom. Used by permission. Ambassador (ret.) Ettinger served as minister for congressional affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington, D.C., and was Israel’s consul general in Houston, Texas, and director of Israel’s Government Press Office. He is the editor of Straight From the Jerusalem Cloakroom and Boardroom newsletters.

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