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Israel: Christian Gazans are in Danger

Israeli blogger Yael says Palestinian Christians living in Gaza are in danger – after repeated attacks by Islamic militants.

7 comments

  • Ironic, then, that Hamas has historically done more to protect Palestine’s Christians than Fateh has done. Hamas sees them as part of the history of the land they share.

    Where was this concern when Israel was bombarding West Bank churches. Or demolishing holy buildings in Gaza. Or laying siege to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, preventing Christians from visiting ones of the holiest places in the religion?

    It is a myth that Hamas wants to create an Islamic state. Let’s not forget that Israel is itself a Jewish state.

    It is ironic that someone who choses to emigrate to a Jewish state is concerned that Hamas wants to create an Islamic state.

    But myths and hypocricy are just what we’d expect from a Westerner who choses to immigrate to Israel, and live on the land of a Palestinian who’s probably living in a refugee camp somewhere.

  • One cannot compare the Islam of Hamas with the Judaism of Israel. I don’t recall any internet cafes or grade school sporting being bombed in Israel because they were considered as being “not Jewish”.

    On what grounds do you consider it a myth that Hamas wants to create an Islamic state? Do you have any proof to the contrary?

    When you refer to the “siege” on the Church of the Nativity, I can only assume that you are referring to the incident where known Islamic militants were holed up inside (and showing utter disrespect for the sanctity of the site), using the church as refuge because they knew that the Israeli military would take additional safety precautions because it was such a holy site…

    What is even more frightening is that you attempt to discredit a very real problem because the person who drew your attention to it happens to live in Israel.

  • Sasa might I point you to this post, bringing exactly the same story to light by a Palestinian: http://gnblog.com/?p=234

  • Erm, yes, internet cafes may not have been attacked, but entire road networks and towns have been created in the West Bank on other people’s land, for the exclusive use of Jews.

    And has it escaped your attention that Orthodox Israeli Jews have attacked Jewish women because they sat in the wrong seat on a bus: http://haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=801449&contrassID=19

    No, I wasn’t referring to the siege that year – I was referring to the annual siege of Bethlehem and the Church around Christmas time, when Palestinian Christians are prevented from traveling to Church.

    The writer does not just “happen” to live in Israel. She made a very real and conscious choice to emigrate, even though millions of Palestinians around the world can not do the same. They, instead, are forced to live in refugee camps. But I’m sure you’ll blame the Palestinians for that. They enjoy living in squalor.

    The thing that Israel seems to misunderstand is that there will never be peace without justice.

  • Arrests over Jerusalem gay parade

    Hundreds of people protested against the Gay Pride march
    A Gay Pride march in Jerusalem has begun amid tight security, sparking fierce protests among the holy city’s religious communities.
    An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man was arrested for planning to bomb the parade, Israeli police said.

    Fifteen other people were arrested for throwing stones at police after Israel’s High Court rejected an appeal by religious groups to ban the march.

    More than 7,000 police were deployed to secure the parade to prevent clashes.

    Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said officers found an explosive device in the bag of the alleged bomb plotter.

    “He admitted he planned on planting it on the route of the parade today,” Mr Rosenfeld said.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6225444.stm

  • Hi Sasa,

    I think I’m going to address your comments point by point (more or less).

    You are right about the settlements and road networks in the West Bank, and I can tell you that as an Israeli Jew I am just as upset about these as you are. I think it’s wrong and that Israel desperately needs to change its policy vis a vis the Palestinians and these territories. That being said, I fail to see the connection between these issues and Islamic militants bombing internet cafes used by their fellow Palestinians.

    It’s true about the ultra-Orthodox Jews attacking women on the bus (it’s important to differentiate between Orthodox and ultra-orthodox, as the Orthodox are very much a part of Israeli society, while the ultra-Orthodox live in their own enclaves and have very little to do with “regular” Israeli society), but they aren’t running the government, and while they tend to be rather, ummm, “protective” of their own issues and sensibilities (such as the “affront” of the gay pride parade in Jerusalem), I don’t really see them as an immediate physical threat (and I speak as someone who was verbally attacked by one of them on a bus many years ago for the “crime” of wearing a shirt with no sleeves).

    As for the annual siege on Bethlehem that you’re referring to, I’ll have to check into that, as I don’t feel that I know enough to comment. If it’s true, reread my first paragraph to get an idea of how I’d feel about it.

    As far as Yael having made the conscious decision to live in Israel, whether or not she made that decision would not have affected whether or not Palestinian refugees could do the same. And, if they are being forced to stay in refugee camps, I would have to say that they are being forced to do so by the countries in which they live (and no, I certainly don’t blame the Palestinians – I blame those Arab countries for which it is convenient to lay all the blame on Israel while not doing a damn thing to absorb or at least make the Palestinians’ lives better, preferring to keep them as poster children living in squalor, not allowing them to work in certain professions and keeping them in a permanent state of limbo). Israel isn’t forcing Lebanon or any other country to keep Palestinians in refugee camps.

    As for your last sentence (…there will never be peace without justice), in principle, I agree. The question is, what is your definition of justice? If it is providing compensation to Palestinians in exile, ending the occupation in a negotiated manner that allows people on both sides to live in respectful peace under a two-state solution, then I agree. If it means allowing all Palestinian refugees, their relatives, their descendants, etc., to return to any location they want within the pre-1967 borders of Israel, then I suppose we will disagree, because as much as I believe in peace and reaching a just agreement, I draw the line at willingly giving up my country. And I think you’d be surprised by the number of “regular” Israelis who agree with me.

    All that being said, I don’t think that any of this has anything to do with Yael’s original post about what is happening to the Christians in Gaza, which, incidentally, is not an isolated incident. Bethlehem used to be primarily Christian, but apparently the Muslims made life so difficult for them that many of them left. In fact, so many of them left that the city is primarily Muslim.

    As much as you and many others would like it to be so, not every problem or battle in the Middle East is the fault of the Israelis. In fact, it is rather insulting to the Palestinians to absolve them of all responsibility for their actions, with recent internecine fighting in Gaza being an excellent example. The occupation is harsh, brutal and ugly, and frankly, it needs to end somehow. A great number of the problems in the territories are indeed as a result of the occupation. However, it can’t be blamed for everything.

  • Israel had originally supported and allowed to flourish Hamas as rival to the secular Yasser Arafat.

    When a region is being occupied by a foreign power, much of the region’s problems can be blamed on the occupier. Israel prevented Palestinian farmers from selling their products, Jewish settlers threaten, harass and beat Arab school children and American activist who escort the children, Israel comes into the Palestinian territories with bulldozers and destroys infrastructure, Israal jails thousands of people without justification, etc. IF the same thing was being done to Israel, their would be a rise of Jewish extremists. Actually, it already exists in Israel but it doesn’t get as much media attention as the moderates.

    After the 2006 elections, over 60 Hamas MPs and officials were arrested for no good reason. Hamas consists of peope with a wide range of beliefs, they should have been given the chance to help run the government. THey were never given that chance.

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