December 24, 2009, - 4:20 pm

Holiday Read: Bethlehem’s Persecuted Christians

By Debbie Schlussel

Every year, at Christmas time, the anti-Israel mainstream media uses it as an excuse to do double duty on what they do every single day:  bash Israel and claim it’s “harassing the Palestinians of Bethlehem.”

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But we know who is really harassing the Palestinian Christians–the few left of them that there are–of Bethlehem.  The same group of Muslim persecutors who kill Christian Arabs all over the Mid-East.  I’ve written about them many times on this site. I’ve noted that Christmas is an especially stark time of fear for the scant few Christians left in Gaza, and noted that Last Rites in the Holy Land are truly the “last.” But it’s the same for Christians in Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, and in some parts of Lebanon (soon all of it).  And forget any sign of Christianity in most of the Gulf states and Iran, as well as parts of Africa.

It should be noted that these Christians often bet on the Muslims–such as the Palestinian Christians, who historically sided with Arafat against Israel (a notable example was Hanan Ashrawi, Peter Jennings former concubine, who was removed from the Arafat camp because she was a Christian).  But they bet wrong.  And the Muslims have shown them that in spades.  David Schwammenthal, a Wall Street Journal Europe editorial writer, has a must-read, “Bethlehem’s Persecuted Christians.” None of this is news to me, but it might be to many Christians who believe what they see on the nightly news.

Meet Yussuf Khoury, a 23-year old Palestinian refugee living in the West Bank. . . . Mr. Khoury fled his birthplace just two years ago. And he wasn’t running away from Israelis, but from his Palestinian brethren in Gaza.

Mr. Khoury’s crime in that Hamas-ruled territory was to be a Christian, a transgression he compounded in the Islamists’ eyes by writing love poems.

“Muslims tied to Hamas tried to take me twice,” says Mr. Khoury, and he didn’t want to find out what they’d do to him if they ever kidnapped him. He hasn’t seen his family since Christmas 2007 and is afraid even to talk to them on the phone. . . .

Mr. Khoury describes a life of fear in Gaza. “My sister is under a lot of pressure to wear a headscarf. People are turning more and more to Islamic fundamentalism and the situation for Christians is very difficult,” he says.

In 2007, one year after the Hamas takeover, the owner of Gaza’s only Christian bookstore was abducted and murdered. Christian shops and schools have been firebombed. Little wonder that most of Mr. Khoury’s Christian friends have also left Gaza. . . .

Until Palestinian terrorist groups turned Bethlehem into a safe haven for suicide bombers, Bethlehemites were free to enter Israel, just as many Israelis routinely visited Bethlehem.

The other truth usually ignored by the Western press is that the barrier helped restore calm and security not just in Israel, but also in the West Bank including Bethlehem. The Church of the Nativity, which Palestinian gunmen stormed and defiled in 2002 to escape from Israeli security forces, is now filled again with tourists and pilgrims from around the world.

But even here in Jesus’ birthplace, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Christians live on a knife’s edge. Mr. Khoury tells me that Muslims often stand in front of the gate of the Bible College and read from the Quran to intimidate Christian students. Other Muslims like to roll out their prayer rugs right in Manger Square.

Asked about why Muslims would pray so close to one of Christianity’s holiest sites, Pastor Alex Awad, dean of students at the Bible College, diplomatically advises me to pose this question to the Muslims themselves. . . .

Christians have only recently begun to talk about how Muslim gangs simply come and take possession of Christian-owned land while the Palestinian security services, almost exclusively staffed by Muslims, stand by. Mr. Qumsieh’s own home was firebombed three years ago. . . .

“We have never suffered as we are suffering now,” Mr. Qumsieh [Samir Qumsieh, the founder of what he says is the holy land's only Christian TV station] confesses, violating his own introductory warning to the assorted foreign correspondents in his office not to use the word “suffering.”

Always a minority religion among the predominantly Muslim Palestinians, Christians are, Mr. Qumsieh says, “melting away,” even in Bethlehem. While they represented about 80% of the city’s population 60 years ago, their numbers are now down to about 20%, a result not just of Muslims’ higher birth rates but also widespread Christian emigration. “Our future as a Christian community here is gloomy,” Mr. Qumsieh says.

What is happening to Christians in Bethlehem can and will happen anywhere in the world, including here in the United States. That’s why it’s so important to take the important steps to stop Islamic immigration here, though it’s basically already too late. We won’t likely see it in our lifetimes. But if we continue to do nothing, in a hundred years or a couple of centuries, America will see it as bad as the Christian residents of Bethlehem are, today.

Read more on the Christians fighting to survive throughout the Islamic world:

IMPORTANT–Religion of Eradicating Christianity: “Last Rites in the Holy Land”

* “Religion of Peace”: Christmas in Gaza a Time of Fear

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36 Responses

I wish Israel would just do whatever’s necessary to attain her security, objections from “allies” be damned. What happened to the national unity that inspired the following snippit of dialogue between Dan Akroyd (Sgt. Joe Friday) and Christopher Plummer (Reverend Jonathan Whirley), in the film Dragnet 1987?

Joe Friday: Ah, sure, but just like every other foaming, rabid psycho in this city with a foolproof plan, you’ve forgotten you’re facing the single finest fighting force ever assembled.

Reverend Jonathan Whirley: The Israelis?

trout mask replica on December 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Western governments prefer to blame Israel instead of doing something to alleviate the plight of Christians in the Islamic World.

Its already too late for Europe. For America, it could happen within a few centuries.

The handwriting is on the wall for the world’s Christians.

NormanF on December 24, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Note: the late unlamented Robert Novak was blaming the Joooos for the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. This is the mindset. Please speak to Coptic Christians to find out what is happening. It is not pretty.

    JJ: I shed no tears for Coptic Christians, who for more than a century, sided with Muslims against Jews and helped in murdering and driving out the Jews of Egypt. Now, they reap what they’ve sewn. DS

    JulieJ. on December 25, 2009 at 11:27 am

protect Isreal at all costs-protect christians too-as a christian I hope to hold my own. but I am worried about the elderly, children and isreal. those 3 are in danger. as we are IN MAJOR danger. our poor country…beyond that i am speechless and have to go pray. i dont know what else to do anymore.

lindapolver on December 24, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Debbie, read the NY POST opinion section (which is always very good) from Wednesday. Benny Avni has a story titled “Bethlehem’s Exodus: Christians flee Muslim pressure.

spaceship22 on December 24, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Breaking news: US consular car runs over Israeli guard and transports Pali women without permission. Also, US officials refuse to present papers at checkpoints, including Dayton himself:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1261364500043&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

This is just contempt for Jews, nothing else, and it starts at the top.

adam on December 24, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    And who do you think is driving those cars? We just moved out of Jerusalem but when we lived there, we lived around the corner form the Consul General and about two buildings from the “American Cultural Center, aka ” The Company.” All the guards, drivers etc. at both facilities were non-Jews.

    mk750 on December 25, 2009 at 1:58 am

Fire bombing of Christian homes, blowing up of churches and kidnapping, torture and murder of Christians by Muslims in Gaza and Bethlehem.

Schneur S on December 24, 2009 at 8:49 pm

It kills me how there’s never any statements made about this from the catholic church. There won’t be now, because some woman body slammed his highness.

Steve Harkonnen on December 24, 2009 at 8:56 pm

I pose this question as it is eminently worth asking, Now near the hour of the passing of European Man from the stage of history, just what intrinsic interest does he have in forgoing his final destruction which will be the inevitable result of his total dispossesion? Also, If Jews have such an interest, then don’t also European-derived people have such an interest? Further, If European-derived people support Jews in securing the innate life interest they have in the continuity of their people, isn’t it only right and fair that Jews support European-derived people in securing same?

As for me, to ask these questions is to answer them. But I do not take it for granted that this is true for all. Which is why I pose them, as it is high time they be answered.

Captainchaos on December 24, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Evil is as evil does.

Norman Blitzer on December 24, 2009 at 10:09 pm

As always Debbie, you’re right on the money about the abuse of christians by the vicious barbarians. And here’s more proof :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ek5G6337yU

john john on December 25, 2009 at 12:58 am

You are absolutely incorrect!!

God almighty makes the determination of who goes where, NOT YOU!!

HE will take all things into consideration before HE makes the decision.

I believe that as a Christian.

Love thy neighbor as thy self, love one another and GOD will rule.

Sewsalot on December 25, 2009 at 7:05 am

sorry asshat, um I mean Spoiler17, True Christians understand the truth that Jew’s have their own covenant with G-d. Jesus didn’t come for any redemption of the Jew’s. Jesus becomes the covenant for G-d between the Gentiles. No other (race,and or religious group) on the planet has a direct covenant with the Divine except the Jews, that’s why they have been hated for the past $4,000 years.
And as far as Islam goes, they are the true representation of the Anti-Christ.

perception of truth on December 25, 2009 at 8:39 am

spoiler17, Even though not all Christians believe that, any Christians (or whatever religions) have every right to believe whatever they choose to believe including believing their God(Christ) will condemned unbelievers to hell forever, AS LONG AS they don’t force their beliefs on others and they don’t obstruct you to believe whatever you want to believe. And you have every right to present your contra-belief or belittling their blind belief. But do they deserve to be killed because of believing that way? Have they hurt you physically because of believing that?

Let’s compare with another kind of belief. Some muslims not only believe you are condemned to hell for being infidels, but also believe it is their duty to KILL apostates and infidels especially Jews and Christians, for not converting to Islam. Ever notice any difference with those blind Christians? Have any of those blind Christians preach about killing you because you do not believe in Christ? You are an imbalanced idiots like Carter if you can’t discern the difference.

passerby on December 25, 2009 at 8:48 am

It looks like those Christians in the Mideast follow the precept of identification with the aggressor. This is based on opportunism, a lack of morality and a lack of any real sense of self-identity. I think that part of the reason this is happening is because of the left-wing behavior of the National and Worldwide Councils of Churches, as well as the opportunistic giving in of other international religious bodies to the Muslims.

Little Al on December 25, 2009 at 9:23 am

You are amazing. Debbie. You are not afraid to speak the truth. I would say that America needs you; surely it does. But the greater humanity is in dire need of the truth you reveal. You are not only informed on religious matters you are informed on the tragic usurpation of our freedom, liberty and opportunities here in America by the left wing revolutionaries. I pray that more and more people read your enlightened work.
God Bless You
Jon

Jon on December 25, 2009 at 9:38 am

[Who Cares? on December 25, 2009 at 11:24 am]

You are correct.

Norman Blitzer on December 25, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Thanks NB…Too bad nobody else knows what I’m “correct” about. It appears that those words of wisdom were removed. I didn’t think I was being rude or disrespectful to anybody else. Oh well? I forgive whoever removed it…

    Who Cares? on December 25, 2009 at 5:37 pm

That’s what the Bible says. We believe the Bible (Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth).

Follower of Messiah on December 25, 2009 at 11:56 am

It’s disappointing that no-one as chosen to respond my quires about just what should be our attitude, and correspondingly our actions, toward what is clearly the sliding of European Man towards oblivion. I suppose that is the case as none think he is in danger of ceasing to exist, or that even if he did, it is of no real import. That could not be further from the truth. And I could demonstrate it absolutely, although the evidence adduced (it would rely heavily on population genetics and psychometrics) could potentially inflame many a sensibility here. But the option of sticking our heads in the sand in response to the matter is simply not an option any longer. In the real world, there are real consequences, whether or not one chooses to acknowledge that the latter will come to pass, for come it will.

Captainchaos on December 25, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Warrior spirit lives on in America, be your inner warrior in politics and culture.

Lost City of Acorn Voters on December 26, 2009 at 10:25 am

It was too late for Debbie to up a post about the terror attack at Detro Metro that happened over the Christmas Day weekend on her blog Friday. News reports say that while the terrorist, a Nigerian national named Farouk Abdul Umar Abdulmuttalab was banned from the UK as a national security risk, the US government incredibly enough did NOT put him on its “no fly” list. A report from ABC News now says the attack was organized by Al Qaeda leaders in Yemen. It was principally due to the terrorist’s incompetence that hundreds of people where not killed and injured on board the Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit Metro.

We’re so afraid of offending Islam that we won’t profile Muslims even though virtually terrorism is of an Islamic character. At least the UK had the good sense to keep Abdulmuttalab out. The US waved him through despite his known association with Al Qaeda and his jihadist beliefs. What have we learned – nothing about preventing another 9/11 here.

As Detroit goes, so goes America.

NormanF on December 26, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Muttalab apparently posed as a Sudanese without a passport. The mystery is how he was able to leave his country and change planes in Amsterdam without presenting a valid passport and undergoing a full security check. There appears to be a dangerous security loophole at Amsterdam’s airport waiting to be exploited by Islamic terrorists. That doesn’t excuse the lack of due vigilance on the part of our own government; it only compounds it.

NormanF on December 26, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Despite all the red flags, Muttalab apparently received a two year US tourist visa. The same visas the 9/11 hijackers received prior to 9/11. The officials charged with our safety didn’t care a Muslim with extremist views posed a clear and present danger to our country’s national security. Before any one says Obama, it was the Bush Administration that issued him the visa – in 2008. Islamopandering a bipartisan affliction in this country.

NormanF on December 26, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Debbie, an excellent column. As callous as it may sound, I have a hard time feeling much sympathy for Arab Christians. As we’ve seen time and again, whatever hatred various Arab factions have toward each other(Muslim,Christian,secular,communist,etc),they unite in their greater hatred of Jews.

Take a look at some prominent Arab Christians in this country such as the Zogbys,Arab members of Congress and so-called Arab anti discrimination groups.They’re very hostile toward Israel.

Scott on December 27, 2009 at 1:11 am

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