Saturday, March 29, 2014

Why the Media Don't Cover Jihadist Attacks on Middle East Christians

(Liberals constantly and fanatically ignore Muslim atrocities against Israel and the West. If Israel can't be blamed, then nothing is happening. As a result, we never see "flotillas" or "flytillas" to anywhere that has nothing to do with Israel. No protests or demonstrations. Thundering silence in the UN and other international forums. Israel isn't involved, no one has any interest!

It is impossible to fathom this appalling Western apathy toward ongoing Muslim persecution of Christians and other "infidels" like the Baha'i, Hindus and gays. Liberals will tell us that we are "jaded" (if not worse) about Arabs and other Muslims. And the Muslim barbarism continues.- Editor’s comment.)

by Raymond Ibrahim - The Torch, (page28) Winter 2014
"To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace"—Hebrews 6:6

The United Nations, Western governments, media, universities and talking heads everywhere [i.e. the "enlightened international community" - DA] insist that the Palestinians are suffering tremendous abuses from the state of Israel. Conversely, the greatest human rights tragedy of our time—radical Muslim persecution of Christians, including in Palestinian controlled areas—is devotedly ignored.

The facts speak for themselves. Reliable estimates indicate that anywhere from 100-200 million Christians are persecuted every year; one Christian is martyred every five minutes. Approximately 85% of this persecution occurs in Muslim majority nations. In 1900, 20% of the Middle East was Christian. Today, less than 2% is.

In one week in Egypt alone, where my Christian family emigrated, the Muslim Brotherhood launched a kristallnacht—attacking, destroying and/or torching some 82 Christian churches (some of which were built in the 5th century, when Egypt was still a Christian-majority nation before the Islamic conquests). Al-Qaeda's black flag has been raised atop churches. Christians—including priests, women and children—have been attacked, beheaded and killed.
Nor is such persecution of Christians limited to Egypt.

 From Morocco in the west to Indonesia in the east and from Central Asia to the north to sub-Saharan Africa to the south; across thousands of miles of lands inhabited by peoples who do not share the same races, languages, cultures, and/or socio-economic conditions, millions of Christians are being persecuted in the same pattern.

Muslim converts to Christianity and Christian evangelists are attacked, imprisoned and sometimes beheaded; countless churches across the Islamic world are being banned or bombed; Christian women and children are being abducted, enslaved, raped and/or forced to renounce their faith.

Far from helping these Christian victims, U.S. policies are actually exacerbating their sufferings. Whether in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt or Syria, and under the guise of the U.S.-supported "Arab Spring," things have gotten dramatically worse for Christians. Indeed, during a recent U.S. congressional hearing, it was revealed that thousands of traumatized Syrian Christians—who, like Iraqi Christians before them are undergoing a mass exodus from their homeland—were asking "Why is America at war with us?"

The answer is that very few Americans have any clue concerning what is happening to their coreligionists.

Few mainstream media speak about the horrific persecution millions of people are experiencing simply because they wish to worship Christ in peace.

There is of course a very important reason why the mainstream media ignores radical Muslim persecution of Christians: If the full magnitude of this phenomenon was ever known, many cornerstones of the mainstream media—most prominent among them, that Israel is oppressive to Palestinians—would immediately crumble.

Why? Because radical Muslim persecution of Christians throws a wrench in the media's otherwise well-oiled narrative that "radical-Muslim-violence-is-a-product-of-Muslim-grievance"—chief among them Israel.

Consider it this way: because the Jewish state is stronger than its Muslim neighbors, the media can easily portray Islamic terrorists as frustrated "underdogs" doing whatever they can to achieve "justice." No matter how many rockets are shot into Israel by Hamas and Hezbollah, and no matter how anti-Israeli bloodlust is articulated in radical Islamic terms, the media will present such hostility as ironclad proof that Palestinians under Israel are so oppressed that they have no choice but to resort to terrorism.

However, if radical Muslims get a free pass when their violence is directed against those stronger than them, how does one rationalize away their violence when it is directed against those weaker than them—in this case, millions of indigenous Christians?

The media simply cannot portray radical Muslim persecution of Christians—which in essence and form amount to unprovoked pogroms—as a "land dispute" or a product of "grievance" (if anything, it is the ostracized and persecuted Christian minorities who should have grievances). 
And because the media cannot articulate radical Islamic attacks on Christians through the "grievance" paradigm that works so well in explaining the Arab-Israeli conflict, their main recourse is not to report on them at all.

In short, Christian persecution is the clearest reflection of radical Islamic supremacism. Vastly outnumbered and politically marginalized Christians simply wish to worship in peace, and yet still are they hounded and attacked, their churches burned and destroyed, their women and children enslaved and raped. These Christians are often identical to their Muslim co-citizens, in race, ethnicity, national identity, culture and language; there is no political dispute, no land dispute.

The only problem is that they are Christian and so, Islamists believe according to their scriptural exegesis, must be subjugated.
If mainstream media were to report honestly on Christian persecution at the hands of radical Islamists so many bedrocks of the leftist narrative currently dominating political discourse would crumble, first and foremost, the idea that radical Islamic intolerance is a product of "grievances," and that Israel is responsible for all Jihadist terrorism against it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Christians to EU: Israel is Our Safe Haven

Monday March 24 2014
By Ryan Jones

Related Stories
PHOTO: Young, proud Arabic-speaking Israeli Christians demonstrate in Tel Aviv
Some 150 Israeli Arabic-speaking Christians on Sunday demonstrated outside the European Union mission in Tel Aviv, demanding that the international community stop nitpicking against Israel and start combatting the severe persecution of Christians everywhere else in the Middle East.
“Nations, organizations and international missions are quick to raise an accusing finger against Israel at every opportunity,” said Father Gabriel Nadaf, spiritual father of the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum, which organized the rally.
Those same nations and organizations “don’t life a finger against the ethnic cleansing of Christians in the Middle East,” the priest continued.

Father Nadaf went on to explain that from Syria to Egypt to Iraq to the Palestinian Authority, Christians on a daily basis suffer intimidation, harassment, desecration, coercion, torture, rape, physical abuse and murder. “According to the statistics, a Christian is murdered every five minutes [in the Middle East], and the Western world is silent about this,” he lamented.
In messages posted to its Facebook page during the Tel Aviv rally, the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum insisted that “there is no place but Israel that is safe for Christians in the Middle East!”
While the rally was largely ignored by the mainstream Western media, the Israeli press took great interest, and forum spokesman Shadi Khalloul, a veteran of the IDF, was interviewed by various television and print media outlets.
Khalloul has spoken numerous times with Israel Today regarding the Christian awakening within Israel, and the bonds of brotherhood than bind local Christians to the Jewish people and the Jewish state.
Last month, Israel’s Knesset took the first important step toward recognizing local Christians as an independent minority separate from the Arab Muslims. Both Nadaf and Khalloul say this is necessary, since local Christians were here before the Arab Muslim conquest around 600 AD.
A growing number of Israelis, including lawmakers and opinion shapers, are likewise waking up to the strong Christian minority in their midst, a minority that has been long neglected, but which is now beginning to boldly take its place alongside the Jews.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Questions No-one Asks

Bassem Tawil March 12th 2014
The Palestinians aspire to control all the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, not only those holy to Islam, but those holy to Christianity and Judaism as well.
They understand that [in a peace agreement] they would have to declare the end of the conflict. That is not a situation the Palestinians are ripe for yet.
The next Palestinian leader will simply say that any agreement was Abbas's, not his, and does not commit them or the Palestinian people. Both Palestinian society and public policy are based on the rejection of peace with Israel, and the Palestinian street is bombarded daily with propaganda from the Palestinian establishment advocating war, the return of refugees and the destruction of Israel.
The Palestinians aspire to control all the holy sites in the Old City, not only those holy to Islam but those holy to Christianity and Judaism as well. Needless to say, that is to be accomplished at the expense of both Israel and Jordan, which manages the Islamic holy sites as part of its peace agreement with Israel.

Kerry told Abbas that, as part of the agreement being formulated, the Palestinians would have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Mahmoud Abbas and his close associates understand that this request would force them to accept that they will no longer be able to claim the "right of return" of the Palestinians refugees to the State of Israel or destroy it by changing its demography. They understand that the refugees would have to settle in the future state of Palestine and that the Palestinians would have to declare the end of the conflict. That is not a situation the Palestinians are ripe for yet.

Kerry also told Abbas that the Palestinians would have to waive security control of the Jordan Valley corridor along the border with the Kingdom of Jordan. The Americans have therefore foiled the Palestinian plan of "stages," Yasser Arafat's original plot, never abandoned by the Palestinians, of dismantling Israel one slice at a time like a roasted lamb. The initial plan of "stages" was for Islamists to cross the Jordan river, join the Palestinian Authority's armed security forces (or those of Hamas, if it managed to take over the West Bank), and attack Israel's cities with missiles, cross its borders and slaughter its citizens.
If Israel were to waive security control, first the Palestinians would reap the political and territorial fruits of the agreement, then soon they would violate it by flooding the West Bank with mujahidin from all over the world.

In rejecting the American proposal the Palestinians now accuse Kerry of being a foil for the Israelis, ad have told him that Abbas is the one rational man with whom Israel can make peace. Some Palestinian leaders threaten that if no agreement is reached, a third intifada may break out. For Israel, that clearly means the entire peace process depends on one man alone, not on the will of the Palestinian people. The result of such a deal will be that the conflict will not have been resolved even after Abbas's eventual departure from the political scene: the next Palestinian leader will simply say that any agreement was Abbas's, not his.
The Israeli demand for the end of incitement and threats against Israel is directly related to its demand to construct a foundation for the Palestinian people which includes a real peace that will continue even after Mahmoud Abbas is no longer the Palestinian leader.

Israel has good reason to be suspicious, especially in view of the amateur and irresponsible policies of the current Obama administration, which now has a pattern of abandoning friends in need. Kerry's proposal reflects an understanding of historical truth: the need for both a Palestinian state and Israel's security needs -- but what will happen if Arab or European pressure forces the Americans to alter their policies, as they have done so often before?

The Arabs regard Israel as a well-oiled, state-of-the-art war machine, but in reality it is vulnerable, fragile and easily blackmailed, unable fully to implement its forces to counteract the Islamic terrorism deliberately hidden within the Palestinian population in the territories. In the meantime, Hamas continues to use human shields and the Palestinian Authority continues its anti-Israeli incitement, especially via Qatar's Al-Jazeera TV channel in Arabic. Qatar funds Hamas and supports Islamic terrorist organizations all over the Arab world. 

In addition, the permanent support the Arabs and the Europeans give the Palestinians -- such as the Europeans' demand for "proportional" force and the expectation that Israel will compromise its own security by sacrificing its territorial assets -- only serves to encourage terrorism, makes the Palestinians less flexible and leads them to believe that between pressure from the Arabs and the sanctions and boycotts they expect to be imposed by the Europeans, they will eventually be able to defeat Israel.

The Arabs seem to have forgotten that Israel already overcame Arab and Palestinians boycotts. During the last two intifadas, when there was a Palestinian boycott of Israeli-made products and Palestinians were forbidden to work in Israel, Israel began using automated industrial building techniques, thereby leaving the tens of thousands of Palestinians who had previously worked in construction permanently without jobs.
When it comes to changing their situation, the Palestinians still refuse to ask the right questions. Is there a single Palestinian, for example, who really thinks Israel will sign an agreement that would settle millions of Palestinians into its territory? Would Israel agree to have its future depend on a leader like Mahmoud Abbas, who does not enjoy either a consensus or a legal Palestinian constitutional status? Can Israel ignore that both Palestinian society and public policy are based on the rejection of peace with Israel, and that the Palestinian street is bombarded daily with propaganda from the Palestinian establishment advocating war, the return of refugees and the destruction of Israel?

And is there really a single Palestinian who thinks Israel will rush to sign an agreement while the Palestinian Authority works unceasingly in international forums to delegitimize it, boycott it and maneuver to achieve unilateral international recognition without a gesture towards Israel?

There are other questions the Palestinians refuse to ask themselves: for instance, is there a single Palestinian who really believes that Israel places faith in the upper echelons of the Palestinian Authority who are now planning to have Israel's leaders tried as war criminals in the International Criminal Court in The Hague and threatening of a third intifada? Can Israel make concessions to the Palestinians in the Jordan Valley and ignore what happened after the Israeli army withdrew from south Lebanon, which it saw it turn into a vipers' nest of Hezbollah-instigated terrorism? Will Israel ignore the lessons of the past, especially after Hamas's border with Egypt turned into a highway for smuggling arms and the Gaza Strip itself became a regional and global stronghold of Islamism?

The Palestinians fool only themselves as they waste their time theorizing, inventing excuses and plotting, while the Jews engage in practical matters, and do not plan their future on the unattainable. Do the Palestinians not understand that once the murderers terrorizing the civilian population of Syria in the name of jihad have finished there, they will turn their attention to the Palestinian Authority and do the same to the Palestinian population there?

The peace process is not simple, it requires time and the building of trust. Israel has territories the Palestinians want and holds the key to the international recognition of "Palestine." The Palestinians have the resources of trust necessary to win over the hearts of the Israelis. The more that time passes, the more the Palestinians waste that precious resource. The Israelis dig in their heels and the Western world is gradually coming around to their way of thinking. If the Palestinians really want to establish a Palestinian state, they might start by asking themselves the right questions.

Bassem Tawil is based in the Middle East.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

"Christ at the Checkpoint" Aims to Weaken Evangelical Support for Israel

Funding from Western governments enables religious intolerance

Jerusalem - In advance of the 3rd "Christ at the Checkpoint" conference, set to take place March 10-14 in Bethlehem, NGO Monitor released a report:

This detailed report, part of the BDS in the Pews project, examines the funding sources of Christ at the Checkpoint, and their impact on the conference's agenda.

BDS in the Pews Director, Yitzhak Santis, said, "Our research indicates that the conference's political purpose is to weaken Evangelical Christian support for Israel in the United States and elsewhere. They do this by providing a stage to delegitimize the State of Israel and rejecting its historical, religious and legal underpinnings."

The conference's sponsors, Bethlehem Bible College and Holy Land Trust, have been directly and indirectly funded by the governments of the United States, the Netherlands, the UK, and prominent religious and educational institutions.

Previous conferences in 2010 and 2012 advanced the Palestinian nationalist agenda within Evangelical Christian churches, while simultaneously reviving theological antisemitic themes such as replacement theology.

Speakers at these previous conferences made antisemitic comments, such as "God is continuing to have a program with the Jewish people who Paul describes as enemies of the Gospel..." and "Jesus is the true vine, not Israel. He is the faithful Israelite who will accomplish all that the nation of Israel failed to do." Other anti-Jewish themes promoted at Christ at the Checkpoint conferences include the de-Judaizing of Jesus and the promotion of a racial theory of Jewish origins.

"The funding from governments and other sources enables the promotion of religious intolerance precisely when what is needed most is to calm the waters in this region," said Santis.

The conference offers several field trips to checkpoints, the "segregation wall," a Palestinian neighborhood in "East Jerusalem," as well as meetings with Palestinian families. No visits appear to be organized to Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, nor do there appear to be meetings with Israeli Jewish families. Moreover, there do not appear to be any visits arranged to the many sites in Jerusalem where Palestinians carried out terrorist attacks. Apart from a brief perfunctory meeting with one Israeli at a West Bank settlement, the mainstream Israeli voice is virtually absent. The only Jews conference participants will apparently meet and hear from are so-called Messianic Jews.

Read the full report for more background and examples of Christ at the Checkpoint's political goals and that of their sponsors: Christ at the Checkpoint: How the U.S., U.K. and Dutch Governments Enable Religious Strife and Foment Mideast Conflict.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Four reasons why Israel must be recognized as a Jewish state

Ex-Mossad head Meir Dagan says demanding recognition as a Jewish state is nonsense. Here’s why he’s wrong.
By Ari Shavit Feb. 13. 2014

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan thinks the demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is nonsense. But it is not nonsense - it is the most natural and justified demand imaginable. For four different reasons we must support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who are placing the demand at the top of the diplomatic agenda.

The first reason: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict did not start in 1967 and does not revolve around the occupation and the settlements. It is a deep national-religious-cultural-social conflict, whose foundation is blindness. For decades Zionism refused to see the Palestinian people and in doing so refused to recognize its right to establish a Palestinian state. To this day the Palestinian national movement refuses to see the Jewish people and recognize in this way its right to a Jewish state. This double and continuing blindness is what ignited the 100-year war between us and them. That is why, in order to end this war, we must recognize their nationalism and their state, and they must recognize our nationalism and our state. Just as peace is impossible without a Palestinian state, peace is impossible without a Jewish state.

The second reason: The great achievement of the Oslo Accords was in their bringing the Israelis to recognize the fact that there is a Palestinian people in the land of Israel with legitimate rights. The great achievement of the Camp David peace summit was in Israel recognizing the need to establish a Palestinian state. The cumulative result of Oslo and Camp David was a revolution in Israel. The people living in Zion finally saw that there is another people in this land and admitted that it is entitled to a different state, which will express its right to self determination. Thus, there is no reason that the people residing in Palestine cannot open its eyes finally and see that there is another people in the land, and that it is entitled to a different country that will express its right to self determination. Reciprocity is not a sin. Symmetry is not a war crime. Those who believe the Israelis and Palestinians are equal have a moral obligation to demand from the Palestinians exactly what they demand from the Israelis.

The third reason: The Palestinians will not give up on the demand for the right of return. The trauma of the Nakba is their foundational trauma, and the experience of the refugees is the experience that molded them, and there is no Palestinian leader who will declare that the Palestinians will never return to the cities and villages they lost in 1948. If there is any solution at all to the refugee problem, it will be a superficial and insignificant one. But because it is actually impossible to demand from the Palestinians that they change their spots and convert their identity, it is required to demand they recognize this: that the Jewish people is a people of this land, and it did not arrive here from Mars. It is necessary to demand of them to admit that the Jewish people has a history of its own and a tragedy of its own and its own justification. The Palestinians must concede that the Jews are not colonialists but legal neighbors. There will not be peace if the children growing up in the Deheisheh refugee camp will not know that the country across the border is a legitimate Jewish state of a true Jewish people, whom they are decreed to live with. It is those who give up on the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state who are actually giving up on peace.

The fourth reason: An Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is to a great extent a one-sided agreement in which Israel gives and the Palestinians receive. Only the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state would turn the longed-for agreement into a two-sided one. While Israel will transfer concrete assets to its neighbor, territory and rights, the Palestinians will give the only gift they are capable of giving: legitimacy.

Meir Dagan is an Israeli due a great amount of respect. His biography is a heroic one of “by the rights of power.” But peace is not made by the right of power but by the power of right. Without the Palestinians’ explicit recognition of our name, identity and rights, there will not be peace.