Christians punish the defender of Christians in the Middle East

Whether United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2334 has any lasting effect on the Israel-Palestinian conflict is yet to be seen, but even if it does not, it constitutes a full-frontal attack of the world’s Christians on Israel, the only country in the Middle East where Christians are secure and free to practice their faith without the need to kowtow to terrorists (as in Lebanon) or to dictators (as in Egypt).

An anti-Semitic work of fiction

The UNSC resolution condemns the settlements for “altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem”, ignoring that the “demographic composition, character and status” (in other words the lack of Jewish presence) was the result of ethnic cleansing of Jews during and before the Arabs’ war on Israel in 1947-48. Israel is condemned for allowing Jews to build their homes on land traditionally inhabited by Jews, and from which they were forcibly removed while Arabs were allowed to remain in Israel.

The resolution claims that “Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines”, ignoring that Arabs could have chosen to create a Palestinian state on those lines any time between 1948 and 1967 but refused to do so. This also ignores the fact that several offers have been made by Israel after 1967 for a two-state solution based on those lines while the Palestinians have rejected them all. But even if that history did not exist, the presence of Jews should not prevent the creation of a Palestinian state, especially considering that the presence of Arabs did not prevent the creation of a Jewish state.

The resolution piously mentions a host of “diplomatic efforts” and affirms “its determination to support the parties throughout the negotiations and in the implementation of an agreement”, but it makes no mention of the only substantial obstacle to a negotiated two-state solution, which is the Palestinian refusal to negotiate. In doing so, the resolution proves itself to be a mouthpiece for anti-Israel extremists and not a vehicle to “create the conditions for successful final status negotiations and for advancing the two-State solution” as it claims.

The resolution is nothing more than hypocritical fiction that ignores history and current reality to allow a few heads of state to pat each other on the back and claim, as France’s François Delattre did, that the resolution is “an important and historic event”. The resolution is historic only in the sense that it enshrines the anti-Semitic belief that an Arab state cannot tolerate the existence of Jews.

Betrayal by Christians

This anti-Semitic resolution passed with the support of several Christian-dominated countries (France, Britain, Russia, Spain, Uruguay, Angola, Ukraine, Venezuela, and New Zealand) while another Christian-dominated country, the United States of America, ensured the resolution’s passage by refusing to use the veto it has traditionally used against such resolutions.

In doing so, the world’s Christians are betraying the only state in the Middle East that protects Christians from extinction. As Huffington Post wrote, “Although Christians have lived in the Middle East – the birthplace of Christianity – for nearly two thousand years, as a result of years of persecution and discrimination, especially in the past 15 years, they now constitute no more than 3-4% of the region’s population, down from 20% a century ago”.

In Lebanon, the only Arab country with a substantial Christian population, according to Huffington Post, “the Christian population has plunged in 100 years from 78% to 34% of the country”. Yet, in Israel, “By contrast, the 160,000 Israeli Christians live as citizens in a democratic First World country with freedom of religion, rule of law and open elections. Christians can move anywhere, even building a number of churches recently in Tel Aviv. The government safeguards the Christian holy places and is lenient on the right of return of Christian refugees. Since 1967 Christian, Islamic and Jewish holy sites are open to pilgrims of all religions. The Christian churches own a significant part of Jerusalem, including the land on which the Knesset sits.”

Members of the UNSC cannot even claim ignorance because Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest from Israel testified in 2014 at the UN Human Rights Council, stating, “In the Middle East today, there is one country where Christianity is not only not persecuted, but affectionately granted freedom of expression, freedom of worship and security. It is Israel, the Jewish state. Israel is the only place where Christians in the Middle East are safe”.

A return to traditional Christian anti-Semitism?

This attack by the world’s Christians on the Jews of Israel is reminiscent of a long tradition of Christian anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe. It appeared to be in remission for a while, after the Christian-majority nation of Germany nearly wiped out all Jewish presence in Europe.

Are we seeing a return to traditional Christian anti-Semitism, or are we seeing world leaders who are too cowardly to address the real problems of the Middle East and would rather use demonization of Israel as a distraction? Whatever the reason is, the Christians’ betrayal of the Jews is as short-sighted as it is wrong.

As The Times of Israel reported this Christmas, in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank city of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, the “Christian population is rapidly disappearing”, like in the rest of the Arab Middle East. By betraying the Jews, Christians are not only continuing a long history of anti-Semitism but also undermining their own heritage.

About the Author
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports the Palestinians' right to self-determination in their own state. Fred supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.
Related Topics
Related Posts