Christians, too, suffer the evilness of the occupation
|Friday, December 28,2007 22:28|
|By Khalid Amayreh in Bethlehem|
Christmas is a season of good will. However, for Israel and its notoriously mendacious propaganda machine, Christmas is also a hasbara opportunity for spreading lies and disseminating disinformation and half truths about Christians in the Holy Land.
The usual seasonal dosage of lies includes such claims that Christians in the Holy Land suffer more from Muslim persecution than from the Israeli and apartheid, and that Christian emigration is not really attributed to Israel’s Nazi-like repression of the Palestinian people but rather to Palestinian “Muslim” intolerance and violence.
Well, such lies are not new. Israel itself is a state based on lies and lying has always been and continues to be Israel’s policy and modus operandi. In fact, it is very hard for one to be Zionist and not to be a liar. In truth, Zionism and mendacity are two sides of the same coin.
Didn’t Zionism claim that Palestine was a land without a people for a people without a land?
Didn’t Zionism claim that Palestinian refugees fled their homes and towns willingly and that Israel was in no way responsible for their flight?
Didn’t Israel tell the world that the Israeli occupation army was the most moral army in the world, and that Israeli soldiers didn’t knowingly and deliberately kill Palestinian children and civilians, and that the numerous acts of murder and maiming by the Israeli army were merely regrettable accidents?
And even now, and despite Israel’s nakedness before the peoples of the world, this shameless state and its professional liars and spin doctors continue to claim ad nauseam that Israel is a democratic state where the rule of law is supreme.
Well, do democratic states act and behave the way Israel is acting and behaving? Do democratic states classify citizens and subjects into Ubermensch and untermensch?
I know for sure that our Christian-Palestinian brothers and sisters shall never allow Israel to use them as hasbara pawns in the service of oppression, racism and ethnic cleansing.
The Christians of Palestine, who have received their share of suffering and oppression at the hands of Zionism know more than anybody else that the wickedness of the occupation doesn’t distinguish between them and their Muslim compatriots.
In November, 1948, the Hagana terrorists overran the two Christian villages of Ikrit and Birim in the upper Galilee, expelling inhabitants at gunpoint. The pogrom-like expulsion was carried out without the Israeli government approval. However, the democratic Israeli state never allowed the Christian inhabitants to return, despite several rulings to the contrary by the Israeli High Court.
Since 1967, Israel, has been trying to play all kinds of dirty tactics to tamper with Palestinian national unity, especially by playing Muslim against Christian and vice versa.
A few years ago, the Israeli Intelligence instructed its agents to throw stones and Molotov cocktails on several churches in the northern and central parts of the West Bank, apparently in order to use the incidents as hasbara ammunition in North America where public opinion was already overcharged against anything Arab or Islamic.
Meanwhile, the Israeli media, especially right-wing newspapers such as the Jerusalem Post, was concocting and inventing stories about Christian girls being raped and murdered by Palestinians in Bethlehem.
Such fabrications would be readily inflated, spun out of proportions and then widely disseminated especially among evangelical fundamentalists. Eventually, this would be translated into political support for Israeli colonialism and ethnic cleansing against both Muslims and Christians in the Holy Land.
Of course, many innocent and often naïve Americans and Canadians have no idea what kind of treatment is being meted out to Christians in the West Bank at the hands of Israeli occupiers.
They don’t know that Israel is systematically stealing, at gunpoint, Church property and real estate in Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahur and Jerusalem.
They don’t know that Israel routinely bars Christians, laymen and clergy, from accessing their holy places in Jerusalem, e.g. the Church of the Sepulcher.
They don’t know that Israeli Jewish youths routinely harass, even spit on clergymen in the streets of Jerusalem, often in full view of policemen who in most cases remain passive.
They don’t know that Christian commuters are routinely humiliated at roadblocks manned by trigger-happy soldiers, which make their daily lives an unending nightmare?
They don’t know that Israel has already morphed Bethlehem into a ghetto thanks to this Wall of Shame which Israel calls “separation wall” when in reality it is designed to grab and steal as much Palestinian land as possible.
Well, just come to Bethlehem and see for yourself. It is a nightmare, it is hell on earth, and it is done by a people who claim to be a light upon the nations.
If Christians in North America knew how Israel is acting and behaving toward their fellow Christian coreligionists and, of course, toward other Palestinians, they probably would start to change their views.
That is why it is imperative that Christians, especially in North America, make some serious efforts to know the truth about Israel and its crimes.
This can be done through third-party sources such as human rights organizations and western groups operating in the West Bank such as the Christian Peace Making Team and the International Solidarity Movement.
In short, Israeli and pro-Israeli media wouldn’t tell the truth about Israeli crimes against Palestinians, Muslim and Christian alike. So try to find alternative sources of news to know the truth about what is really happening in the Holy Land.
Don’t allow yourself to be duped and enslaved by Zionist lies.