Jenn at jennw2ns.blogspot.com/Â made a good point yesterday, and it bugs me. She asked ‘what about the Palestinian Christians who are persecuted by both sides?’
Palestinian Christians, as a group, have it the worst. They are NOT enemies of Israel, yet they are lumped in with the Palestinian Muslims who ARE. And then, they are persecuted by their fellow Palestinians.
For years, I lived just across the valley from the Palestinian Christian town of Beit Jalla. Did you know that there is an entire community in Chile, just from the tiny town of Beit Jalla? Did you know that this community started when Arafat and the PalestinianÂ Authority was started? Did you know that one of the first things that the Palestinian Authority started doing was persecuting Palestinian Christians?
Furthermore, when the terrorists wanted to shoot at Jerusalem, they chose Beit Jalla. Why? BecauseÂ they knew thatÂ Israel would be forced to respond to the terrorists shooting at my neighborhood. Because the terrorists knew that it would be Christians who would suffer when Israel was forced to respond.
To the Muslim terrorists shooting every night at my neighborhood, it was a two-for-one deal. They got a chance to kill Israelis AND Palestinian Christians. (By the way, watching a firefight before Thanksgiving dinner is an incredibly surreal experience.)
And THEN there’s persecution WITHIN the Christian community. I have a Catholic Arab friend who never gets any package sent to her because the Greek Orthodox Arabs steal every package sent to her.
And the poor Baptists are persecuted by EVERYBODY.
Notice that I haven’t mentioned Israel yet.
I would love to say that Israel is without sin in this matter. Unfortunately, they have not done their best to distinguish between Muslim and Christian in this conflict. To them, it has been easier to lump everyone into a single category and be done with it. That’s wrong.
It’s also bad policy.
Israel needs to do a better job of distinguishing the good from the bad.
Israel is adept at wielding force, but they are not adept at encouraging peace – at holding out the olive branch. They need to hold out a better carrot and wield a bit less of the stick.
Having said that, I also know the challenge that Israel is faced with. How DO you tell the difference between a Palestinian Christian and a Palestinian Muslim?
Palestinian terrorists have done everything, including dressing up as priests and nuns to get their bombs into Israel. They’ve set up ‘Christian’ organizations to funnel money into Hamas. They’ve blackmailed and suborned even Palestinian Christians themselves.
So, what is the Israeli government to do?
I really don’t know.
The only thing that I can think of is to support Israel and pray for those who are caught in the crossfire.
Oh, and don’t forget to visit Jenn’s blog at http://jennw2ns.blogspot.com/. She is a great writer with a good heart and has a lot of good to say. Go. Read.