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Thread: Plight of Palestinian Christians

  1. #61
    Μολὼν λαβέ Hollis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Baba Person View Post
    I'll tell my family that they don't make a difference next time I'm in Ramallah. They'll be thrilled.
    I wish they did make a difference. I wish people would think of them and not their own political agenda or bigotry. That is probably the greatest tragedy of this conflict. The only value of the lives of people is what every propaganda gain can be made from them.

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    I agree with you to a great extent. However, Israel is not blameless. Many has been the time that my relatives in Ramallah traveled to the Civil Administration post (really a military base) in Beit-El to apply for permits to visit the Church of the Nativity at Christmas or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem for Easter only to be denied. At the same time, the Jerusalem Post was publishing stories about how Palestinian Christians were able to obtain such permits. Was this a bit of disinformation for consumption by the international community? I don't know - I'm not a believer in great conspiracies. But I know my relatives are good people - that they are some of the only people who ever stood by me. I know that they have never been anything but doctors, lawyers, engineers, merchants and local politicians and they do not deserve to be denied in such a manner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palmach-2 View Post
    Couple of points. 1) When Palestinian identity was rooted first and foremost in the arab nationalism, Christians played an important role in the movement, including leadership roles in various terrorist organizations (PFLP, DFLP, to a smaller degree PLO). Now that the islamists have pushed the secular nationalists to the margins, the role of Christians has decrease accordingly. 2) Palestinian Christian are typically better educated, come from wealthier families, and have connections/relatives in the West. Depressed economic conditions, conflict without clear resolution in sight, strengthening of the ultra-religious islamists make immigration an appealing option for them and they have more opportunities to leave then muslims. Moreover, rampant immigration tends to be a self-reinforcing process: as more and more Christians leave, the remaining population finds itself to be a more insignificant and threatens minority. Furthermore, the community begins to disintegrate - no money to maintain communal organizations and facilities, no eligible marriage partners, etc. So even more people leave.

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    Banned User Laworkerbee's Avatar
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    My impression of the people manning the big gate leaving Bethlehem was that they could have been a bit more professional.

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    Proby? Wud dat? LongShot's Avatar
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    Just remember.....I did it for the lulz..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by LongShot View Post
    Just remember.....I did it for the lulz..........
    what?.....

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    Proby? Wud dat? LongShot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Policía Loco View Post
    what?.....
    Ordie no longer has any say in this thread. I am the new Ordie.

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    No Good Bloody Seppo California Joe's Avatar
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    Not cool...

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    Quote Originally Posted by California Joe View Post
    Not cool...
    Nothing to see here....movin on boss.

  9. #69
    Μολὼν λαβέ Hollis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Baba Person View Post
    I agree with you to a great extent. However, Israel is not blameless. .
    I know that, in conflicts each side makes mistakes and do things they should not. There are also decision that where not intended to go bad, but do. In this type of conflict the terrorists do everything they can to get the other side to over react, and they do. One would hope it would be more like the quote below. That they would be more professional. Violence seems to pull everyone down that is around it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Laworkerbee View Post
    My impression of the people manning the big gate leaving Bethlehem was that they could have been a bit more professional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Baba Person View Post
    But I know my relatives are good people - that they are some of the only people who ever stood by me. I know that they have never been anything but doctors, lawyers, engineers, merchants and local politicians and they do not deserve to be denied in such a manner.
    You are very likely entirely correct. However, government bureaucracies are sledge-hammers. Anyone who's dealt with the American INS, IRS, or any local municipality knows how sluggish, inefficient, impersonal, and inflexible the tend to be. Now, in the case of your relatives they are dealing with a government bureaucracy which a) is made even worse by the Levantine culture b) is servicing a population that has no legal recourse against the abuses. That makes things a lot more difficult in comparison with american or north european organizations. If its any consolation, the Israelis suffer from similar bullcrap all the time and they don't even have the luxury of blaming it on the foreign occupier. However, this is not a deliberate policy of targeting Christian population in particular, its a consequence of the political situation the two communities find themselves locked into. I think its fair to say that Christian community in Israel (arab and non-arab alike) lives free of any particular bias or government interference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis View Post
    I know that, in conflicts each side makes mistakes and do things they should not. There are also decision that where not intended to go bad, but do. In this type of conflict the terrorists do everything they can to get the other side to over react, and they do. One would hope it would be more like the quote below. That they would be more professional. Violence seems to pull everyone down that is around it.
    Agreed. Moving on now.

  12. #72
    Μολὼν λαβέ Hollis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Baba Person View Post
    Agreed. Moving on now.
    I was wondering, if you know of a way or have thought of a way where they are not forgotten people or ignored? I did find a web site that listed where Christians are persecuted in the ME. I would think there would be more outside support for them. Do you think Palestine is just too much of a political hot potato to address some of these issues?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis View Post
    I was wondering, if you know of a way or have thought of a way where they are not forgotten people or ignored? I did find a web site that listed where Christians are persecuted in the ME. I would think there would be more outside support for them. Do you think Palestine is just too much of a political hot potato to address some of these issues?
    A response to your question would require a thread in itself. I agree and I don't agree with some of the comments regarding Muslim persecution in this thread. Yes, there is some discrimination in the West Bank (I cannot speak for Gaza because I have never been there. I only know what I have heard and I only believe half of everything I hear as a rule.) In the West Bank, there is an uneasy tolerance. A few years back, a Christian and a Muslim got into a car accident and the Christian beat up the Muslim. As a result, people from the Muslim's village came into Ramallah and started rampaging - vandalizing shops and cars, etc. When they marched on the Greek Orthodox church, it was the Muezzin from one of the local mosques who got on his loudspeaker to call on other Muslims to protect the church. Muslims come to our ancestral home to do business with my aunt who is a seamstress. My cousin ran for political office under the banner of a new political party - known as The Third Way - with Muslims as fellow candidates. It is the uneducated - from the villages which lack a lot of basic social services (including good educational institutions) - who were the ones who wanted to torch the church, who will not do business with my family and who ran against my family for political office. This forms the basis for the uneasy tolerance and persecution. Incidentally, when times were better or when negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians were ongoing, my family did business with Jews (Ariel Sharon ate catered food from my cousin's restaurant and said it was unbelievable that a place that good could exist in the West Bank). On the other hand, being unable to move outside of a city of 100,000 or so souls does little to increase the hopes of Christian Palestinians who live there (Yes, it is true that we have limited movement through the West Bank, but taking a trip to Bethlehem to see friends or relatives - a trip that should take 30 minute s or so - takes hours since one must pass checkpoints and travel some poorly maintained roads to which Palestinians are restricted.). Therefore, we emigrate to other places. Sometimes with a little bitterness - to those Muslims and Jews who take such hardline stances. But when we do emigrate, we assimilate and we assimilate rather well, possibly because of the premium many of our mothers and fathers have placed on education (Yes, there are some bad eggs in every group and Palestinian Christians have them like everyone else). I have relatives all over the world: America, South America, Australia, Europe and the Gulf States. Our neighbors are our strength and, speaking for myself, I can worship God anywhere I find myself so I do not need to cling to/fight over holy places. My point is that we cannot be forgotten or ignored because we are everywhere, we are good neighbors, our hope is in our children and we are successful for the most part. We organize along cultural and religious lines and we build churches e.g., the American Federation of Ramallah Palestine, a non-profit whose membership is open to Christian Palestinians whose bloodline is traced back to the founder of Ramallah. There is a book on the subject of the original Ramallah families and their geneology (Ramallah by Aziz Shaheen). It is a thick book with the family trees of all of the families from all of the clans of Ramallah as best as could be shown by the author. My name is actually in the book in one of the family trees.

    Our weakness is that we are more devoted to our families than political causes. The Jewish demographic in the U.S. is politically powerful because they statistically donate more money to support candidates (I am not implying that Jews are not devoted to their families because they give money to political causes). Can Palestinian Christians be this powerful? Yes. I just do not know when or if that will happen. We are thankful to be United States citizens and happy to participate in the political process. We have ties to other Arab Christian communities in the U.S. and around the world as well. I have Lebanese Christian family friends from the time I as an infant, but I acknowledge that there are some Lebanese who are uncomfortable with having any Palestinian friends. The thing that is common to Arab Christians in the United States is that they originate from Middle Eastern countries where there was some degree of religious strife, where life was not entirely comfortable for them. But should Palestinians Christians or all Christian Arabs in the United States unite politically? I have not decided yet. Do you really want a candidate for political office in the United States who advocates support for their own religious or ethnic group in another country as one of the building blocks of their political platform? Maybe you would if you knew that the candidate's religious or ethnic group was particularly suited to spreading democracy throughout the free world. But is this really our job as Americans? Or, do we maybe need a few such candidates so that our global political influence continues to be felt around the world and we do not lapse into isolationism? Again, I have not decided and it seems that one must be very careful in picking causes and proceeding down this road.

    Sorry for the long response, but you asked a huge question.

  14. #74
    Senior Member OrangeWolf's Avatar
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    Thanks for your posts , the Baba person. It is always good to hear the other side's narrative.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ordie View Post
    Including those at the birthplace of Christianity.
    Birthplace of Christianity? where is that? I wont judge your dogma, but thats is a completely historic wrong fact, just a religious dogma. We cant discuss dogmas Ordie........................

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