Monday 17 June 2013

Things people told me today in Jerusalem


A foreign Protestant clergyman:

Islam is a very insecure religion. Why? Because it has always lived alongside two more developed cultures, Christian and Jewish.

Hitler made war on the Jews because he was making war on God. The Jews introduced the world to the monotheistic God of love.

The paedophile crisis in the Catholic Church is mostly a crisis of homosexual priests and most of their victims were boys over the age of puberty.

The current multiculturalist ideology will give way in the USA to its opposite: racism and discrimination. Americans do not find a middle course.

An experienced foreign journalist, Jewish with Zionist sympathies:

Arab Christians often say they get on well with Muslims but the truth is different. The Christians are often scared of Muslims. In particular there are many cases of Muslims sleeping with Christian girls with no intention of marrying them. In some cases raping them. Muslim youths would not dare sleep with Muslim girls before marriage because the girl's tribe would take revenge. Christians tend not to be organised in tribes and to be less vengeful.
A Christian television station in Palestine was finally forced off the air after the owner had received death threats and his headquarters had been fire-bombed.
Arab Christians in Israel suffer from religious and social discrimination but they have absolutely secure legal rights. On the West Bank they suffer from those forms of discrimination and do not have the rule of law.
From a well-guarded building in Jerusalem Christian missionaries are sent to all the Middle Eastern countries. They often face great danger. 
The foundations of first century Nazareth were discovered by accident in 2000, while preparing for Pope John Paul II's visit. The place is called Nazareth Village and is kitsch but impressive.
In the last three years the Catholic Church has been organising affordable housing for Christians and this has slowed emigration. 

An American Christian theology teacher and missionary, who speaks Arabic well:

In my experience, almost all Arab Christians have a public discourse in which they say that they and the Muslims are brothers and a private discourse in which they complain about the Muslims and say they are ill-treated by them.

I asked all the Muslim converts to Christianity that I know if they think that the God they worshipped while they were Muslims was the same God they worship as Christians. To my surprise, I would say 60% of them said no. I had not expected so big a number to say that.

An Arab taxi-driver from East Jerusalem, who is an Israeli citizen:
Things would probably be worse if the Arabs got back East Jerusalem. Why? It would be corrupt, taxi licences would only be obtained though bribery. The Israelis award them fairly, with no bribes.

A Muslim who kept a religious souvenir shop in the Christian quarter:
I spent ten years in prison for being one of the leaders of the first Intifada. I love that man [points to picture of Yasser Arafat]. See what they are doing? Beating up women in West Jerusalem for wearing veils. [Points to story in his newspaper.]

This is certainly not any kind of representative sample, of course. On other visits to Jerusalem I have met plenty of Christians and Muslims who complained in strong terms about the Jews, for good reasons. Some Christians told me that they had problems with Muslims but all said they had much worse problems with the Jews. I do not think the Israeli Jews are more sinned against than sinning.

My journalist friend said few people had written about Muslim ill-treatment of Christians in the West Bank but that Peter Hitchens had. I found this, from an article he wrote in 2010.
[In the West Bank] I saw the outline of a society, slowly forming amid the wreckage, in which a decent person might live, work, raise children and attempt to live a good life. But I also saw and heard distressing things.
One – which I feel all of us should be aware of – is the plight of Christian Arabs under the rule of the Palestinian Authority. More than once I heard them say: ‘Life was better for us under Israeli rule.’
One young man, lamenting the refusal of the Muslim-dominated courts to help him in a property dispute with squatters, burst out: ‘We are so alone! All of us Christians feel so lonely in this country.’
This conversation took place about a mile from the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where tourists are given the impression that the Christian religion is respected. Not really.

I was told, in whispers, of the unprintable desecration of this shrine by Palestinian gunmen when they seized the church in 2002 – ‘world opinion’ was exclusively directed against Israel. I will not name the people who told me these things.
I have also decided not to name another leading Christian Arab who told me of how his efforts to maintain Christian culture in the West Bank had met with official thuggery and intimidation.
My guide and host reckons there are 30,000 Christians in the three neighbouring municipalities of Bethlehem, Beit-Sahour and Beit- Jala. Soon there will be far fewer. He has found out that 2,000 emigrated between 2001 and 2004, a process which has not stopped. What is most infuriating about this is that many Christians in Britain are fed propaganda blaming this on the Israelis.
Arabs can oppress each other, without any help from outside. Because the Palestinian cause is a favourite among Western Leftists, they prefer not to notice that it is largely an aggressive Islamic cause.

The West Bank was once predominantly Christian but the Christians are leaving. Bringing the story up to date is this very alarming news item from three weeks ago.


  1. #1: An element among elements. How substantial?
    1, 2, or 3 ?

    1. There are all sorts of people who say all sorts of things. This Protestant clergyman may not know much history that was prior to the Reformation. And why does he equate a confident or unconfident religion to
      it's believers cultural accomplishment? And if Islam is an " insecure religion", is this "cultural inferiority"
      the primary reason for their "insecure religion" or second in importance or, so on?
      Or did I misconstrue his statement? Rather than meaning that they feel insecure in their religion, did he mean it is
      simply a fact that their religion is insecure in this
      world because Christians and Jews have superior cultures?

    2. He and I agreed that this might be the reason. He is right about Islam's insecurity. I suppose Christianity had a free field without any monotheistic religion to argue with among the gentiles.

    3. Yes this might be (a) reason. Your "suppose" is good.
      ahah, teehee, innit..

  2. #2: Anyone who influences one or more people to rebel against God engages in war against God.
    But this is most certainly not the reason for Hitler's war against the Jews. He responded to Jews who had first made war against the German
    Nation and people.

    1. how did they do that? why don't you give your name?

    2. This is a brief and half summary as I can't speak to all
      the issues that I am aware of in one comment. Jews have
      been prominent in Europe for centuries. All Jews in Europe have not been marginalized to ghettos as is thought in popular belief. Jump to the Weimar Republic.
      Jews had great power and influence. Beginning where great power often comes from. They were the bankers
      and otherwise financiers in conjunction with their foreign fellows also bankers and financiers. The Kaiser was in no way absolutely responsible for WW1. Move to
      post-war the Versailles Treaty whose signers were advised by Jews. To start, the Treaty carved Germany into pieces. Now the Jewish bankers, financiers gained
      more power and influence. Almost half of private German banks were Jewish owned thus controlled. The stock exchange was dominated by Jews. Half the nations newspapers. 80% of chain stores etc.
      Hitler blamed Jews for the loss of the War first by betrayal. You know they had flourished and prospered
      in Weimar but had no loyalty.
      The Bolshevik Revolution was asserting itself in Germany. Hitler among others were nationalists as was every nation at that time. Bolshevism was against nearly everything he believed to be right and right for
      the German Nation.
      Most of this information comes from historian Georg Reuth. But can be found in many sources.
      So this is just a start in explaining how Jews had been
      provoking the German nation and people and how Hitler
      became a hope to the German people.

    3. This is nonsense. German Jews were more assimilated and patriotic than Jews in any other country. They in no sense brought about the defeat of Germany in 1918 though they were blamed for it. Germany was not badly treated in 1919 by the Allies - they should have reduced Germany to a collection of monarchies as before 1860. The Kaiser and Francis Joseph were responsible for going to war in 1914. You are right that Jews were very powerful in business but how does this justify Nazi policies on the Jews?

    4. Just briefly for now. I disagree with this being nonsense. I for one am tired of the world war II controlled narrative with numerous errors. Hitler's attitude toward Jews could be described as backlash and
      reactionary. The result was very unfortunate and in fact
      quite probably not what was originally planned to be and what it became.
      This has happened through history and is happening now.
      That is consequences and results beyond and different
      than what was conceived.

    5. In the Weimar Republic Jews had consider presence in government and "cultural" arts. They founded leftist
      organizations and institutions, one being the Frankfurt
      School which became an export and very influential.
      Why do people almost never speak to the fact that Hitler
      was fighting Bolshevism which was quickly spreading and
      was present in Germany under the auspices of German and Austrian leftist Jews?
      24 March 1933 Headline London Daily Express: Judea Declares War on Germany. Article follows: " The Israelite people of the world declare an economic war on Germany.
      We are proposing to bring the German people to their senses by destroying their export trade on which their very existence depends".
      March 28 1933 Hitler responds with a boycott order.
      Which in the Narrative became a Hitler Act of Naked Aggression. The facts have ever on been distorted, denied, dismissed and so on, so on. and so on. It is the
      unspoken consent of people and historians to let errors stand and ever grow.

  3. #3: Documentation by a number of sources shows
    this to be the overwhelming reason.

  4. #4: Substantially true and already has begun.
    When things are forced upon people that substantially changes their lives, ways of life
    it creates anti-isms that in some cases did not
    exists or only minimally existed.

  5. #5 Outside the Occupied Territories Muslims are a threat. Inside the Occupied territories Jews are a threat.

    1. Christians complain about Jews and Muslims in the West bank, I was told.

    2. Well, the West bank does border Jordan.

  6. 6: He is one Arab who lives there. Ask other Arab residents. "no bribes" ? Bribes is one of his Host's middle name. Just one.

  7. He said the Israeli authorities do not ask for bribes. You think he is mistaken?

    1. That must mean that he personally did not encounter the
      practice and is not aware of it. Have you observed that
      Jewish people everywhere even in the Holy Land are not
      more holy or moral then any other people. Are you aware of what things some people consider immoral are legal in Israel?

  8. The last time I was in Jerusalem I watched a drunken Islamist (he did not see the contradiction between being drunk and being a follower of Islam) screaming death threats at young (very young) Jewish children.

    There were Jews with automatic rifles within a few feet of this man - yet they ignored him. I asked why they ignored him - and was told "it is normal",

    1. That is not the bigger picture by a long shot. I could make this comment long but won't. Did you happen to read and see video of police in Israel roughing up and knocking down an 85 yr. old Coptic priest at Eastern
      Easter time?

  9. The Arab Christians caught in the fray are often forgotten, but they probably are the ones who suffer most. We need to keep Christians in the Middle East in pray, especially since there are so many Islamic extremists who are coming into more power and persecuting Christians. The average citizen in the Middle East, whether Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, probably wants most of all to live in peace, security and freedom and probably does not want to destroy anyone else, so the behavior of the terrorist groups should not be generalized to all Muslims. In the Arab-Israeli conflict I side with Israel and believe that as Christians we need to have a preferential option for Israel and "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" and for justice, mercy and peace for ALL. These days most of all we need to pray for our fellow Christians, especially Pastor Saeed, and Iranian American Christian pastor unjustly imprisoned and brutally treated in an Iranian prison, the two Syrian archbishops who were kidnapped, and the Coptic Christians in Egypt, who are literally being crucified.

  10. I had no strong opinion, in fact no interest in the matter, till I visited the country but it is hard not to be sad that the Arabs lost their land to the Jewish newcomers. The land should belong to the Arabs one feels. Of course there is something wonderful about the Jews having a homeland but sad that they took other people's land. I suppose similar things happened in Australia and America, but much longer ago. So I tend to side with the Arabs.

    1. I also side with the Arabs. Christians should be objective and fair. Christians should not support "Israel Right or Wrong". This a total contradiction of Christian precepts.
      A person I know who is very knowlegable of European history in a discussion of Christians in the middle-east
      said that the Balfour Declaration, the State of Israel
      proclaimed, the rise of Arab Nationalism was a death warrant for Eastern Christianity. It is true. The numbers continue to diminish.

  11. This is the land God gave to the Jewish people. They lost it for a time, but God promised to return them to their land. They were persecuted in other lands, so it was time for them to "return home". There are some areas that the Jewish people have returned to the Palestinians. Most of the area still belongs to the Arabs. The problem is that the fanatical fringe want to destroy the Jewish people and destroy Israel. The ideal is for the Jewish people and the Arabs to coexist in peace and justice for all. Father Richard McAlear, who has made pilgrimages to the Holy Land, shared with us on a Catholic Charismatic Renewal, "There is enough room in the land. There is just not enough room in the heart." If Arabs live in Jewish territory they need to be treated justly by the Israeli government. If they insist on living in areas under Arab control, then they should not live in Jewish territory. I have heard that Palestinians living in the Jewish area are treated better than those living under Hamas. I have heard that some of the cruelty and injustice blamed on the Jewish people are actually the fault of Hamas--who want to blame the Jews and incite further hatred of the Jews. I appreciate that your brought up the serious plight of Arab Christians who are caught in the crossfire.

    1. God gave the land to the original Israelites and original
      Israelites' progeny with condition. That being faithful, keeping of the Covenant. Keeping the Covenant. And the New Covenant comes to redeem the Israelites and all people who in their free will accept the New Covenant.
      The Redemption. The Redeemer.