EU keeps funding persecution of Christians in Gaza and the West Bank
The only country in the Middle East, where Christians can live openly as Christians without risking any form of persecution is the Jewish land of Israel. It is also worth mentioning, that Muslims too can practice their religion freely in Israel. This is so because Israel protects human rights and consider freedom of religion an important corner-stone in democracy.
However, in most Islam-dominated countries surrounding Israel, Christians live under various forms of discrimination and persecution under Islamic law as so called dhimmis, which means that Christians and other non-muslims in minority are treated as second rate citizens lacking proper human rights.
Open Doors, a Christian international organization, publishes once a year the World Watch List (WWL), where it ranks the 50 countries, where persecution of Christians is the most extreme in the world. Most of the Islam-dominated countries in the Middle East and North Africa have qualified to be on that list.
Lebanon isn’t on the WWL-list for 2014, but Syria north of Israel is classified as the third worst (No 3). Jordan in the east was ranked number 26 and Egypt in the south number 22. Although the territories governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) don’t constitute a state, it has nevertheless got a place on the WWL 2014 and was ranked number 34 out of the 50. These PA-territories are the West Bank (i.e. Judea and Samaria) and Gaza.
Open Doors describes the Persecution of Christians in the Palestinian territories as follows:
Anti-Christian violence has increased, mostly caused by Islamic extremists, although Muslim-background (Christian) believers face pressure from family, too. The authorities fail to uphold the rights of individual Christians, causing some to flee to safer areas. In Gaza, Christians are enticed into becoming Muslims, especially during Ramadan, with the offers of jobs, houses, wives and diplomas. Sometimes the approach is more violent. A Greek Orthodox monastery in Bethany, West Bank, was the repeated target of attacks, forcing the nuns to ask President Abbas to intervene.
So “Islamic extremism” is considered the main reason for the persecution. The situation is especially grim for former Muslims who have left Islam and converted to the Christian faith. Christians flee the PA-territories due to the absense of human rights there. Hamas in Gaza has used bribery as a method to lead the Christians there into temptation in order to make them convert to Islam.
Christian Post has published an article by the Coptic orthodox Christian author Mr Raymond Ibrahim, now living in the USA, who writes about the attacked monastery in Bethany in the PA-controlled West Bank:
Last year, nuns of the Greek-Orthodox monastery in Bethany sent a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urging him to respond to the escalation of attacks on the Christian house, including the throwing of stones, broken glass, theft and looting of the monastery property.
This is not an isolated incident, but part of a pattern, where Christian nuns are being persecuted and raped by muslims. Moreover, there is a “rise in attacks on Christian nuns throughout the Islamic world”, Mr Ibrahim reports and “further demonstrates that they are no more inviolable than other ‘infidel’ women.
A Christian official living in the Palestinian territories recently said:
All this talk about Israel being behind the pain of Christians in the Palestinian Territories is nonsense. Muslims intimidate us. They burn our stores, steal our real estate. They build mosques beside our churches, and make sure that the calls for prayer disrupt our services. They attack our daughters. There are many cases of rape that have never been reported. Families hide it out of shame, they move away. They flee.
They flee, but where to? Quite a few go to the tolerant neighbour, being the only democracy in the ME. They flee to Israel. There the Christian population in steadily increasing and have now reached over 140.000.
So what do the Palestinian Muslims do to the Christians? The discrimination is described by Pierre Rehov in his article:
The real drop in Christian population (from the Palestinian territories) – – – took place as a side-effect of the Oslo process. As soon as Yasser Arafat and the PLO had established the Palestinian Authority [PA] in the West Bank and Gaza, Christians began to be persecuted. Despite the official stance of public figures – – – Christian residents of the PA live in these Muslim-controlled areas as dhimmis: according to Muslim laws, second rate citizens.
The Christians are “protected by Muslim authorities” Rehov reports, but only “as long as they accept certain rules. One of these rules forbids a Christian to sell his property, whether a shop or a house, to another Christian if he decides to move abroad. Only to Muslims.”
Many daughters of Christian families have been faced with rape by Muslim men, if and when they don’t dress properly according to Islamic decorum, often followed by threats of forced conversion to Islam.
According to the dhimmi laws, “non-Muslims under Muslim rule may not testify against Muslims.” Therefore it is “virtually impossible for Christians whose lands have been stolen, or lives have been threatened, to appeal to the local legal system” Pierre rehov reports.
These are just a few examples on how Christians are being discriminated and persecuted in the PA-governed West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. No wonder they flee and hope for a better life in Israel, where they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve as human beings. Many Christian young men now wishes to protect Israel and hence have engaged in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). A recently formed organization in Israel, founded by an Orthodox Priest, Father Gabriel Nadar, gives them the support they need in this mission.
It is very strange that the EU supports the Palestinian Authority financially and choose to pay large amounts annually to the PA. This means that the EU keep funding the islamic persecution of Christians in the PA-territories. Western politicians and media have hardly at all informed about how these funds from the EU-countries have been used by the PA. Such an investigation would be most revealing and has as a matter of fact already been carried out and explained to the EU leadership by Calev Meyers and his team of lawyers and scientists at The Jerusalem Institute of Justice. Mr Meyers then didn’t recommend the fundings to stop without reason, but that the EU should follow up on a regular basis how their transactions of funds have been used by the PA. The EU ought to connect the funds to some well defined requests, which then can be possible to follow up in detail.
Some rumours say that much of the fundings to the PA simply go to private pockets, a reason as good as any that the fundings have to be investigated: where did the money come from? Where did it go? Which measures, if any, has the PA-government taken to reduce the Islamic persecution of Christians in Gaza and the West Bank. Which steps (if any) to implement human rights there? What was the result and was it in accordance with the directives?If not the EU-fundings ought to be repaid.