Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, June 24th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments

David Virtue directs the Editorial attention to the reason why I don’t consider the exodus of Christians from the Holy Land to be the emergency that other people consider it to be.  Seems that more than a few Middle Eastern Christians are, well, anti-Semitic twats, to be perfectly honest with you:

Your inaccurate and erroneous remarks cite Muslim extremism as the greatest threat facing Christians in Palestine, and the primary reason for our emigration. Your statements about Bethlehem are particularly faulty and offensive especially when you say that the movement of Muslims into the Bethlehem area, where space is limited, is forcing Christians to leave.

Equally shocking is how Your Grace managed, diplomatically – instead of being prophetic, as one would expect you to be, not to mention the Israeli occupation, the separation wall, Israel  confiscation of Palestinian land, its policies that violate freedom of movement and worship (Palestinians in Bethlehem cannot, for instance, go to Jerusalem), or its brutal crackdowns on nonviolent protests as one of the major reasons that push not only Christians to emigrate, but also many other Palestinians.

We were hoping that Your Grace would have a different voice than the one in mass media and other right wing political parties, which exploit our sufferings to fuel some islamophobic tendencies and negative images about Islam. Indeed, this is what the Israeli occupation persistently tries to do. It demonizes Islam in a way that deflects blame from the repression levied by the state itself. We are concerned that your comments are serving the same purpose.

We were deeply saddened by your declarations because we know that Your Grace is well informed about the situation in the Holy Land, and you know very well that in the Bethlehem area alone there are 19 illegal Israeli settlements (such as nearby Har Homa built on Jabal Abu Ghneim) and the wall that have devoured Christian lands and put Bethlehem in a chokehold. You know well that only 13% of Bethlehem area is available for Palestinian use and the wall isolates 25% or the Bethlehem area’s agricultural land. Not to mention the situation of Christians in Jerusalem, which you know very well, since you should have received reports from the Anglican Bishop in the City whose residency permit was denied by the occupying power. We can go on and on, but it is no longer important…


creedal episcopalian
June 24, 2011

I am trying to wrap my mind around the fact that this gentleman (Rifat Odeh Kassis) evidently believes that Cantuar is insufficiently anti-semitic. Perhaps (to claim the inevitable invocation of Godwin’s law) Mr. Kassis would be comforted if Rowan were to grow a little Hitler mustache.

FW Ken
June 24, 2011

How many liberal protestant cliches can one fit into a short letter? This sets a new standard!

Paula Loughlin
June 24, 2011

I am not anti Semitic but relations with the State of Israel and Christian churches are not always cordial. There is resentment about Israel policy on Palestine and Palestinians. Christian Palestinians are more likely to identify with Palestinian Muslims than with Israel.

I find their failure to be truthful about the cause of Israei’s policies to be rather a big fail. Also they have their heads in the sand if they outright war will not be made against them should radical Islamists ever gain control of that territory.

Maybe they don’t see the news of Egypt, etc.

June 24, 2011

Stockholm syndrome. If they ever get their state and are completely under the control of Fatah/Hamas, they’ll rue the day.

Smurf Breath
June 24, 2011

“I am not anti Semitic but relations with the State of Israel and Christian churches are not always cordial.”

Agree. There is persecution within Israel itself of Christians. Pluralism in the sense of affirming the truth of alternate religions is misguided, but in the sense of allowing them to exist, I think that is a good idea, and America is pretty much still alone in that respect. And let’s not forget that Richard Wurmbrand, founder of Voice of the Martyrs was himself a Jewish convert.

June 24, 2011

Seems as if some or perhaps many of our Arab Christian bros are arabs first.
Can’t be too critical. In this country many professing christians are Democrats first.

June 24, 2011

I’d cut this writer some slack.

The Palestinian Christians have been getting whacked from both sides ever since the 6 day war. They are subject to the same physical restrictions and confiscation of land as Muslim Palestinians (by the Israeli government) because they are Palestinian. They are also subject to attack from the Muslims because they are Christian. For them this is not an intellectual exercise. This is a matter of survival for them and their families. The letter may be less than balanced because the statement to which it responds is less than balanced.

Not saying that the Palestinians are all right and the Israelis are all wrong (in most respects I’m firmly behind Israel). That’s not the point. The point is that He’s looked down the barrel of both guns. We haven’t.

P.S. Two comments from the letter which were not included in the above quote caught my eye:

“We are no longer expecting support from Church leaders around the world. Our Hope, Faith and Love come from elsewhere. However, at the same time, we request you and every leader, especially church leaders, not to use us and our cause for your own purposes….”

“Since Your Grace did not meet or consult with any Palestinian Christians during your recent visit here, we are wondering why would you be suddenly interested to speak on our behalf?…”

My prayers are with these folks. They certainly need them.

Dale Price
June 24, 2011

I do feel sorry for Palestinian Christians, who are truly stuck in the middle. The Israelis aren’t always decent, and many Christians have suffered in the blockades/wall construction, despite being completely innocent of wrongdoing.

As to Islam, I’m reminded that Christian Church leaders in the Middle East have to tread very lightly, given their twitchy Muslim neighbors. Frankly, this isn’t remotely as pernicious as the supercessionist crap sometimes vomited up in Arab Christian circles. He’s in an increasingly untenable spot.

Arab, Assyrian, Chaldean, Coptic and other Eastern Christians eventually open up about Islam–after they emigrate to the West.

J.M. Heinrichs
June 25, 2011

“They are subject to the same physical restrictions and confiscation of land as Muslim Palestinians (by the Israeli government) because they are Palestinian.”

No, it’s because they have identified themselves with the “Palestinian” cause, and have provided support for the various ‘Palestinian’ terror/criminal groups. If they had supported the State of Israel, they would not be in this position of complaint. They’re suffering from a deliberate, self-inflicted injury. By affirming ‘Christian’ and rejecting ‘Arab’, their lot would be improved.


J.M. Heinrichs
June 25, 2011

By the way, the letter was from “Kairos Palestine” which is one of those splendidly caring ecumenical organisation. More info on “Kairos” here:


Rob Michaels
June 28, 2011

While it is plausible to blame “the Jews,” it is more accurate to blame the current extremists who run the government, and hte ultra-orthodox who hold disproporionate power in Israel.

Still, this does not explain the rash of violence agasinst Christians in Egypt and Tunisia, among other places. Radical Islam is a fact- comletely separate from the existnece of Jews or Israel. Radiscal SHaria law has no room for anyone other than Muslims.

It is wrong to swipe at the unjust machinations of the current Israeli mentality without giving even MORE attention to the unfocused rage of millions of ultra-radical Muslims who would gladly sacrifice Gentiles, Jews, and even themselves if their radical handlers brain-wash them to do so in the name of Allah.

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