Palestinian Christians and the Two-State Solution

Sept. 16 2016

Every other year, Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem host a conference entitled “Christ at the Checkpoint,” intended to convince evangelical Christians of their moral and religious duty to oppose Israel’s existence; similar efforts are directed at mainline Protestants. Robert Nicholson, having just returned from this year’s conference, explains the situation of Palestinian Christians and what’s behind their attachment to anti-Israel rhetoric:

Palestinian Christians [are] not stupid. They may shout their bona fides from the housetops, but they do so as a self-aware minority, less than 2 percent of an overwhelmingly Muslim society. They see their population rapidly shrinking in relation to their Muslim neighbors. They see the rising popularity of Islamist movements like Hamas and disturbing levels of sympathy for Islamic State. They know that Article 4 of the Palestinian Basic Law . . . promises that the future state of Palestine will be an Islamic polity governed by the principles of shariah.

Meanwhile, they see what is happening to their Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. They know that they are different, and that when push comes to shove that difference could get them killed.

Christians inside the territories are hostages in their own society. In private conversations, many express fear of Muslims, positive feelings toward Jews and Israel, and envy of Arabs citizens living inside the Jewish state. Many even hope for the collapse of the Palestinian Authority so that the West Bank can once again be reintegrated with Israel.

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More about: Christian Zionism, Evangelical Christianity, Israel & Zionism, Middle East Christianity, Palestinians, Two-State Solution

Iran Is Back on Israel’s Doorstep

Feb. 15 2019

On Monday, the IDF shelled Iranian-linked targets—most likely held by Hizballah—in the Quneitra province, which lies in the Syrian part of the Golan Heights. There can thus be little doubt that the Islamic Republic has positioned its proxies in deadly proximity to Israel’s borders. Yossi Yehoshua comments:

Hizballah is trying to entrench itself in Syria now that Bashar al-Assad has reclaimed the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, precisely as it did in 2014 and 2015, [before Syrian rebels retook the area]. This was when one of the terror organization’s more prominent members, Jihad Mughniyeh, was appointed by Hizballah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to be in charge of the Golan Heights area and of planning terror attacks against Israeli civilians. Mughniyeh was killed in a 2015 airstrike attributed to Israel. . . .

In addition, an increase in the number of incidents along the Syrian border was noted over the past two months, with the Israeli strikes in Syria . . . meant to signal to the enemy that it is best not cross any red lines. This is similar to the message Jerusalem conveyed to Iran when it [previously] attempted to entrench itself in [this part of] Syria and was pushed out of there after a series of Israeli airstrikes.

Unlike the situation of four years ago, Iran now has a real presence along the Syrian border, while Hizballah is working to resume its confrontations with Israel. And since the organization is up to its neck in domestic problems and thus cannot allow itself to face Israel on the Lebanese front, it finds Syria to be a more comfortable staging ground from which to take on the Jewish state.

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More about: Golan Heights, Hizballah, Iran, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Syria