While Persecuting Christians, Mahmoud Abbas Puts Himself Forward as Their Defender

Nov. 19 2019

Next month, the Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas can be expected to attend Christmas-eve services at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and the Western media can be expected to air footage of him there while reporters comment on the alleged plight of Palestinian Christians living under Israeli occupation. These reporters can also be counted on to ignore the mistreatment of Christians by the PA; Bassam Tawil points to the recent death of a sixty-three-year-old woman named Terez Ta’amneh as illustrative:

Ta’amneh, a Christian woman from the town of Bet Jala, near Bethlehem, . . . died when PA police officers raided her home to arrest her son, Yusef, for unpaid debts. The story of Ta’amneh [could] cause serious damage to the PA’s propaganda machine, which is preoccupied with blaming Israel for the fact that a large number of Christians have left the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the past few decades.

The police officers, [Ta’amneh’s] daughter Marian said, attacked her brother and began beating him in front of their mother. “My mother told them that Yusef suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure. She begged them to stop beating him. In response, the commander . . . pointed a pistol at my brother’s head and threatened to open fire. He told my mother: we have orders to open fire at him.” According to Marian, her mother panicked and collapsed, dying instantly.

So far as Abbas is concerned, it is business as usual. The cries of the Christian family in Bet Jala seem entirely lost on him. Next month, he and his senior officials will arrive in Bethlehem and again talk about the harmony and brotherly relations between Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land. . . . What he seeks is to continue ensuring the success of the Palestinian lie that Christians are fleeing because of Israel.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Christmas, Mahmoud Abbas, Middle East Christianity, Palestinian Authority

Distrust of the Supreme Court Led Likud Voters to Rally around Netanyahu

Jan. 17 2020

A few weeks ago, Benjamin Netanyahu handily won the Likud party’s primary election, receiving 72 percent of the votes. He won despite the fact that he is facing indictments on corruption charges that could interfere with his ability to govern if he remains Israel’s premier, and despite the credible challenge mounted by his opponent, Gideon Sa’ar. Evelyn Gordon credits the results not to love of Netanyahu but to resentment of Israel’s overweening Supreme Court:

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Read more at Evelyn Gordon

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli politics, Israeli Supreme Court