Ignoring the Persecution and Mass Murder of Middle Eastern Christians, Britain’s Leading Churchman Complains about Israel

Dec. 21 2021

As the chief clergyman of the Church of England, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is an important public figure in Britain. Thus, when he chooses to write, or put his name to, an article in his nation’s leading paper a few days before Christmas, it’s because he believes a subject is especially important. Jake Wallis Simons comments on the archbishop’s current concerns:

Yesterday, Mr. Welby and Hosam Naoum, an Anglican bishop in Jerusalem, jointly penned an article in the Sunday Times titled: “Let us pray for the Christians being driven from the Holy Land.” In it, they drew readers’ attention to the “frequent and sustained attacks by fringe radical groups” in Israel, arguing that this was behind the sharp decline in the Christian population in Jerusalem. Nowhere else in the region. Only the Jewish state.

The archbishops took care to remind readers that the “first Christmas” had taken place “against the backdrop of the genocide of infants,” carried out by King Herod.

The archbishops were curiously silent on who these “fringe radical groups” are or what motivates them. Yet in the examples they pointed to, cases of arson and vandalism against church buildings, it is hardline Jews who have been blamed. These attacks must of course be condemned. But this does not detract from the fact that overall, Christians in Israel are flourishing.

Compare this to the routine anti-Christian carnage across the region, which the Foreign Office has described as “coming close to genocide.” A government report stated that “the inconvenient truth is that the overwhelming majority (80 percent) of persecuted religious believers are Christians.” This ranges from routine discrimination in education, the workplace, and wider society all the way to kidnap, assassination, and mass murder against Christian communities. It might not be the Holy Land, but surely such persecution deserves at least a mention by the archbishops.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Anti-Zionism, Church of England, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Middle East Christianity

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy