If past years are any indication, in about six weeks we can expect to see articles about the parlous state of Palestinian Christians, or the unfortunate conditions in Bethlehem—no doubt assigning blame to Israel. Meanwhile, Khaled Abu Toameh notes, very little attention is being paid to recent attacks on West Bank Christians perpetrated by both terrorists and by the Palestinian Authority (PA):
Earlier this year, the Palestinian evangelical pastor Johnny Shahwan was arrested by the PA security forces on charges of “promoting normalization” with Israel. The arrest came after Shahwan, founder and chairman of the board of Beit al-Liqa (House of Encounter) in Beit Jala, appeared in a photo alongside Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a former member of the Knesset. . . . After the photo of the pastor and rabbi appeared on social media, unidentified gunmen fired shots at the center.
In another incident earlier this year, a large group of masked Muslim men carrying sticks and iron bars attacked the Christian brothers Daoud and Daher Nassar while they were working on their land. . . . In early October, gunmen fired shots at the Bethlehem Hotel for displaying Jewish symbols in one of its meeting rooms. The gunmen accused the Christian-owned hotel of “promoting normalization with Israel” because of the cardboard cutouts of a star of David and menorah which were placed in the room.
The most recent attack on Christians took place in late October, when dozens of Muslim men targeted the Forefathers Orthodox Church in Beit Sahour. During the attack, the assailants threw rocks at the church, injuring several Christians.
The attacks by Muslims on Christians are often ignored by the international community and media, who seem to speak out only when they can find a way to blame Israel. Another disturbing situation is that the leaders of the Christian community in the West Bank are reluctant to hold the Palestinian Authority and their Muslim neighbors responsible for the attacks. They are afraid of retribution and prefer to toe the official line of holding Israel solely responsible for the misery of the Christian minority.