Thursday, April 26, 2012

Christians of the Holy Land

According to a 2008 survey, only 0.8 per cent of Christian Palestinians cited "fleeing religious extremism" as a reason for emigration

Despite claims by Israeli government officials, Christian Palestinians regularly face discrimination.

By Ben White


"A recent report by CBS show 60 Minutes on "Christians of the Holy Land" has received a lot of attention, not least for the embarrassing contribution by Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren.

It is interesting that Israel (and its advocates) have been so concerned about the impact of a short segment regarding the challenges faced by Christian Palestinians under Israeli military occupation. In fact, Ambassador Oren himself only recently tried to exploit Christians for propaganda purposes - only to find that they objected to his cynicism.

The Israeli government has long tried to suggest that the emigration of Christian Palestinians is the result of a "jihad" being waged by "terrorists" or "fundamentalists". There are obvious advantages to this strategy, particularly its dependence on pre-existing prejudices and stereotypes in the West. But it also seeks to neutralise a potentially damaging threat: that people around the world will see Christian Palestinians leaving their historic homeland due to Israeli colonisation and occupation....."

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