Israeli settlers’ persistent tormenting of Palestinian Christians – this is bigotry

Israeli settlers’ persistent tormenting of Palestinian Christians – this is bigotry July 14, 2023

We interrupt the Christian Nation/Ten Commandments series to bring you news on Christianity in the Holy Land – specifically, about the persecution of Palestinian Christians.

If you’ve been with Grace Colored Glasses for long, you know I have a strong connection to the Palestine-Israel issue. I’ve written often about the situation, usually to point out the Israeli government’s human rights abuses against the Palestinian people (read a partial list of human rights reports here).

This is (or ought to be) relevant to us as Christians. Many among us – mostly evangelicals – are under the impression that Jesus will come back sooner if we uncritically support Israel as it ethnically cleanses the indigenous Palestinian population.

Too many Christians are indifferent to the horrors taking place in the land where Jesus walked – even though it’s happening on our dime. Our tax dollars (over $10 million a day) provide military aid to Israel. At the very least, we need to be aware of the situation.

To that end, please read on to learn what local Palestinian Christians – including monks and nuns – are putting up with at the hands of Israeli settlers. This is not a new phenomenon, but it has grown worse in recent months.

Israel has raked in billions in donations from American Christians by pretending brotherly love (I wrote this on the subject a couple of years ago). Meanwhile, many Israelis (especially ideological settlers) openly scorn both Western and Palestinian Christians. And the Israeli government sits on its hands.

This not how “God’s chosen people” behave – this is how bigots behave.

Jerusalem: Israeli journalist dressed as Christian priest spat at by settlers

from Middle East Monitor (emphasis added)

Shocking evidence of the rise in the number of attacks on Palestinian Christians by Israeli settlers has been captured on film by an Israeli reporter who went undercover as a priest and walked along the streets of occupied Jerusalem.

[Israeli] Channel 13’s Yossi Eli wanted to see for himself the spiraling hate crimes against Christians. Within five minutes of setting out with a Franciscan clergyman, Father Alberto, Eli was spat at five times by Jewish Israeli settlers.

The footage of the abuse by the settlers was uploaded by Eli on Twitter along with comments where he dismissed attempts to downplay the spiraling of hate crimes against Christians.

Translation of the tweet:

The justification of some Jewish groups for hate crimes is that they are “mentally ill”. so no.

Our investigation proved that the attacks are really not from the mentally ill, but people with a clear opinion who simply hate something they are not.

Brainwash them that Jesus is bad. Young extremists, children, and most sadly soldiers, the “salt of the earth” express their hatred towards Christianity.

Just think what the reaction of those Jews would have been if a Christian had spat on them in Europe. The full investigation, the truth? “Priest for a Day” was very difficult to digest.

Eli’s investigation comes against the backdrop of a worrying escalation in hate crimes against the indigenous Christian communities of Palestine. The Vatican’s custodian of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, blamed Israel’s politicians for the rise in anti-Christian attacks by Jewish settlers.

According to a report in Ha’aretz, Patton mentioned the desecration of a Lutheran cemetery, the vandalising of a Maronite prayer room and the spraying of “death to Christians” on Armenian property, all within the space of a few weeks. He also noted “the responsibility of the leaders, of those who have power.”

In a previous warning about the attacks on Christians in Palestine, Patton said that they [Palestinian Christians] face the “threat of extinction” from “radical” Israeli groups.

Father Patton also told Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz that the Israeli perpetrators are not punished, and “they feel that anything is permissible.” He described Israeli settlers urinating on holy sites, even filming themselves as they did.

Without punishment, he said, “They feel that anything is permissible,” adding that people have urinated on holy sites and even filmed themselves doing so.

(Here is a video of Israelis spitting at nuns just a few weeks earlier.)

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Another recent report from Middle East Monitor:

Israel settler smashes stained-glass windows of Christian site

An Israeli settler smashed the stained-glass windows of the room believed by Christians to have hosted the Last Supper in Jerusalem, known as the Cenacle.

The Israeli suspect, whose name has not been made public, threw the stones directly towards the building’s windows on Thursday, smashing them. He was detained by a security guard and taken for questioning.

According to Ha’aretz, he was brought before a Magistrate’s Court judge the following day, and denied that he had thrown the stones despite being present on site. However, a police officer presented evidence of the crime refuting the claim.

Despite the documentation proving the Israeli suspect’s crime, he was released after being banned from Jerusalem’s Old City for 30 days…

The punishment issued to the Israeli settlers and soldiers is far more lenient than those handed down to Palestinians, including minors convicted of throwing stones. Even if no harm or damage is caused, Palestinians face penalties of up to 20 years in prison.

Since Israel’s new government, the most right-wing in the country’s history, came to power, attacks against [Palestinian] Christians in Jerusalem have reportedly become more violent and common.

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FEATURED IMAGE: “Yes #religions can coexist #jerusalem #israel #christian #muslim #jewish” by is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

About Kathryn Shihadah
I was raised as a conservative Christian, and was perfectly content to stay that way – until the day my stable, predictable world was rocked. A curtain was pulled back on conservative Christianity, and instead of ignoring the ugliness I saw, I confronted it. I began to ask questions I never thought I’d ask, and found answers I’d never expected. Old things began to fall away, and – behold! – the new me has come. What a gift to be a new, still-evolving creation. I found out that it’s better to look at the world through Progressive Lenses, with Grace-Colored Glasses.  You can read more about the author here.

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