Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Nov 4, 2010

Christians Status in the Middle East

Recently, the pope invited 185 Middle Eastern high-ranking Christian priests to a meeting in Rome to discuss the problems of the Christian community in the region. (al-jazeera.net, 10/26/10). One of the major problems discussed is that the number of Christian communities in the region has been decreasing on a continuous basis. This is attributed to Israeli’s suppressive policy in the occupied West Bank. An example is the barrier erected by Israeli forces that makes it difficult for people to move from place to place. Furthermore, the destruction of Palestinian homes, farms and businesses to pressure the natives to move out. This Israeli policy of ethnic cleansing is a planned strategy to remove Arab Palestinians and replace them with a Jewish population. This policy has been the core philosophy of the Zionist ideology since the creation of the state of Israel. The Israeli historian Illan Pappe reflects on this in his book, Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians

The tragedy of such rationale is the fact that Jewish Zionists and some Christian evangelical Zionists ignore historical facts about the “promised land” by not referring to the indigenous people who lived in the area for thousands of years before Semitic tribes immigrated eastward to the area from the Arabian Peninsula during the second millennium. At the meeting, the participant stated that Israel should not use and misinterpret the New Testament to justify its suppression of the Palestinians in the occupied lands and the continued construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Nevertheless, through history, nearly all religions have been poorly interpreted to justify the implementation of political ideology by fanatic religious bigots. The percentage of Christians who are still living in the area has been estimated to be around 5.6%, reflecting a significant decrease from what it used to be. The construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands and the destruction of thousands of homes in Jerusalem in particular and the West Bank in general and the destruction of farms is part of the Zionist strategy. It is a plan to gradually remove the Palestinian Christian and Muslim identity from Palestine under the pretext of the misused religious interpretation of the New Testament.

The participant at the Vatican meeting criticized and condemned the Israeli government’s suppressive policy used against the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli reaction to the Vatican statement was as usual negative and stated that the “meeting was controlled and stolen by the enemies of Israel”. AT the meeting, the pope also urged Muslim governments in the region to guarantee the freedom of religion in the Middle East. Shortly after the meeting was over, it was reported that a Christian church in Jerusalem was burned. It is not the first incident of a burning or destruction of Christian and Muslim places of worship in the occupied territories. The Israeli government always looks the other way when attacks take place against the Palestinians.

While the meeting was in progress in Rome, it was reported that the Israeli forces demolished several water wells in Dair Abu Thauf Village, east of the city of Jenin and also bulldozed an olive oil processing plant. Such an aggressive and destructive act reflects the Israeli government’s political strategy, which is to make life unbearable to the native Palestinian and in the long run, force them to leave the country.

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