I choose to use the quote from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” “A pox on both your houses” to characterize Israel’s position regarding the two sects of Islam, Sunni and Shia, that are at each other’s throats. As Pres. Obama continues to underestimate the threats of both the Islamic State Sunni extremists and the Iranian-backed Shia extremists, they both continue to to gain ground in the Middle East.
Who are the losers in the instability that has gripped this region since the Arab Spring of 2011. It is not only the Arab dictators that have been removed from power, such as Mubarak in Egypt, Ben Ali in Tunisia, Qaddafi in Libya, Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Assad who is hanging on my his finger nails in Syria. But, it is also the minorities, both religious and ethnic, who are being decimated by the forces of the Islamic State and Shia Iran.
A BBC production entitled “Kill the Christians” (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32287806) focussed on the destruction of the Christian communities in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. In Iraq, where before Islam there were millions of Christians, the situation is so dire because of continued attacks since the removal of Saddam Hussein by extremists on both sides of the Muslim divide, that now there is no future for Christians there. There are only remnants remaining and the IS have driven the rest into the stronghold of the Kurdish Autonomous Region in the north-east of Iraq where they are protected.
In Syria it is no different, but Christians can persist and practice their religion ironically only in those areas held by the forces of the Assad regime. In areas held by IS, Christians are systematically being killed and Churches destroyed. In Lebanon, where the Christians constitute a large proportion of the population, although the Maronites still exercise power in their own regions, they have lost significant power to the Shia Hizbollah militia. Also, the IS forces have mounted attacks on the Lebanese border with Syria. Many Christians have left or are leaving Lebanon, some put the number as high as 1 million or more. There is a general exodus of Christians from the Middle East, and what is the West doing about it?
What is happening to the Christians is sad and typical of the Muslim fundamentalists who tolerate no minorities, as far as they are concerned they are all kaffirs (infidels). This is very similar to the policies of the Nazis, who as “Aryans” also tolerated no minorities. And his has all happened before in these countries, to the Jews, and the presenter of this BBC program, Jane Corbin, neglected to mention that. Namely that Jews were previously driven out of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where they had lived for thousands of years before Islam. And of course, they were also driven out of many European Christian countries, until they found haven in Israel. And although she did not mention Israel, it is in fact the only country in the Middle East where Christians are guaranteed freedom of religion and where the number of Christians is in fact growing. Something you would think was relevant. Not surprising coming from the BBC, who of course are very concerned about the plight of Middle Eastern Christians, but not that of Jews.