This is being published on Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 68th Independence Day. Today you have the ultimate irony of western liberal Jews supporting the rights of Christians to live and exist in the Middle East, where they are being massacred by Arab Muslims in the Islamic State, and are also being persecuted in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and the Palestinian territories. Yet these same Jews are opposing Jewish rights to exist in the Middle East, either in Israel and/or in the so-called “occupied territories.”
In the West Bank, Christian Arabs have been leaving Bethlehem for years, the Christian population there is down from 80% to 20% since the Palestine Authority was founded (see for example: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=6865). In Gaza, there are continued violent attacks on Christians and the Christian population is down to ca. 3% (see for example: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Palestinian-Christians-bitter-over-destruction-of-church-ruins-in-Gaza-450521). In Egypt, there are continued Muslim attacks on the indigenous Coptic Christian minority, now down to ca. 9%. In Iraq, the Chaldean Christians are down to a small fragment of their original population, their Churches have been bombed and they have been murdered. In Syria, the Aramaic Christians are down to a few small towns. Only in Lebanon is there any substantial Christian population and that is severely embattled. Of course, there are no Jews existing or living in any part of the so-called Arab world.
It is important to note that Christians were predominant throughout the Middle East from the time of Christ until the downfall of the Byzantine Empire to the Arab conquests in the 7th century. Also, Jews were spread widely throughout the Middle East and were a major component of the population in what we now call Iraq until the accession of Saddam Hussein and in Arabia until the time of Mohammed, when whole Jewish populations were massacred and expelled (Medina is a Hebrew word meaning “state” and was a largely Jewish town).
In 1929, there was a massacre of Jews in Hebron and hundreds were murdered. The British, then in charge of the Palestine Mandate, extracted the survivors and moved them to Jerusalem. Jews were not allowed to return to Hebron until after the recapture of the area by the IDF in 1967. What right has leftist American Jewish author, Michael Chabon, obviously ignorant of the murderous anti-Semitic attitudes of the Arab Muslim population of Hebron, to visit the area and say that “this is the worst thing I have ever seen” (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/may/06/michael-chabon-witnesses-grievous-injustice-in-occupied-territories). Obviously he was not there to see the massacre of Jews in 1929, certainly worse than the current situation. In what he called a “grievous injustice” he of course takes the side of the Hebron Muslims against his own Jewish people, totally ignoring the whole history of the Jewish connection to Hebron, that was Jewish before Mohammed existed and was Jewish until the Arabs conquered and massacred the Jews over periods of hundreds of years, until there were no more. Now we have returned to Hebron and we will stay there, just as we will stay in our ancestral homeland, Israel.
A correction: the number of casualties that I reported in my last blog article, included also Druse, Christian and Muslim Israelis who fell in defense of the country