Real Middle East Christians Gather in Washington, D.C.
Last week, I was honored to be invited to participate among "real" Christians from the Holy Land driven by one agenda — to save their dwindling numbers and not exploit them for politics.
President Barack Obama and Sen. Ted Cruz didn't come by — Obama because he is a weakling when it comes to the Middle East and Cruz because he might jeopardize his campaign cash from the Israeli lobby, AIPAC and its affiliates.
But others who are true Christians from the Holy Land, a euphemism for Palestine, were in attendance and they had a lot to say.
Hanan Ashrawi, the powerful spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization, was a keynote speaker at a conference hosted by the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation and Sir Rateb Rabie, its president. Ashrawi masterfully tore through Israel's increasingly extremist government and their anti-peace, war-mongering prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
"What is even more destructive is the deliberate Israeli policy of ethnic cleansing in Area C and in Jerusalem. Israelis get very upset when we use terms like Ethnic Cleansing or like Genocide or like War Crimes or Massacres," Ashrawi said referring to the three areas Israel has carved Palestine into, Area A, B and C.
"I tell Israelis if the word disturbs you, you should see the actions. If you don't like the word, then don't do it. If you don't like being described as the country that uses war crimes and ethnic cleansing than stop using ware crimes and ethnic cleansing and we won't use the language. It is the action itself that is the significant part."
Israel has imposed draconian laws that violate International Laws to confiscate and revoke Palestinian citizenship in Jerusalem to empty out the city of Muslim and Christian Palestinians. Netanyahu's chief supporter is Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman whose extremist hatred of non-Jews rivals ISIS/ISIL and even al-Qaida.
"Settlements are war-crimes on their face," slicing and dicing through Netanyahu's policy of opposing peace.
Occupied Jerusalem's Christian Archbishop, Atallah Hanna, also spoke at the HCEF conference. He pled with American Christians who live in a la-la land of Israeli propaganda.
"Please help us so we can save the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Church of the Nativity so they do not turn into museums and cold stones," the Archbishop said noting that Israeli brutality was forcing most Christians to flee both Israel and Palestine.
American Christians are oblivious to the suffering of Christians by Israel's military, secret state police and the growing ISIS-like settler movement, which continues to target Christian and non-Jews with violence.
Archbishop Hanna emphasized "there is no distinction between Christian Arabs and Muslim Arabs in the Holy Land. They are all suffering together."
Recently, in a master public relations move that exploited the ignorance of American Christians, Israel began a campaign to give Israeli Christian citizens who accept Israel special status and privileges.
But American Christians have lost their religious soul. They wander through the Apple store spending thousands of dollars on the latest gadgets. And they scream about the growing threat from "Islamists" in this country. If there is a violence in America, is driven by American Christians against African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities who are fed breadcrumbs to keep them quiet. And when you challenge their unChristianlike conduct, they wave their Christian crosses and St. Christopher medals in the air as certificates of Christian authenticity.
American Christians are probably the most unchristian people in the world today. And that is reflected in the growing world support for the true and original Christians, and their Muslim brothers and sisters in the Holy Land, who are being bullied, beaten, discriminated against and victimized by Israel land and water theft.
Last week, Great Britain, which started the problem in the Holy Land by refusing to allow Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany to enter their country, finally recognized Palestine as a Sovereign State.
Pope Francis, during a visit to the Holy Land, criticized Israeli policies. And he prayed at the Apartheid wall, a concrete barrier that Israeli PR masterfully spins as a "fence." But the 25-foot tall concrete wall snakes through Palestinian populated areas like concentration camps with gun turrets, towers and prisons that are choking with political dissidents.
Weeks before Britain, Sweden voted to recognize Palestine, 67 years after Israeli terrorists murdered one of their most hallowed leaders, Count Folke Bernadotte, who was sent to Palestine by the U.N. as a peace mediator. The cold-blooded murderers were led by Yitzhak Shamir and his Stern Gang. Shamir, like his terrorist colleague Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon, was elected Prime Minister of Israel, a testament to the hypocrisy that drenches Israeli society which is increasingly radicalized, prejudiced and hateful and have struggled to prevent a genuine peace.
The Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement is also raising awareness throughout Europe leaving the United States as Israel's only real ally, to which Ashrawi slyly remarked.
"Palestine will be the mouse that roared," Ashrawi said, emphasizing the Palestinians support non-violence but is steadily exposing Israel's war crimes and racism.
"Every organization we join (at the United Nations), the United States withdraws from. We will end up isolating the United States there, the most powerful country in the world. Can you imagine when we join the International Atomic Energy Agency?"
As an American Christian myself, I have always advocated we need to educate Americans and free their minds from the Israeli headlock.
But if that doesn't work, eventually, Israel will be isolated, surrounded by a growing wall of international disdain.
Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist managing editor of The Arab Daily News at www.TheArabDailyNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @RayHanania. To find out more about Ray Hanania and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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