Palestinian Christians

This article highlights the ignorance of pro-Israeli westerners of the demographics of Palestinians and hopes that the Pope's visit bring a certain awareness in the West that there are indeed Palestinians who are christians and that their land and their homes have been occupied by Israel and its settlement expansion policy. The article does not mention however that one of the most successful Palestinian liberation movements, the FPLP, was mostly run by Christians.
And the article does not mention that the misfortunes of Christians in the Arab world are due mainly to US and Israel's policies of war and alliance with corrupt regimes, except of course Egypt where there is a historic and systematic intimidation of Coptes by the state and the muslim brotherhood.


Wolfie said...

I have a lovely photo in my draw at home of my Father taken in 1941 at the port of Jaffa with Christian Palestinian friends he had made. What is noticeable about the picture is how western they look and how beautiful and clean Jaffa was then.

At the time he was on leave from operations in Iraq where it was his mission to keep Nazi hands of oil reserves.

I remember him telling me that in '48 it was the better educated Christians that were the first to leave to make a better life for themselves in the US as they spoke good English, leaving the Muslim farmers to argue with the Zionists.

He always referred to Israel as "the terrorists" (a reference to Ben-Gurion I think).

Sophia said...


Yes, christian arabs were a small minority elite in their own countries, this was their way of survival in largely muslim societies. They fled not only because they have a lesser feeling of belonging to the land but because historically they experienced persecutions and learned to adapt quickly.
They were very well protected by arab secular authoritarian regimes like saddam's where they prospered and the syrian regime where they still prosper protected from persecutions.
They are the original population in the middle east, the oldest being the coptic religion. Christians are now the main loosers from the middle east unrest.
Your father witnessed the end of european colonisation and the beginning of zionist colonisation of Palestine. Do you know of any history book, letters, notes or memoire written by the members of the british army in Palestine at the time ?

Wolfie said...

My Father was just a young man doing his duty as a soldier in a war he barely understood. These days it has slipped from the collective consciousness how the world was composed of competing empires while the people they encompassed just made the best of it they could, ordinary British people included.

I've met former friends of my Father who were permanently stationed there. It was not a popular posting and my overwhelming impression was that mandated Palestine & Transjordan was a hasty and unpopular shoddy compromise that briefly existed between two devastating wars. Empires on their knees don’t make good custodians and that goes for the Ottomans too.

Since March 29th 2006