As Christmas descends on the western world, the moment of maximum danger for Israel emerges. Why is that? Because, as the Christian world gazes dewy-eyed towards Bethlehem in Judea, the relative calm and the relative prosperity of the West Bank (in comparison to the daily grind for Gazans under fascist Hamas for example) is not the scene that best serves Palestinian leaderships and the Palestinian narrative.
What better way to draw the attention of journalists from civil-war-torn Syria, and from the refugee camps of Jordan and Lebanon, than to stage aggravation between Palestinians and Israeli troops at Christmas time, and to launch a missile or two on Israeli civilians. Indeed, aggravation on the Gaza-Israel border has already occurred in the last 24-hours. What better way than aggravation to distract attention from the refugee camps of Jordan, always brim full of Syrians displaced by their own government. Moslems in camps do not serve the interests of Palestinians – the ‘only’ displaced people that has ever lived !
At this precious moment in the Christian calendar, Palestinian President-for-Life, Mahmoud Abbas, carrying on the narrative set by Yasser Arafat, will, as always at this time, release a Christmas message calling Jesus a ‘Palestinian messenger’ – no matter that the Roman term ‘Palestine’ would not emerge until some 70 years after the Nazarene’s death. Abbas will imply, as he does every year, that Israel persecutes Christians, but the facts on the ground tell a different story. The Christian population of Israel is the only one which is growing and thriving in the region. In Palestine, especially in Bethlehem, where they used to form a majority, Christian populations have shrunk. Many feel uncomfortable amid growing Moslem majorities that they see as becoming more outwardly and politically Islamist… not to mention intimidating and corrupt. It is Moslem terror organisations that persecute Christians and other minorities right across the Middle East. In Israel they find safe haven.
Regrettably, European and North American Christian groups, and their leading clergy, have accepted the Abbas narrative rather than the Israeli one, thus hastening the inevitable decline and ultimate eradication of a Christian presence in these ancient Christian centres.
As we go into holiday mode here in Scotland – effectively into self-congratulatory lockdown – this blog wishes all Israelis and all supporters of Israel, chag sameach ve l’shanah tovah !