Palestinian Christians: The Other Side of the Story

Monday, April 1, 2002

Some time ago I was invited to present a two-day seminar in a church about the Middle East conflict. During the course of those sessions, we used an abundance of scriptures, carefully presented in their context, to clearly explain why the land is God's, that He entrusted it to Israel as a permanent possession, and what are the challenges of Islam. At the end of the two days, the senior Pastor told a couple in his church: "Well, I'd like to hear the Palestinian side..." it is....

In the past two days, I have had the opportunity to speak personally—eye to eye—with three people here intimately involved with Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem and Beit Jala. Their testimonies are appalling.

You may remember that, when I was here in October, I told you that two Christians from Bethlehem had told me they wished that Israel would take Bethlehem back since they had a much better life under Israeli rule. Since then, I had heard other reports but because they were not first hand, I did not publish them. However, everything I have been told personally in the last two days only strengthens the credibility of the rest of what I've heard.

In Bethlehem and Beit Jala which have been under Palestinian rule for some time, the Palestinian Christians continue to suffer terribly at the hands of Arafat's terrorists. Shops in Bethlehem owned by Christians have been burned to the ground and the owners their OWN Palestinian “brothers.” Young Christian girls have been taken and gang-raped; entire families terrorized. While many left the area earlier in the Intifada, those still there now have no recourse, it seems. Terrorists in Beit Jala seize their homes to use as firing positions to shoot into Gilo and the families living there have no voice.

You read yesterday that two “suspected” collaborators were murdered by Palestinians in Bethlehem without investigation or trial beforehand. You should see the pictures. It's horrific, outrageous....but where is the outcry from the “human rights” groups? In the newspapers here, the photos of murdered Palestinians being dragged through the streets of Bethlehem by masked terrorists, right into Manger Square, which many tourists would recognize, are absolutely revolting. Will ANY international TV news broadcast these photos for the rest of the world to see what the terrorist organizations are doing to their OWN people? Probably not; it's not 'politically correct' ....if you see it on your news, please let me know.

The Palestinian Christians are suffering terribly, right along with their Jewish neighbors. But let Israel go in to Bethlehem or Beit Jala with troops and tanks to take control—fully aware and deeply concerned about the suffering of the Christians there—and the world that DOESN'T know about it begins to shout 'Restraint' at Israel.

One Jewish lady who has good friends in Bethlehem said to me through her tears, 'They are trapped, completely trapped. I asked them why they don't speak out, why they don't try to defend themselves and they told me it's impossible. If they do, their whole family will be tortured.'

You want to know the Palestinian side? There it is....from personal, eyewitness testimonies.

This is not a political situation. This is some of the worst religious persecution in the world that in other countries where Islamic terrorists are murdering Christians, Jews and anyone who will not convert to Islam.

Why are we hearing from some many directions that “There is no military solution?” In times of war, that is the ONLY solution.

If talking was going to accomplish the task, it would have been done years ago. There's been talking for a long time....and it's only led to more and more terrorism.

This was a difficult piece to write, but not as difficult as sitting with those who are living with it and seeing the hopeless anguish they live with continually, not as difficult as seeing the photos of the murdered 'suspects' in the newspapers.

We'd all better wake up......before it's too late.

For Your Glory, Reprinted with Permission.