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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 11, 2003

THE BELEAGUERED CHRISTIANS OF
THE PALESTINIAN-CONTROLLED AREAS


For those readers tired of hearing Israel referred to over and over by the Left and pro-Palestinians as a "racist state," this article is a good indication of racism among the Palestinians
The Christian community in the areas administered by the Palestinian Authority (PA) is a small but symbolically important one. About 35,000 Christians live in the West Bank and 3,000 in Gaza, representing about 1.3 percent of Palestinians. In addition, 12,500 Christians reside in eastern Jerusalem.

This population is rapidly dwindling, however, and not solely as a result of the difficult military and economic situation of the past two years. Rather, there are numerous indications that the Christian population is beleaguered due to its Christianity. Taken in context of the condition of Christians in other Middle Eastern countries, this picture is especially credible and troubling.

A Second-Class People
Under Islam, Christians are considered dhimmi, a tolerated but second class who are afforded protection by Islam. Dhimmitude is integral to Islam; it is a "protection pact" that suspends "the [Muslim] conqueror's initial right to kill or enslave [Jews and Christians], provided they submitted themselves to pay tribute." [more]