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May 01, 2014

Are Truth-Tellers Enemies of the Palestinian People?

CATC First Breakout Session.jpg
The first of two breakout sessions for students at the 2014 Christ at the Checkpoint Conference (Photo: Luke Moon)

"What happens when a Palestinian doesn’t hate Israel enough?"

That’s the question Luke Moon, a researcher at the Washington, D.C. based Institute on Religion and Democracy, asks in light of the angry and vituperative response to Christy Anastas’ April talk in Uppsala Sweden. During the talk, Anastas spoke openly about the corruption of the Palestinian Authority and about the hostility shown toward Christians and women in Palestinian society.

This was too much for many of her fellow Palestinians and for “human rights�? activists in the West. Christy was denounced by her family, demonized by her fellow Palestinians and portrayed as a victim of a Zionist kidnapping plot (and worse) by “peace and justice�? folks in Europe. Palestinian Christians are simply not allowed to speak openly about what is actually going on in the West Bank and Gaza Strip – unless of course they blame the suffering on Israel.

In his piece, published this morning in The Federalist, Moon writes, “It is becoming increasingly evident that anyone who speaks out in a way contrary to the party line will be publicly reprimanded and disowned.�? To buttress his case, Moon cites an article by Jerusalem Post journalist Khaled Abu Toameh published in the Gatestone Institute that describes what happened to Mahmoud al-Habbash, the Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs after he lamented the assassination of an Israeli in the West Bank just prior to Passover. Al-Habbash was “disowned by his family for stating that Palestinian blood is like Israeli blood.�?

Moon also describes events at a break-out session for students at the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference that took place in Bethlehem in March. In the session for students, led by Rev. Dr. Gary Burge from Wheaton College, young Palestinian Christians talked about how it was like for them to live in the West Bank. When one student from overseas asked what it was like to live as a Christian in the Muslim-majority West Bank, another Palestinian Christian came in and stopped the student from responding. Moon describes the interaction as follows:

During the recent Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem there was a breakout session where student delegations from the US and Europe could interact with students from Bethlehem Bible College. One of the foreign students asked how the Palestinian Christians were treated by the Muslims. One student began to describe how he and his fellow Christians were treated as second class citizens, but before he could expound further he was silenced by one of the professors.

Silenced by one of the professors? How can this be? Wasn’t the whole point of the session to get an unfiltered view of what it is like for Christians living in Palestinian society? And did the foreign students who were attending the session perceive what just happened?

Very interesting stuff. Read the whole thing here.

Posted by dvz at May 1, 2014 11:21 AM


Because the Palestinians know the NY Times and 60 minutes will never tell the story of Christy Anastas and what happens to people who criticize Palestinian leaders for the hate and corruption they promote.

Posted by: Lisa Epstein at May 3, 2014 09:44 AM

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