March 30, 2012
Amira Hasn’t Got a Clue
Amira Hass should to a better job of vetting the facts handed to her by Palestinian Christian leaders, because sometimes, these folks simply do not provide factual information to their supporters.
In her recent response to an op-ed by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren about the status of Christians in the Middle East, Hass quotes a letter signed by 80 prominent Palestinian Christians who state the following:
"The exaggerated growth of the Christian population in Israel that Mr. Oren claims is due primarily to the immigration of Russian Christians whom Israel was unable to distinguish from the Jewish immigrants pouring into the country after the fall of the Soviet Union."
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Here are the facts from the Statistical Abstract of Israel.
One: There were 34,000 Christians living in Israel in 1949. The vast majority of them were Arab.
Two: At the end of 2009, there were approximately 152,000 Christians living in Israel. (An increase of 346 percent!)
Three: At the end of 2009, there were approximately 122,000 Arab Christians living in Israel. (The Central Bureau of Statistics has been tracking the population of Arab Christians in Israel since at least 2002.
Just looking at these numbers reveals that the increase in the population of Christians in Israel is due primarily to the growth in the Arab Christian (and not Russian) community.
Even if every one of the non-Arab Christians came from Russia, the growth in this community would still be dwarfed by the growth of the Arab Christian community in Israel.
In other words, Hass got played by the Palestinian Christian leaders.
Ironically enough, Hass's article is titled "Christian Palestinians: Israel 'manipulating facts' by claiming we are welcome."
Who is manipulating the facts, really?
Posted by dvz at March 30, 2012 12:53 PM
It was alarming that when the recent propganda push on US camouses for a One state solution was endorsed by afew Christian Arab leaders no one considered the possibility that Christian Arabs might feel safer, believe they would have more freedoms and rights than in a Palestinian Sharia state wher as a minority, Jews would not offer a buffer or a sizeable other minority to counter a Islamic majority. After witnessing the mass immigration of Coptics from Egypt and the increase in Coptics placed on trial for breaking Islamic sharia laws; And the announced intention by the North Sudan to push 4-500,00 Christians and non-Muslims out of the sudan preparatory to their declaration of a pure sharia state April 8, it would become increasingly a matter of self-preservation for Christian Arabs especially in the West bank where shari has destroyed the once prosperous and largely Christian citries like Nazareth and Bethelehem to face the future in one state where the Jewish "Arabs" might be a counterbalance to Islamo-fascists.
Posted by: jeb stuart at April 11, 2012 02:48 PM
I would like to add, that I worked with Russian emigres in Israel in the 90's. I remember the long lines at the open market between Tel-Aviv-Jaffa where the emgres lines up to recieve food baskets. Tlak of little Tel-Aviv and other hard impacts of russian culture. It is a gross religious bias to claim that Russians emerging from 50 years of communism were "born" with a presidposition to any belief. Who your parents were is an issue of citizenship in Israel but certainly not exclusive in this matter. Another example of Soviet attacks on human identity is the Chechnyan trauma contributing to hostilites with the former Soviets. Stalin had uprooted portions of the Checnyan people and forced migrations of Muslims from all over the "Stan's". Into remote areas where they were "re-educated". Many of these Muslims in a generation no longer had more than a name to remind them of their former identities reemerging from communist oppression with religious amnesia, we still do not have the data base to understand what is at work here. What also alters the identities of these people is the willingness of some Christian facilitation of the emigration to Israel that is proselytization. The Russians I met were glad to be in Israel, many looked to the possibility of relocating in the USA. If they were Christians they never mentioned it or any particular religious belief. All of them were making Aliyah. The existential question will remain how Jewish are they? But that is a question we all ask about our faiths. Israel is as free a country as it is generous in adapting these immigrants and it is disturbing someone would cite these humane initiatives as prejudice towards Christian Arabs.
Posted by: jeb stuart at April 11, 2012 03:19 PM
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