Protest sign during 2014 Gaza-Israel war after Hamas launched thousands of rockets against Israel.
By Shira Sorko-Ram
So what would a Palestinian state next door to the Jewish state look like? This is one of the easiest of exercises for your Middle East experts! Simply take a look at Gaza.
When Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cleared the Gaza Strip of every last Jewish citizen and Israeli soldier in 2005, the hope was that the Gazans would build themselves a strong economy and create a government that would bring happiness and well-being to its 1.8 million inhabitants. Instead, the Palestinian Authority (PA), corrupt through and through, put billions of dollars in their own pockets—aid that had poured into the region from the U.S., the UN, the EU and even some from Arab countries.
With one of the most beautiful beach areas anywhere, instead of developing a tourist industry, the PA fell back onto their core DNA malady of war-to-the-death against Jews, together with the Islamic predisposition for tin-horn dictatorships.
In fact, if you want to predict what kind of Palestinian state would appear in the West Bank, just look at all of the 22 Arab Muslim countries. The rich ones have oil, terrorists and Sharia law. The poor have terrorists and Sharia. There are a few moderate leaders in power, such as King Abdullah in Jordan and President el-Sisi in Egypt. But their citizens, fed from the cradle on Islamic hatred towards Jews, Christians—and Sunnis if you are Shia, or Shiites if you are Sunni—need a dictator to keep the order. Think Iraq. Think Syria. Think Libya.
Western democracies have yet to learn a critical lesson: elections do not make a democracy. As long as the executive, legislative and judicial branches are under one roof, elections will only create tyrannical dictatorships.
But if the UN and the Western world have their way, another failed Islamic state will rise up on the mountains of Judea and Samaria, overlooking Israel’s population centers. Their “resistance forces” will perch themselves on the hills and mountains overlooking Israel’s citizens up and down the entire coastal plain.
We would have Gaza II pitching rockets and more into Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa—and all the cities in between—any time of the day or night.
WHAT ABOUT CHRISTIAN ARABS?
But one conversation I have never yet heard. Not a single world leader has publically contemplated what would happen to the Arab Christians in yet another Muslim regime. To be more specific, what would happen to the born-again evangelical Arabs who have been commanded by Yeshua Himself to preach the Gospel to every creature?
Possibly the traditional Christians—Orthodox, Catholic and others—that are not evangelical, and who basically keep to themselves, might survive. Maybe yes. Maybe no. Such ancient communities were able to survive as second-class citizens in places like Syria—until the war broke out. Now there are endless accounts of Christian women and children who have been singled out for rape and murder in Syria.
Even in countries like Egypt, though 10% are ethnic Coptic Christians (those born into that Christian community receive their identity from birth), who are not known to be actively evangelizing in their own community, let alone their Muslim neighbors, their lives are nevertheless in constant danger. With a moderate Egyptian ruler fighting to control Islamic passions, still, local Muslim gangs burn down churches and murder Christians, as happened a few weeks ago with 44 dead and a hundred wounded outside their Coptic church on Palm Sunday. Evangelical born-again Christians are in even more danger. Muslims just keep doing what comes naturally—persecuting Christians.
THE CHURCH IN GAZA, THE WEST BANK AND ISRAEL
Some years ago, Bro. Andrew of God’s Smuggler fame visited Gaza and said, “There is a church in Gaza. But I think it is dying.” Indeed. It is all but dead. Hamas has virtually destroyed the Christian community in the Gaza Strip.
The West Bank has not fared much better. “In 1950, Bethlehem and the nearby villages were 86% Christian. Today, the Christian population has dropped to just 12%. The trend is echoed across the West Bank. In the 1970’s, Christians made up 5% of the population. Today, they are just 2%.” (timesofisrael.com)
A hundred years ago, Lebanon was 78% Christian. Today they are a mere 34%, and much of the country’s recent history is a sad series of terrible wars and terrorism, with Hezbollah controlling a large portion of the country, as Muslims fight to take complete control of the nation. (pewresearch.org)
In Israel, however, the Arab Christian population has held steady with demographic growth. Today there are 164,700 Christians in Israel, about 2% of the population, a similar ratio to past decades. (pewresearch.org)
Recent Pew Research Center polls show Christians faced religious persecution in more countries in the Middle East and [Muslim Arab] North Africa than any other region of the world. (dailymail.co.uk)
Today, in Iraq and Syria, Christians face enslavement, torture, massacres and crucifixion at the hands of ISIS. ISIS marks Christian houses with an “N”—for Nazarene—to single out their victims.
But Islamic persecution doesn’t end there: Christian women and children who managed to escape to Europe are now finding themselves suffering rape and persecution on a daily basis in the migrant centers of Germany and other European countries. The police say there is nothing they can do about it as it is happening everywhere there are Muslim camps. Workers in the refugee camps tell the press the Muslim migrants display ‘pure hatred’ of Christians. (huffingtonpost.com)
Palestinian Christian holding sign
There are outreaches ministering to both ethnic Christians and Muslims under the Palestinian Authority’s rule. We cannot show you their faces. We can’t give you the names of the places where they are ministering; their lives are in danger. And I emphasize, this is under the rule of the Palestinian Authority which is not nearly as brutal as Hamas. Barbarian, no. Corrupt, yes.
These are the same leaders that once ruled Gaza. The Gazan population, sick of the corruption, voted Hamas into power. Most of the opinion polls I have seen clearly state that if a Palestinian state is established in Judea and Samaria, Hamas will also be victorious in the next election.
A Palestinian State would quickly empty itself of a Christian presence. We should ask the leaders of the United States, England and Europe, why create another failed Muslim state?
Outside of the Gulf States with over a million mainly Asian Christian laborers, Israel is the only place in the Middle East where the Christians are growing in number. They are excelling in education, doing well in business and feeling relatively safe from their radical tormentors.
The Israeli government is not a perfect government. Far from it. But Christian Arabs have more freedom in Israel than any Muslim state anywhere in the world. The Messianic Jews of Israel and many Arab Christians are praying earnestly that a new Palestinian Islamic state will not be created by the West.
May they open their Bibles and see that Judea and Samaria is the very place where God promised by oath that this land will belong to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants forever.