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No place for Christians in Israel?27.08.2012 | 21:52
Speaking recently in Jerusalem, Benjamin Netanyahu said, "If in many countries, such as Syria, Christians live in a state of siege, here, in Israel, they are free to practice their faith". The Israeli Prime Minister urged Christians to rally round Israel and thus protect the Christian civilization from total Islamization posed by the "Arab Spring". The issue with the Islamization is clear. But is Israel capable of defending the Christians?
Long before the Christian Zionist Congress Russian experts voiced similar to Benjamin Netanyahu's opinion. In their view, in the near future, Israel will be the last refuge of Christianity in the Middle East, since other Christian habitats of the region will be swept away by the sanguinary "Arab Spring" and growth of Islamic fundamentalist tendencies. In a raging ocean of armed jihad and bloody war "a la Somalia", threatening the Middle East in the near future, de jure democratic Israel actually looks for Christian like Noah's ark. But is it so?
Israeli experts, interviewed by GTimes reporter, say that Netanyahu's words about "the freedom of Christianity in Israel" - this is, to say the least, an attempt of wishful thinking. "Netanyahu is a pathological liar. Under him, discrimination against Christians exists in all areas. One man, recently expelled from Israel, was accused of baptizing children. Jewish Christians are in especially hard situation", Israeli human rights activist Maria Pesikova told GTimes. "According to Israeli law, a baptized Jew has no right to repatriation, so Christians have to conceal their faith when entering the country, in other words, to renounce Christ. Children of Jewish Christians are bullied in schools. Moreover, Christian parents from among the Jews are forbidden to teach faith to their children. If Social Service learn that Jewish's child is Christian, is fasting, praying and walking to the temple with his parents, the the bodies of trusteeship and wardship have the right to take away the child from the parents, since it is considered child abuse".
Israeli writer of political essays Israel Shamir, expatriate from the Soviet Union is Jew who converted to Orthodoxy. "Israel is carefully and persistently driving away Palestinian Christians not to attract Christians from Iraq or Syria instead of them", he said in an interview to GTimes. "In the homeland of Jesus Christ Christian Church is being persecuted: they are setting churches on fire, adopting laws against missionaries. Recently in the Knesset they publicly tore the gospel".
He is referring to the notorious case on July 17, when the deputy Michael Ben-Ari publicly tore the New Testament and threw it in the trash. The journalists, who were there, have memorized Ben-Ari's words: "This book served and continues to serve as the basis for the persecution and murder of Jews. Its place is in the garbage".