Saturday, December 31, 2005
O Dwindling Town Of Bethlehem
UPDATED at bottom of post.
The population of Bethlehem used to be over 90% Christian. Now, it 35% Christian and 65% Muslim.
The media often tries to blame Israel. Here's a quote from the New York Times, for instance:
In the town where Christians believe Christ was born, the Christians are leaving. Four years of violence, an economic free fall and the Israeli separation barrier have all contributed to the hardships facing Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem, one of the largest concentrations of Christians in the region.
But if it is Israel's fault, why is it that the Muslim population continues to surge? Why is it that Christians leave, while Muslims stay and procreate?
Well, WND asked a Christian leader from Bethlehem. Here's what he had to say:
"All this talk about Israel driving Christians out and causing pain is nonsense," a Bethlehem Christian community leader told WND. "You want to know what is at play here, just come throughout the year and see the intimidation from the Muslims. They have burned down our stores, built mosques in front of our churches, stole our real estate and took away our rights. Women have been raped and abducted. So don't tell me about Israel. It's the Muslims."
What do you know? Someguy posted about Bethlehem today too. He recounts the story of how Hamas, who is in charge of Bethlehem, plans to institute the Jizya tax, effectively declaring all non-Muslims second-class citizens.
Then, Someguy makes a brilliant observation:
Here's a question for my readers: Does it strike you as strange that the same people who say that the joint Iraqi-Coalition effort to create a democracy will simply fail at best (if it doesn't result in something worse than Saddam's regime), are the exact same ones who say that a group of people who will not even make the effort to stop the terrorists among them from firing on a kindergarten can live in peace with Israel?
Wow, a devastating question, counselor. Or, should I say, Consigliore?