Anti-Christian Pogrom in the West Bank

For years, media outlets have largely refused to report one of the most troubling aspects of the Mideast conflict ? Muslim intimidation and violence against Christians in Palestinian-controlled areas.The latest shocking episode again made its way to very few news consumers: Late Saturday night (Sept. 3), hundreds of armed Palestinian Muslims crying ‘Allahu Akbar’ descended on the West Bank Christian city of Taibe. For the next few hours, the mob terrorized the community, setting sixteen homes and multiple businesses on fire, looting valuables from both, and destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Said one eyewitness: ‘It was like a war, they arrived in groups, and many of them were holding clubs.’

The mob’s ‘provocation’? A Muslim woman from their neighboring village had had a relationship with a Christian man from Taibe. The woman was poisoned to death by her own family in an ‘honor killing’, and soon after, the pogrom against Taibe commenced.

Something tells us this incident would have made international headlines had Jews been responsible for this type of violence.


Incidents such as this, largely ignored by the western media, have been the leading cause of massive Christian flight from the Holy Land over the past few years.

The historical Christian towns of Bethlehem and Nazereth, once home to large Christian populations, have seen that population flee en masse due to Muslim intimidation and violence. As HonestReporting has documented:

? Over 100 Palestinian terrorists took over the Church of the Nativity in 2002, using it as a fortress from which to fire upon Israeli troops, while holding nuns, priests and monks hostage, and looting or destroying virtually everything of value inside the building.

? During 2000-2002, the PA’s Tanzim militia chose the Christian town of Beit Jala as a base for unprovoked shooting at Jerusalem. The Tanzim were specifically positioned in or near Christian homes, hotels, churches, and the Greek Orthodox club, knowing fully well that these sites would be hard-hit by Israeli return fire.

? In 1995, Bethlehem was 62% Christian, but today is less than 20% Christian. Before 1995, Bethlehem had a majority-Christian municipal council, but when the Palestinian Authority took over the town, Yassir Arafat replaced the municipal council with a predominately Muslim council, and Christian Arabs fled Bethlehem in droves after a radical Islamic wave began inciting against them.

? On February 6, 2002, the Boston Globe reported “a rampage of Palestinian Muslims against Christian shops and churches in Ramallah… Police made no attempt to stop the mob, which besieged and damaged a widely respected youth center associated with the Boy Scouts of America after torching the Christian properties…’The truth is this is a problem between Christians and Muslims,’ said one Christian businessman.”

For more on Christian persecution under the PA, see this report from the JCPA, this article by Joseph Farah, and a report from The Prism Group.

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One AP dispatch on the Taibe pogrom did make its way to one major paper ? the Los Angeles Times. But given the degree of destruction and racial violence in question, and given the huge number of reporters that remain in Israel after the Gaza withdrawal, the unfortunate incident merited far greater coverage.

Despite appearances, the Mideast conflict is not only between Jews and Muslims. HonestReporting encourages subscribers to expand awareness of both the alarming incident in Taibe, and the larger problem of Muslim persecution of Christians in the Holy Land, in your local paper and community.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.



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