maandag 19 december 2011

Kerstmis in Ramallah met steeds minder christenen

Ramallah heeft wel nog een christelijke (en vrouwelijke) burgemeester. Enkele jaren geleden hebben we een nicht van haar ontmoet.


PA lights Christmas tree in city that is losing its Christians


Ramallah was once a Christian city. It had a clear Christian majority under Ottoman and British rule.

When Jordan annexed the town, though, the demographic balance changed. By 1967 it was roughly half Muslim.

Christians fled from Ramallah in the 1990s as the Muslim population grew.

In February 2002, a spat between a Christian and a Muslim turned into a Muslim attack against many Christian-owned businesses, and the PA did nothing to stop it: 


[D]etails were emerging of a rampage of Palestinian Muslims against Christian shops and churches in Ramallah after a road-rage slaying last Thursday.

... [P]olice 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.

Palestinian police and security agencies finally stepped in when the rioters moved on local churches.

"The truth is this is a problem between Christians and Muslims," said one Christian businessman. "There is no security for us. Everyone is taking the law in his own hands....This [accused] man's brother, they burned his house, his shops, his cars, and the police of Ramallah stood by and watched. This is the democracy of Palestine?"

"The chief of security at Kalandia was in charge of this rampage," said a Muslim shopkeeper. "The mayor of Ramallah came, saw what was happening, and withdrew. I am a Muslim, but I condemn this. These are savage people."

Altogether, while Christians used to make up 10% of the Palestinian population, that number has now gone down to as little as one percent. 

But even though the Palestinian Authority has a horrendous record of protecting its beleaguered Christian population, they are happy to pretend that everything is OK to the world. 

Yesterday, PA prime minister Salam Fayyad participated in the lighting of the Ramallah Christmas tree where notables made speeches about how all Palestinian Arabs love Christmas, how Jesus came from Palestine to establish peace, and how they are still living under the yoke of horrendous Israeli occupation.

I'm sure that the 1% of remaining Christians in the territories feel much better. 


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