News reports out of Gaza last week have detailed the torture and murder of a prominent Christian Arab resident. His crime? Apparently being a prominent Christian Arab resident, who owned the only Christian bookstore in Gaza. Lest anyone think this was an isolated incident, the same bookstore had been firebombed in April and a Christian convent and school were ransacked during the bloody Hamas coup in June. "I expect our Christian neighbors to understand the new Hamas rule means real changes. They must be ready for Islamic rule if they want to live in peace in Gaza," said Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadia Salafiya, an Islamic outreach movement that recently announced the opening of a "military wing" to enforce Muslim law in Gaza (from Ynet News in June)
The recent history of how Christians have been treated both by the Palestinian Authority, as well as the jihadist gangs that operate freely within it, should give pause to those who still operate under the delusion that the Jewish state could be subsumed into a "binational" Jewish-Arab state comprising Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. At the time of the Six-Day War, Christian Arabs comprised 20% of the population of the West Bank and Gaza; today, mostly because of emigration, it's 2% (source: Catholic News Agency). Interestingly, the Christian population of the State of Israel has grown from 32,000 at independence to 130,000 (80% of this group are Arab) in 2000. So it appears that life in a Jewish state is a much better alternative to living under the rule of the Palestinian Authority-- and this was BEFORE the Hamas coup.
Few people seem to recall the siege at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in March 2002 when wanted terrorists from Hamas and from Fatah's own al-Aqsa brigades seized the church and used the priests and nuns inside as human shields to avoid capture by the IDF. Such a violation of holy places would provoke worldwide outcry against the perpetrators--except when it comes to Islamic terrorists.
One of Yasir Arafat's many legacies has been to "de-Christianize" the area set aside for a future Palestinian state-- without question, an example of ethnic cleansing . And if that's how they treated their fellow Arab Palestinians, how does any rational person think the Jews are going to be treated?