Powered by WebAds

Monday, March 13, 2006

Warfare by Other Means

It seems that our enemies are always seeking new ways to make war with us. This article came from FrontPage Magazine.com:

For more than half a century, Arab governments have been manipulating the plight of Palestinians to marshal public opinion against Israel. Now, one Arab ruler is trying to play a variation on that theme.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has been meeting with prominent Catholic bishops from the West to solicit their help on behalf of Palestinian Christians. The Muslim king talked with officials from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in February and spoke a month earlier with Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool, vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Abdullah met Kelly in Jordan while Kelly was attending the annual meeting of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land, a group of Catholic bishops from Europe and North America. So far, at least one bishop is doing more than listening. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington D.C. – who serves as the USCCB’s president and who greeted Abdullah graciously during the king’s separate visit in September – addressed the problems that Palestinian Christians face in a meeting with President George W. Bush, columnist Robert Novak reported Feb. 16. Abdullah’s apparent compassion raises interesting questions: Why would a Muslim ruler concern himself with the suffering of Palestinian Christians – especially in territory, the West Bank, which once belonged to his nation, which effectively ceded it to the Palestinian Authority? Why not address the PA directly?

Novak’s Feb. 16 column provided the answer:

“A Catholic contact with the White House talked to Elliott Abrams, the presidential aide handling the Middle East. Abrams responded that the barrier is required for Israeli security. Abrams gave the impression that he is not concerned with Christian Arabs.”

Ah, there’s the rub.Israel’s security fence in the West Bank has dramatically reduced Palestinian terror attacks. At the same time, it has generated controversy concerning water and property rights, access to churches, monasteries and schools, and property confiscation without compensation. Abdullah hopes to exploit the situation to manipulate Catholic opinion worldwide against Israel.

Abdullah revealed his subtle anti-Israel strategy through public remarks quoted Jan. 18 by the Web site AsiaNews.it, maintained by the Vatican’s Pontifical Institute for Overseas Missions:

Jerusalem will be emptied of its Christian and Arab residents because of growing emigration,’ said King Abdullah II of Jordan in a meeting yesterday afternoon with 20 European and American bishops. The bishops form part of the Episcopal Conference Coordination in Support of the Church in the Holy Land, and they are also concerned about the plight of Christians in Jordan, and Palestine.

“The king invited western churches to ‘encourage Arab Christian residents to remain in the Holy City because they are custodians of its authenticity and identity.’ The king also called for greater ‘coordination and collaboration between Churches in Jordan and the Holy Land and western Churches, especially the Catholic Church,’ to confront the ‘challenges of peace in the Holy Land.

Are Arab Christians the sole custodians Jerusalem’s authenticity and identity? What about non-Arab Christians – or Jews? Besides, wouldn’t the numbers of Arabs in Jerusalem – Christian or otherwise – strengthen the Palestinian Authority’s claim to the city as its capital? Moreover, how would Jews fair in such a capital?


But other Catholics recognize a far greater oppressor. One of them is Rod Dreher, a former National Review columnist who now writes for the Dallas Morning News. Dreher spoke with Palestinian Christians when he visited Israel during Pope John Paul II’s 2000 trip, and wrote about his impressions for Amy Welborn, another prominent Catholic blogger:

“They have hard lives, no doubt about it, and all blamed Israel. But a funny thing happened when I put my notebook away after one of these interview sessions. The Christians with whom I was speaking suddenly started talking about how terrified they were of the Muslims, and said how life would be far worse for them if the Islamists took power within the PA. They wanted me to know that, but did not want me to quote them. They … saw things as hopeless all around for Palestinian Christians, and just wanted to move. There are no Christian suicide bombers, but the Christians have to pay the price for what the Muslim suicide bombers do (emphasis added).”

Read the whole thing.


At 1:29 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

There's an aspect of this report that bothers me. As far as I know, Abrams left his position last year. It might just be Novak typical blaming the Jews to throw in that detail.


Post a Comment

<< Home