Israeli Christians took to the streets to protest European policy which attacks democratic Israel but ignores wholesale slaughter of Christians in the region.
Israeli Christians have had it: in a demonstration held yesterday in Ramat Gan, the demonstrators protested the West’s silence in the face of the wholesale slaughter of Christians throughout the Arab world • According to them, “every five minutes a Christian is murdered” for his faith, but the EU prefers to persecute Israel, the only country in the region that grants its minorities personal security and freedom of religion • The protesters call on the EU to wake up, lest they too fall victim to radical Islam
Yesterday, more than two hundred members of the Israeli Christian community gathered in Ramat Gan in the morning hours to protest the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Christians in the Middle East, and to publicize the hypocrisy of the European Union, which devotes its resources to attack the only state in the region that doesn’t mistreat its Christians – Israel.
For them, the demonstration has historic significance: “As Christian Israelis living freely in a democratic country, we can do what no other Christian could do for the 1,400 years since the Arab conquest – fight for our rights,” said Shadi Halul, organizer of the event and spokesman for the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum.
The many young people at the demonstration held up signs of crosses and the Aramean church alongside Israeli flags. The feeling of the momentousness of the occasion was tempered by the pain caused by the continuing mistreatment of Christians in the region and the ongoing incitement against Israeli Christians fighting for equal rights and self-determination.
One after another, Christian priests and activists described the horrors perpetrated against Christians in the Middle East, especially in Syria. The speeches were in Hebrew, Arabic and English and contained many references to the Christians Aramean past. Many spokesmen had a clear message for the EU: if they are silent on the persecution here in the Middle East, it will eventually spread to them over there.
“A Christian is Murdered Every Five Minutes”
Father Gabriel Nadaf, who arrived with heavy security due to threats on his life, started the demonstration with a stirring speech, in which he described the terrible condition of Christians in the Middle East:
For the past decade, 100,000 Christians have been killed annually, and the numbers are rising. Christianity, which was founded in the Middle East, is today the most persecuted religion in the region. The Middle East is emptying of Christians because of systematic ethnic cleansing. Murder, rape, forced conversion […] decapitations and destruction of churches are a daily occurrence in the Middle East. […] Every five minutes a Christian is murdered.
Nadaf ended his speech with a harsh rebuke of Western countries:
The Western world is up to its ears in interests, power struggles and political correctness which has nothing to do with human freedom and justice. Its silence is deafening.
Shadi Halul appealed to the EU and demanded: “Enough with the two-faced attitude. Why do you treat Israel differently than the Muslim countries? Why do you all attack the democratic which allows everyone religious freedom while Christians are persecuted in the Palestinian Territories without any condemnation?”
Johnny Zaknoun, spokesman for the Forum of Officers and Citizens of the Maronite Settlement in Biram, also attacked the European states’ silence: “Wake up and say no: no to murder and massacre of Christians and no to attacks against Israel in which we freely live, express ourselves and practice our religion. Defend Israel and all the Christians of the Middle East.”
Alon Schwarzer, head of the policy branch of Im Tirtzu, complained that “the EU knows how to channel millions of dollars to human rights organizations that incessantly demonize Israel, but they are silent when Christian blood is spilled elsewhere. Where are they when it comes to the ethnic cleansing and apartheid towards Christians in the Middle East?”
At the end of the demonstration, Father Nadaf led a moving prayer in Hebrew and Aramaic. The crowd, which knew the prayer by heart, participated in prayer and song for Middle East Christians in the name of “the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
English translation by Avi Woolf.