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May 15, 2015 1:36 pm

The Vatican Will Not Protect Christians By Recognizing ‘Palestine’

avatar by Abraham H. Miller

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Pope Francis. Photo: Casa Rosada via Wikimedia Commons.

When it comes to Israel, the Vatican sometimes cannot seem to get it right. And the announcement on Wednesday that it had concluded a treaty to recognize Palestinian statehood is yet another indication that the Vatican might want to follow Jesus’ admonition to give unto God what is his, and leave unto Caesar the affairs of men.

Although the recognition is largely going to be symbolic, it serves as a powerful reward for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president whose term expired six-years ago, to continue to sabotage any meaningful peace talks with Israel and to showcase terrorists as role models to entice future generations of young Palestinians to blow themselves up amid crowds of innocents.

The action will not cause the creation of a Palestinian state, but it will send a strong message to Israel that it is being isolated diplomatically.

To observers of what has happened to Christians in the areas controlled by the Palestinians, the agreement is a desperate attempt to protect the Christians living under the Palestinian Authority at a time when a wave of fundamentalist Islam that is sweeping the region is creating a Christian genocide, which the world is as interested in stopping as it was the Holocaust. If so, the Vatican is going to learn an unfortunate lesson about what Muslim agreements with the infidel mean.

Even before the growth of fundamentalist Islam and its hatred of Christians, they did not fare well under the Palestinian Authority. Bethlehem, the city of Jesus’ birth, is a stunning case in point.

As a consequence of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority took over Bethlehem from the Israelis in 1995. The Palestinian Authority brought with it a political system based on primitive tribal relations, where the power of one’s clan became a substitute for law.

We in the West somehow believe that when we sign agreements with people they will abandon their own cultural prerogatives. They do not. As a consequence of Palestinian tribalism, the Christians suffered civil outrage and criminal violence without recourse to justice.

Among the first things Arafat did when he took over Bethlehem was to expand its municipal boundaries to include 30,000 Muslims living in neighborhood refugee camps. This was part of a process to transform Bethlehem from a Christian City to a Muslim city. But even with the expansion of boundaries the Christians retained a majority. Arafat then provided inducements for Muslims to leave Hebron and resettle in Bethlehem.

Then came land seizures, harassment, and even murder. Christians fled. And with the demographic changes came the eerie sight over the years of Bethlehem celebrating Christmas in what had virtually become a Christmas without Christians. Less than 10% of this once Christian city is now Christian.

In Taibe, on the other side of Jerusalem, a Muslim mob set off on a matter of honor, yelling, “Burn the Crusaders,” and burned a statue of the Virgin Mary because a Muslim woman wanted to marry a Christian. She was beaten to death in an honor killing. He was jailed. The mob was not punished. The lesson was not lost.

As Christmas 2005 approached, taking note of the desperate situation of Christians living under Palestinian rule, the Vatican did a rare diplomatic about face and asked Israel to intervene to protect Christians. Father Artemio Vitores echoed these sentiments when he asked Israeli President Moshe Katsav to “help us keep Bethlehem.” But it was too late. The Oslo Accords put Bethlehem under the rule of Arafat and his thugs that had returned from Tunsia.

No doubt the Vatican feels that appeasing the Palestinian Authority will in some ways protect the remnant of the Christian community there in a time of grave peril. It will not. Christians, like Jews, are dhimmi, second class citizens under Sharia. The move will only emboldened the Palestinians to do what their culture instructs them to do, to reign triumphal over the infidel.

Bethlehem was once 90% Christian and 10% Muslim. Today it is precisely the reverse. If Jesus and his parents were to enter Bethlehem today, as a Jewish family seeking refuge, they would be lynched.

The Vatican, in an act of desperate diplomacy, has unwittingly put a down payment on the rope.

Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a senior fellow with the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought. Follow @salomoncenter. This article was originally published by the NY Observer.

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  • The Pope is wrong. There must never be a Palistine State.

  • Robert Weintraub

    Most Mideast Christians live in Moslem majority countries not Israel. The Pope knows that taking a position detrimental to Israel like recognizing a Palestinian state will not put Christians in Israel in jeopardy.

    He also hopes that by supporting a Palestinian state he may ease pressure on the Christian populations in Moslem countries. Israel is paying a price for being a civilized country.

  • Lilmissprepper

    The Vatican has always been anti-Semitic. And why would the pope protect Christians? His church used to kill them!

    • George Jarrold

      That is true.But it seems that the Western Churches are making the same mistakes as the Eastern Church.They also sought to appease Islam by sucking up to them,pandering to their whims,pretending to agree with them;afraid to disagree.They insisted that under Islam they were happy and safe,even though the persecution continued. They even took on an anti Israel stance to appease Islam and backed Arab Nationalism. All to no avail.The eastern Church is weaker than ever,near extinction probably in many parts.Islam will not tolerate other religions,except as dhimmi.No amount of fawning or pandering will change it;in fact it speeds up the destruction.

  • When the Temple is Rebuilt Jerusalem Mumbai and Beijing will rule the world

    When the Temple is Rebuilt Jerusalem Mumbai and Beijing will rule the world

  • robert davis

    This pope does not give a damn for christians killed by his “angels of peace”(“palestinians”…): he is a coward,an antisemite and an hypocrit, a liar: all he wants is to grab a part of Israel and he is ready to do anything for that. But he is a fool also because if arabs prevail he will get nothing at all just a spit from them!

  • Lauren Goldman

    Pope Francis needs to understand that he is on islam’s hit list, as are all non-muslims. Just as our administration will learn, any dealings or treaties/agreements are viewed by arabs as sucker-moves by those they make agreements with them, because they have no intention of keeping the agreements. While our politicians are working on a nuclear ‘deal’ with iran, the Iranians are laughing at our gullibility, shouting ‘death to America.’

    • George Jarrold

      Islam cannot make a permanent treaty with “dar al-harb”,it is not allowed in their ideology. Ten years is about the longest and they are free to break any treaty if their circumstances change sufficiently to allow Islam to triumph.This is why Western leaders who think there will be a lasting peace between Islam and Israel are either ignorant or just hoping for the best. Islam will keep going until It can go no more.Then it will rest only to rise up,zombie like,and start again. That’s why Israel must be allowed by the West to actually win the war,definitively, against Hamas and the other crazies.It’s the only way a lasting a peace will come.

  • David

    If one follows the bouncing ball of the Vatican, one will be struck by the realization that morality takes a second fiddle to expediency. This has been especially true with the plague of pedophilia. The Church has yet to face up to the real cause of pedophilia, which is celibacy, an inhumane practice that goes squarely against human nature.

    However, the stark reality is that Christianity is losing adherents all over the world. It is not a matter of the adherents necessarily gravitating to the many other Christian sects, although that is true, but, many are simply abandoning religion altogether. If they hear of the Vatican making a pronouncement on something, they assume that the truth is the opposite. Fewer and fewer men and women are opting to dedicate their lives to the Church. Large amounts of Church property around the world has been sold to settle pedophilia suits. The Church is no longer getting the kind of financial support it needs to maintain its schools, nursing homes, Churches, etc.

    In short, it is an institution in distress, that is going downhill. Thinking that it can accomplish anything by joining with the devil shows desperation. It’s a pity, they have done a lot of good work over the years.

  • Mickey Oberman

    Pappa may consort with and kiss the illegitimate leader of the murderous Pseudo Palestinians but as the leader of the Catholic church but he has lost the respect of a great many people who had understood that he believed in true justice.

    He will probably shortly be calling for resumption of the inquisition.
    He can no longer be trusted and has undone the good works of his immediate predecessors.

  • John

    Dear Pope Francis: Are you familiar with Blaise Pascal?

  • edson

    Como tirar esta raça de ISRAEL agora. So resta esperar por um momento CERTO. Ele VEM.

  • theo

    The Vatican ,by this act of expediency ,has disqualified itself from any moral voice in the Israel – Palestinian conflict
    The “angel of peace ” is nothing of the sort Why are Christian numbers dwindling in all the Muslim territories It is well – known that Christianity is not tolerated where Islam is dominant
    The Vatican has once again reverted to its inherent anti Semitic essence

  • kris kristian



  • Irwin Graulich

    The Pope should read his own Bible and see who owns that Land!!!

  • robert davis

    The pope does not give a damn for christians and still less for Jews,all he wants is to be left “in peace” cow and hide in his house for his personnal security!

  • June Grant

    Hard to believe that the Pope is so unaware as to concede to Abbas the privilege of a state while the PA refuses to negotiate peace with Israel. Is the seemingly knowledgeable leader of the world’s Christians unaware that Abbas routinely glorifies acts of terrorist murder against Israelis and Jews, a religious group to which the founder of Christianity belonged?
    Bethlehem, surely is the most sacred town to Christians. Until the PA took it over, it was 80% Christian, but now has less than 10% Christians since many were forced to leave under harassment and worse from the Muslims.
    If the Holy Father believes by ignoring the murderous intent of Abbas and his ilk he is protecting the Christians under the yoke of Islam, he is sorely and dangerously mistaken.

  • Additional to Abraham H. Miller’s excellent article above is the Jerusalem Post’s Editorial “Shortsighted Vatican” (15/5/2015) noting that “the Palestinian Authority” is Not a “State of Palestine” since this non-entity is divided into
    two states: “one on the West Bank and one in the Gaza Strip, the respective leaderships [of which]are hostile to one another”….and unable to cooperate. Furthermore there is no legally tenable president, Mahmoud Abbas, having deferred presidential elections since 2006, remains the cuckoo in the nest five years after his 4-year legal term expired.
    So the Vatican is recognizing a non-entity State with a non-entity President, and in which Hamas is considered to likely win a possible future election. Furthermore the Palestinian “entity” has not been kind, and not protective of its Christian minority”.
    A State of Palestine remains yet a theoretical construct
    to which the Vatican is inexplicably ally-ing itself.

  • David Goshen

    The Palestinean Authority has since Oslo Accotds conducted severe ethnic cleansing of Arab Christians whose numbers have dropped from a few hundred thousand to less than 50,000
    and with in a generation there will be few left.Pope John Paul II made several appeals to Arafat to protect the Arab Christians but his appeals fell on deaf ears.There are no longer Arab Christians to care for the Christian Holy Places and such jobs are now filled by Muslims.This is not surprising as Abu Mazem wants a Palestinean State without Arab Christians who will not be welcome in the new State of Palestine.Abu Mazem does not want any minorities and if he rules over East Jerusalem no Christians wil remain Nor will other minorities,Is agenda is a pure Muslim State.

  • art

    While we understand the POPEs’ fears for his flock it is a wrong move. It shows weakness and will encourage further demands from the Church. By giving in to extortion thePope merely endangers his people. The Islamists have made it clear, after the Jews their next target is the Christians. If there were no Jews today there would be a reverse crusade today

  • A. Orzechowski

    I’m not Surprise by this Papa Francisco, he also expressed himself very unfriendly about México and Mexicans.
    By the way, wasn’t him a friend of Videla,a well known
    Argentina dictator?

  • Gregory Farrar

    This Pope of Rome deceives people by the thousands. He is a FAKE, a FRAUD and the Devil himself. He is jealous of Israel and has plans to take Israel away from the Jewish descendants of Abraham. It’s only a matter of time, he has nothing that compares with Israel. 666=666 Divisions of the Roman Catholic church all these Divisions are coming together and the Pope of Rome will be the religious Dictator of the whole thing. One big church that’s World-wide! God is going to get rid of the Roman Catholic church, get rid of the whole thing. The battle of Armageddon will be fought for the specific purpose of destroying the Popes big church. God is through with them and when God gets through with a thing HE has a way to get it all together and get rid of it.

  • Mickey Oberman

    The Pope has just given the ‘Go ahead’ to further discrimination against Christians.

    He has, in effect, said what you have done to them and what you are doing is OK with me.”