Last week I was doubtful that Hamas would tolerate the Christians in Gaza, where Hamas is now the sole authority. Over the weekend, Hamas did indeed begin a program of harassment and destruction:
“Christians living in Gaza City have come under attack since Hamas’ violent coup for power in Gaza last week, and have appealed to the international community to protect them from increasing attacks by the Islamic terror group. An estimated 2,500 Christians live in Gaza City, according to The Jerusalem Post, and following a series of Hamas attacks on a Christian school and church, many of them are ready to flee the Strip at the first opportunity.
“Father Manuel Musalam, leader of the small Latin community in the Gaza Strip, reported that masked gunmen, apparently from Hamas, had torched and looted the Rosary Sisters School and the Latin Church, destroying almost everything inside. Musalam expressed outrage over the burning of copies of the Bible and the destruction of all the Crosses inside the church and school, estimating the total damages at half-a-million dollars.
“Masked gunmen have targeted several Christian institutions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank over the past few months. Last April, a bookstore run by the Bible Society in the Gaza Strip was bombed, but no one was hurt. Hamas spokespersons have denied responsibility for any such attacks, including the most recent ones.” – ICEJ News, Monday June 18 2007
Today Hamas warned the Christians that they must accept Islamic law. Hopefully they will be allowed to leave, unlike the Palestinian Muslims, who are under a fatwa to remain in Gaza and the West Bank. Not even the Muslims want to stay in the Islamic paradise Hamas is making. If they gain control of Israel also (their stated goal), who believes they will rule that larger territory more benevolently and wisely than they are ruling the smaller one?
Nevertheless, some are still calling for an “end [to] the illegal, 40-year occupation of the Palestinian people.” This is the plea of Bishop Younan of Jordan; he is not talking about their occupation by Hamas, but Israel. Let’s see, this territory did not belong to Israel until 1967, when the Palestinians used their territory to launch a war against Israel. They lost, and when one power defeats another, their territory is forfeit. If you do not want to lose your territory, nations, then do not use it to attack other nations who are peacefully minding their own business. So how is the occupation illegal?
But 40 years later, the situation in Gaza and the West Bank show that the Palestinians were far better off under Israeli occupation than they have been under their own democratically- elected leaders. Elections were held in the Palestinian territories because Israel withdrew, and allowed it. Hamas is in control of Gaza today because Israel is not. They bowed to world pressure and left the Palestinians to self- rule. I cannot understand what Bishop Younan is unhappy about. Because Israel ended its occupation of Palestinian territory, the Palestinians are enjoying the fruit of the democracy they chose. Unfortunately, they did not choose their leaders wisely, but that is hardly Israel’s fault.
David Horowitz has uploaded an excellent video relaying the story of Israel and Palestine in the Middle East.