- - Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Reading “Pope Francis canonizes first modern Palestinian saints in heavily symbolic move” (Web, May 17) an unsuspecting reader might think that Christian Arabs are persecuted in all of Israel, not just in the West Bank and Gaza. The same reader might also get the impression that Christian Arabs are leaving Israel. Neither of these is true.

Christian Arabs have been leaving the West Bank and Gaza just as they have been leaving the Middle East in general for more than a century. Their departure from the West Bank accelerated after the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, and it acceleraeted in Gaza even more after Hamas took control. But the Christian-Arab community of Israel is not shrinking; in fact, it’s the only growing Christian population in the the Muslim-dominated Middle East.

Conflating Israel with the PA, Hamas and “countries across the region” is misleading and dishonest.


San Francisco

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