Why are Palestinian Arab Christians so different from Israeli Arab Christians in their outlook?
[Edit: the point here isn't if their claims are correct or not, but their "outlook".]http://observer.com/2015/03/its-hard-to-be-a-christian-arab-in-israel-but-not-because-of-jews
|| I have the privilege of being a Greek Orthodox priest from Nazareth in the Galilee. My people have mistakenly been called “Christian Arabs,” but the reality is that we are Arameans, descendants of people who lived here in Israel since the time of the Bible.
|| I embrace Zionism, Jewish sovereignty in Israel, and the tolerance, respect and opportunity for all that have grown out of that sovereignty. I believe that our youth—Christian youth—should fully integrate into Israeli society. Part and parcel of that integration includes serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Israel’s Army, or undertaking some other form of national service that Israel routinely provides for teenagers.
|| Clearly, these NGOs have no interest in seeing Christian Arabs become part of Israeli society. Much like the Arab countries that have used Palestinians in various refugee camps as pawns in fighting the State of Israel, these NGOs are content to reduce my community to cannon fodder in their efforts to de-legitimize Israel.
|| So my community is effectively being told to fight for their continued marginalization by Israeli society, even though it is the Israeli government’s goal to bring them more fully into the mainstream. Doesn’t the Christian community deserve the right to follow our own will and integrate, if it so chooses, into Israeli society? Not according to most of the NGOs that say they are assisting our community.
|| As a priest, I am distressed by this unwillingness to promote the welfare of individuals in the name of a monolithic group identity, whose goals and objectives can be set by those who might have very little in common with the community they supposedly represent.
|| As Christians in Israel survey the situation of our brethren in the wider Middle East, we are appalled by the persecution that so many have experienced in Egypt, Syria and Iraq, among others. Truly, it has only been in Israel where Christians can fully practice our faith and can be productive members of society.
|| It is important that Christians around the world understand that Jewish Israel has been a responsible steward for its Christians. We should be supported, and not demonized for our efforts to more fully join this benevolent society.
He also references the territories of Judea & Samaria as such, rather than the former so-called "West Bank" of Trans/Jordan (of 19 years, ending 51 years ago). As those of us whose history dates back thousands of years have been doing for thousands of years.