June 18, 2024

Though many American Christians see a ‘blessing’ in unwavering support for Israel, it is jarring to confront exactly how Christians are treated in the Holy Land.

(LifeSiteNews) — If you are a Christian who is happy to support Zionism, you should consider how the vanishing community of Christians, Christianity and Christ are treated by Zionists today. 

Though many American Christians see a “blessing” in unwavering support for Israel, it is jarring to confront exactly how Christians are treated in the Holy Land. 

The fact that Zionism began as a secular political movement without religious basis is not widely known. Nor is the attitude of the pope who first heard of the movement from its founding father, Theodor Herzl. 

Yet the attitude of Zionists to Christianity, and of the Catholic faith to Zionism are both well established. 

In a private audience with Herzl to discuss the request that the Catholic Church endorse Zionism, Pope St. Pius X said in 1904, “We cannot give approval to this movement.” 

He went on to explain why:

… The soil of Jerusalem, if it was not always sacred, has been sanctified by the life of Jesus Christ.

Catholic Church considered ‘antisemitic’ for millennia?

Herzl was the “father of modern political Zionism,” a secular movement long condemned by religious Orthodox Jews to this day. Traditional Catholics, in the inaccurate, self-serving view of Zionists, are “antisemitic” for following a Church which has, according to the Jerusalem Post, been “… preaching anti-Semitism for more than a millennium.” 

As we shall see, Zionist conduct towards Catholics and other Christians in the Holy Land today includes spitting, assault, desecration and even killing. 

It is driving an exodus of Christians from the land of Christ’s birth, life and death.  

As this report shows, Christians made up 11 percent of the population of what was Palestine in 1900. By 2022, this had fallen to 2 percent across Israel and the occupied territories. Why is this happening? 

Spitting on the Via Dolorosa 

Since last March, Israeli and other outlets have been warning of a rise in attacks on Christians in Israel, with the independent outlet 972 magazine saying last summer that “the escalation [in Jerusalem] is frightening.”  

According to their July 2023 report, “The city’s dwindling Christian community is facing a spike in hate crimes under the far-right government, with possible ramifications for Israel’s ties abroad.” 

It further states that “[t]he Israeli government’s response to the attacks and harassment against Christians ranges from weak to non-existent.” 

The claims are supported by the Israeli government-backed Rossing Center, whose inter-faith investigation marked “the increasing hostility towards Christians in the Holy Land” on July 17, 2023. You can watch the testimony of witnesses here.

Wadie Abu Nassar, coordinator of the Forum of Holy Land Christians, says that there is “no significant coverage” in the Israeli media of the “challenges faced by the Christian community,” despite his sustained efforts to supply details as the former chairman of the media committee for Catholic Bishops. 

Systematic discrimination 

Nassar also says the 47 Christian schools in Israel suffer “systematic discrimination” from the Israeli education system. The attempts of Church leaders to open dialogue about these issues with the Israeli leadership have fallen on deaf ears for at least nine years. 

Nassar explains that since 2015, when “Church leaders sent a letter to Netanyahu asking for a half hour meeting to explain the problem, until today the answer didn’t come.” 

Yet the situation for Christians has continued to deteriorate. 

report from February 2024 in the French Le Monde confirmed that “attacks on Christians continue to rise.”

In April 2024, the Abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition in Jerusalem spoketo The Jewish Independent about the situation of Christians in Israel. Abbot Nikodemus Schnabel’s interview was reposted by an organization convened by the heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem, Protecting Holy Land Christians

Schnabel said the escalating anti-Christian hostility was due to the presence of Zionist extremists – known as “Kahanists”– in the Israeli government.  

“I can’t say the Israeli government is opposing hooliganism. Now the hooliganism is in the government, people with the Kahanist mindset are part of the government and we can really feel the change,” he said. 

Is the Israeli government “Kahanist” – does it support the “Jewish supremacy” of a group described as “terrorists” by the CIA in 2004?  

According to the Israeli media, yes. Ha’aretz said on February 5, “Kahanism’s spread in Israel is no longer any secret. Israel’s ugly Kahanist face was on display this week in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, which published an article about National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir that included an interview with him.” 

The Ha’aretz editorial warned that this ideology not only dis-privileges non-Jews, but also threatens to destroy Israel. 

“If they remain in power, Israel will continue deteriorating and its international standing will be destroyed.” 

This is the Zionist state that so many Christians feel obliged to support without question. It is destroying the Christian presence in the Holy Land and may also destroy itself. Support for this state is described as a “betrayal” of Christians – by Christians in Israel. 

A report from 2023 showed “How Evangelicals Betray Christians in the Holy Land.” In the video, Bethlehem Lutheran Pastor Munther Isaac says of the vast financial support from American Christian Zionists, “We are talking about millions of dollars and political support that is used to continue my oppression.” 

The nature of this oppression is well documented, if not widely reported in the West. It ranges from “systematic discrimination” through assault, desecration of graves, false imprisonment and death. 

Spitting on the footsteps of Christ 

Today, militant Zionist occupiers or “settlers” of the Holy Land, spit at Christians on the Via Dolorosa, the route taken by Christ to His crucifixion, describing it as an unclean place due to His presence. 

A group of religious Jews spit on nuns on the Via Dolorosa in Old Jerusalem yesterday pic.twitter.com/THtpXXmODj

— 🇵🇸🇵🇸منير الجاغوب 🇵🇸🇵🇸 (@MonirAljaghoub) April 13, 2023

A website which documents anti-Christian incidents recorded graffiti in Jerusalem appearing last December.  

The blasphemous messages, written in Hebrew, are not being repeated in full by LifeSiteNews but are contained in a report (discretion is advised) by the Religious Freedom Data Centre. One of the messages appeared on the wall of the Mount Zion cemetery, and said, “Christian Mission is worse than the Hamas. Death to the missionaries. A missionary is a Nazi.” 

Other incidents include the desecration of statues of Our Lord, and assaults. 

Israel has become unwelcoming for Christians.
In March, two men attacked a priest with a metal rod in the Garden of Gethsemane. In February, an Orthodox Jew from the United States knocked over a 10-foot statue of Christ in the Church of the Flagellation on Via Dolorosa. pic.twitter.com/uiSPQ0djtp

— Slawomir Bardski (@bardski) September 12, 2023

According to Israeli sources, and to clerics I have interviewed myself, Christians including priests, monks and pilgrims are spat at “every day” in Jerusalem, in observance of the “ancient Jewish custom” of spitting at Christians. 

This report from Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz on October 4, 2023 said, “Every day, Christian pilgrims and members of the clergy face being spat at on the streets of the Old City. This is in addition to the assaults, cursing, humiliation and vandalism suffered by Christians and their institutions.” 

The spitting is nothing new, it seems, but it has escalated under the current government. Ha’aretz continued, “While the spitting is not new – religious teens have been doing it in Jerusalem for many years – the city’s Christian communities agree that its frequency has increased markedly in the past year.”

Armenian Christians restaurant attacked by settlers 

A January 2023 Times of Israel article on the increasing attacks on Christians in Israel included a video of a violent Zionist settlers attack on an Armenian restaurant at the New Gate in the Christian Quarter of the occupied city of Jerusalem. 

Watch: Israeli settlers Thursday evening attacked an Armenian restaurant at the New Gate in the Christian Quarter of the occupied city of Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/Tt604bJkTP

— Wafa News Agency – English (@WAFANewsEnglish) January 27, 2023

Later that year, Aljazeera published an article on the same development, titled: ‘Death to Christians’: Violence steps up under new Israeli government.

In June of last year hostile Zionist settlers told evangelical Christians at the Western Wall: “Go home, we don’t want you!”; “Evil, evil, evil!”; and “We don’t want you here!”

Here is another video of Israeli settlers assaulting a Christian abbot in Jerusalem.

Another video is from 9 years ago and features Catholic prelates talking about the vandalism and attacks they face at the hands of Israelis.

There is also footage of Israeli settlers vandalizing Christian graves in a Jerusalem cemetery. 

And one year ago, even more alarming developments occurred when an Israeli envoy accused the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem of “blood libel” when he made known that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) killed two women at a Catholic parish in Gaza. 

Spitting at Christians a ‘Jewish custom,’ says Israeli Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir

The spitters feel they have the support of Israel’s extremist government, especially National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Ben-Gvir responded to one infamous incident by asking whether “we have to observe every Jewish custom,” such as spitting on Christians. “The issue is why do we have to turn this into a criminal matter?” 

Last November, a Christian woman evangelist was assaulted and had her spine reportedly broken whilst preaching the Gospel in Israel. The crack is audible in the video.

Attacks on Christians continue to escalate 

Reports from April last year confirmed that “Holy Land Christians say attacks [are] rising in far-right Israel.” 

The Head of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, His Eminence Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, said at the time, “The frequency of these attacks, the aggressions, has become something new.”

Speaking during the Holy Week of Easter, he said the “political culture” of Israel was enabling anti-Christian action. 

“These people feel they are protected … that the cultural and political atmosphere now can justify, or tolerate, actions against Christians.” 

Two days later, Christians were “violently beaten” by Israeli police during an annual Orthodox Christian ceremony held in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 

“הפקודה שקיבלנו לא אנחנו”.אומרת השוטרת לצליינים שביקשו להגיע לכנסיית הקבר. המשטרה מדברת על סדר ואבטחה , צליינים רבים נותרו מרחוק ומרגישים מתוסכלים.תמונות שאי אפשר להתגאות בהם pic.twitter.com/ZwzDYu9OOo

— Jack khoury.جاك خوري (@KhJacki) April 15, 2023

Then in September, disturbing footage emerged of a Christian woman being kicked and stoned by a group of Jewish children and adults in Jerusalem. 

In December 2023, as mentioned above, two Catholic women were shot dead within the compound of the Catholic Holy Family Church in Gaza. They were killed by Israeli army snipers, in an assault which left three more wounded. It was confirmed directly to LifeSiteNews by the Catholic pastor there that it was IDF snipers who killed the women and wounded other parishioners. 

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Catholic bishop in the Holy Land reveals the war’s devastating impact on Christians 

The attacks on Christians have continued, following warnings last year that Israel was “failing to stop them.” 

Jewish historian Michael Wolfsson condemned the disturbing trend in a February 13, 2024 report.

“Especially in Jerusalem, orthodox activists consider themselves exemplary Jews when they spit on or even beat Christians or Muslims,” he said.

His remarks came after a Benedictine abbot was spat on in Jerusalem in an unprovoked incident earlier that month. 

Benedictine abbot attacked 

The Times of Israel reported on a video, taken on February, 4 2024, in which Abbot Nikodemus Schnabel of the Abbey of the Dormition in Jerusalem says “shalom” into the camera before being approached by two youths who shout expletives about Christ in Hebrew and spit at him.

שני בני נוער יהודים נעצרו בחשד שירקו וקיללו איש דת נוצרי סמוך לשער ציון בעיר העתיקה בירושלים. לאחר חקירתם נשלחו למעצר בית@VeredPelman pic.twitter.com/2KU4sXk9QK

— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) February 4, 2024

Speaking to the Catholic News Agency days after the attack, Schnabel said, “Normally, I am used to the fact that people spit on me — this is a very daily experience, especially at Mount Zion [where the Dormition Abbey is located].” 

Yet spitting on or at Christians and their priests is not a recent phenomenon. 

An ancient Jewish custom  

Is spitting at Christians an “ancient and long-standing custom” of Ashkenazi Jews? According to contemporary Israelis, yes. 

On October 5, 2023, Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz lamented the fact that the “Ancient Jewish Custom of Spitting Near Priests Was Nothing Like This.” 

It went on to explain, “Although the phenomenon by Ashkenazi Jews of spitting near a church or priests isn’t new, it has become an act of public defiance and humiliation of believers who belong to a minority group.” 

So how has this ancient custom changed? 

Ha’aretz explained that “In the 16th century Book of the Maharil, which is considered the authority on the customs of Ashkenazi Jewrythe writer Rabbi Yaakov Halevi Ben Moshe Moelin mentions a custom of spitting during the recital of the prayer “Aleinu Leshabeah” while saying the words referring to idol worshippers.” 

This supports the Ashkenazi custom of spitting at “idol worshipping” Christians, with the article saying it also “mentions that it was customary to spit while passing near churches.” 

The custom appears to be experiencing an enthusiastic revival. With the gunpoint arrest and detention of Palestinian Christian Layan Nasir in April, the treatment of Christians by Israelis now extends to imprisonment with neither warning nor charge.  

At the time of writing, she is still in prison.  

On a Saturday morning just like this 5 weeks ago, 23-year-old Layan Nasir, a Palestinian Christian from Birzeit was kidnapped by Israel from her parents home. We have near zero information about her. She is being held hostage in perpetuity under Israel’s legalized hostage laws… pic.twitter.com/VtWl09RTMA

— Assaf, MD (@SohiubN) May 11, 2024

In his 1904 audience, Pope St. Pius X concluded his refusal to Herzl’s appeal for the Catholic Church to support his Zionism, saying, “As the head of the Church I cannot tell you anything different.” 

The customary recognition of Christians described above was not much observed, it seems, in 1904. Since that time the population of Christians in the region has shrunk by over 80 percent.  

The customs by which Christ and His followers are now recognized in the Holy Land include spitting, desecration, insult, blasphemy, assault, murder and false imprisonment. 

‘Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed’

Christian Zionists are fond of misinterpreting the line from the book of Genesis that says, “Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed, whoever curses Israel will be cursed.” 

This Christian Zionist understanding of Israel as the state founded in 1948 is contrasted with the words of theologian Monsignor Joseph Clifford Fenton, who, in relaying Church teaching, explained that by Our Lord’s Passion and Death on the Cross, the Church, as a “new organization,” itself became the “faithful remnant of Israel.”[1]

On October 11, 2023, 90 evangelical leaders published a joint statement giving “full support” to “Israel’s right and duty to defend itself against further attack… In keeping with Christian Just War tradition.” 

Last week the Wall Street Journal said “authorities were losing count of the dead” in Gaza, with the United Nations announcing a “full-blown famine” on May 9. 

Yet protest against this “just war” is framed as support for terrorism – an offense to the “best friends” of Israel – the 31 million Christian Zionists. 

As the New York Times reported in October 2023, “’There’s probably no greater friend to the state of Israel than American evangelical Christians,’ said Daniel Darling, director of Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.”

As one Israeli journalist who campaigns to keep Christian Zionists on Israel’s side remarked in February, “Evangelicals as a bloc are about the only friends that Israel has.” 

One group, Christians United for Israel, boasts being “the largest pro-Israel organization in the U.S.” with over 10 million members. 

It is noteworthy that these Christians remain such good friends with Israel, given the “blessings” Christians and Christ receive – especially in the city where He was put to death. 

The current Zionist regime in Israel introduced a new concept of the nation state of Israel in a July 2018 law, which was condemned by the Latin Patriarcharte of Jerusalem – the seat of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land. 

According to Ha’aretz, “the new nation state law… reserves the right to national-self determination exclusively for Israel’s Jewish citizens.” 

The Patriarchate responded:  

The Christian citizens of Israel have the same concerns as any other non-Jewish communities with respect to this Law. They call upon all citizens of the State of Israel who still believe in the basic concept of equality among citizens of the same nation, to voice their objection to this law and the dangers emanating thereof to the future of this Country.

The Zionist idea of Jewish supremacy is one which not only endangers Christians in the land of Christ’s birth, but is one whose influence is shaping the lives of Americans today.  

With the United States, and with it the rest of the West under what the Jewish journalist Max Blumenthal has called a “political occupation” by the Zionist Israel lobby, it is important for Christians to reflect on who spits on whom, and on what.  

And why. 

Is Israel Committing Genocide In Gaza?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *