While Palestinians often try to act as friends of the Holy Land's Christian community, it is only so they can exploit Christians in their fight against the Jewish state. JNS' Ariel Ben Solomon explains that by defending its Christian minority, Israel shows itself to be the true friend of Christians:
The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli Muslim figures often voice support for Christians and seek to utilize them in the struggle against Israel, but it is the Jewish state that stands out as a defender of Middle East Christians.
In a Christmas message last Friday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas called President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “an insult to millions of people worldwide, and also to the city of Bethlehem.”
The exploitation of Christianity by the Palestinians is not new, as their leaders have for years claimed that early followers of the faith—and even Jesus himself—were “Palestinian,” even though Palestinian nationalism is a creation of the 20th century as a response to Zionism.
But how much do Muslim Palestinian or Israeli Arab leaders actually care about Christians?
Dexter Van Zile, the Christian media analyst at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), told JNS that the population of Christians in the West Bank has not declined during the past few decades, as anti-Zionists claim as a talking point against Israel.
“The reality is a bit more complex: Under Jordanian control, the Christian population declined in the West Bank and east Jerusalem from about 60,000 in 1949 to 42,000 in 1967. The Christian population in the West Bank was about 52,000 in 2007, which indicates that Jewish control over the area was in fact good for the Christians,” he said...