Palestinian Christians under the microscope

February 8, 2011

(Strangely, I have never heard those who accuse Christian Zionists of supporting allegedly racist Israeli policies talk about this.)

Palestinian Arab Christians did share some triumphalist, imperialist attitudes towards Jews with Muslims, even with their sense of jihad, to some degree. The earliest Palestinian Arab nationalist institutions were the Muslim-Christian Associations, founded from 1919.

Probably the most famous and influential Palestinian Arab (Orthodox) Christian intellectual of the inter-war years was KhaliD As-Sakini, whose views were unambiguously belligerent, and infused with anti-Judaism and antisemitism, although, to be fair, he did express disgust with his fellow Arabs when a Nabil Musa meeting, I think in 1929, broke up into cries of ‘Fllastin biladna, Al Yahud kalabna’. Nevertheless, he supported attacks on Jews in 1936, and the Nazis in WWII.

(From http://engageonline.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/hear-shlomo-sand-at-the-rsa-thursday-10th-february-1200pm/#comment-14101 )

“Sakakini often expressed humanistic ideas, and had a business card made out to read “Khalil Sakakini: human being, God willing”. At the same time, he defined himself first and foremost as an Arab, and is hailed as one of the founding fathers of Arab nationalism in the region. He was an advocate of Pan-Arabism and envisaged Palestine united with Syria. He saw Zionism as a great threat and believed that the Jewish right to the land had expired while the Arab right was “a living one”.[11][12]

During the 1936-1939 Arab revolt, he applauded the Arab attacks on Jews; worried that the rebellion’s violence looked bad in the public eye because ‘the Jews controlled the newspapers and radio’, he concluded that ‘the sword was mightier than the book’. On the grenade attack of a Jewish civilian train, he praised the “heroes” responsible.[13] After the attack on Jerusalem’s Edison cinema that left three dead, he wrote:

“There is no other heroism like this, except the heroism of Sheikh al-Qassam”.[14]

Yet the terrorism still bothered him at times:

“I feel the pain of the troubles, whether they fall on Arabs or on the English or on the Jews. For that reason you will sometimes find me on the side of the Arabs, at others times on the side of the English, and still other times on the side of the Jews. And if there were animals who suffered from even a faint whiff of these troubles, I would sometimes be on the side of the animals.[15]

Sakakini also came to believe that Nazi Germany might weaken the British and ‘liberate Palestine from the Jew’, so he supported the Nazis. He wrote that Adolf Hitler had opened the World’s eyes to the myth of Jewish power, and that Germany had stood up to the Jews and put them in their place as Mussolini had done to the British.[16]

Sakakini vehemently opposed allowing Holocaust survivors into Palestine, arguing that a human problem needed to be solved by all humanity. While saddened by events like the sinking of the Jewish refugee ship Struma, he felt that the passengers were in fact invaders that an independent Palestinian Arab government could have used force to prevent from landing, and he felt that while elderly Jews could come to live out their last years as in generations past, a thriving community under British protection should be forbidden.[17] He believed that the Holocaust was being exploited parasitically by Jews demanding a homeland in Palestine, who he said would throw the Arabs out as soon as they got it. Due to supposed Jewish influence in the United States, he believed that their right to vote should be revoked in that country.[18]”

(From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalil_al-Sakakini )

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January 15, 2010

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