Envoy to US: Mideastern Christians only safe in Israel

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 9, 2012 14:03
1 minute read.

Israel has become the only safe haven for Middle Eastern Christians, Ambassador to the United State Michael Oren wrote in an op-ed piece published by the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

"In contrast to elsewhere in the Middle East where hatred of Christians is ignored or encouraged, Israel remains committed to its Declaration of Independence pledge to 'ensure the complete equality of all its citizens irrespective of religion,'" Oren wrote, comparing the situation of Christians in the region today to that of the expulsion of 800,000 Jews after the creation of the State of Israel.

Oren touted Israel's integration of its Christian community, noting that Christians serve in government posts and in the country's Supreme Court, and are "on average more affluent than Israeli Jews and better-educated, even scoring higher on their SATs."

While Christians have found a comfortable home within Israel's borders, Oren explained, the situation in the Palestinian territories is drastically different.

Oren wrote that while Christians once made up 15 percent of the West Bank's population, today that number is as low as 2%.

He charged the Palestinian Authority with failing to protect its Christians, citing a lack of a security and violent incidents in Bethlehem as a catalyst for Christian flight from the territories.

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