The following is a view of the recent Israel-Hamas conflict from an Arab Christian in neighboring Jordan, and serves as an example of how some, and perhaps many Arabs in the Middle East quietly related to the 11-day conflagration.
From the start the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been a focal point for the International media, especially in the years of heightened tensions, daily terrorist attacks and endless diplomatic efforts to reach some kind of peace agreement.
Since the birth of the State of Israel in 1948, Christians have had a somewhat different view on this conflict. While Jews who survived the Holocaust found a safe haven in the land of their ancestors, for Christians this was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
Earlier this month, a fierce war broke out between Israel and Hamas terrorists supported by Iran. Israel is the only democratic country in the Middle East, and the one place where Christians live in safety. Its priority is to protect civilians and save lives, unlike Hamas, whose concern is not the Palestinian civilians in Gaza, who die every day as a result of the terror group using them as human shields, to say nothing of the marginalization of Gaza’s dwindling Christian minority. As for the leaders of Hamas, they are blessed with millions from Qatar and Turkey.
The war was ostensibly sparked by the possible eviction of Palestinian families from houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem whose ownership has long been disputed. Demonstrations condemning this act took place throughout the Islamic world. But what of the mass expulsion of Jews and Christians from various countries, in particular the Arabian Peninsula, perpetrated by Muslims? Nor has anyone bothered to condemn the massacres of Jews throughout Islamic history.
Imagine if Israel were an Islamic country, and Hamas was a Jewish organization, and there was a war between the two. Would the reactions of Islamic countries be the same as they are now?
Islamic countries claim that they stand with the families facing eviction in Sheikh Jarrah on humanitarian grounds, and that it is not a religious matter. And yet, every day we see images of children dying of starvation and military conflict in Yemen and no one sympathizes with them or takes to the streets in protest. And do you know why? Because in Yemen both parties are Muslim, so no one cares. The difference in Sheikh Jarrah and Israel at large is that it is Jews verses Muslims (Hamas).
When Christians were expelled a few years ago from Mosul by ISIS, did we see even one demonstration in an Arab or Islamic country condemning this act? Or how about when the Yazidis were exiled and enslaved in Iraq? Solidarity is exclusively with the Palestinians, and not out of humanitarian concern, but from a purely Islamic religious position.
And in the case of Sheikh Jarrah, Muslims are lying to stoke the flames of conflict. They say that the Jews expelled the Palestinians from their homes. But they ignore the fact that these houses were built by Jordan when it ruled the West Bank on lands owned by Jews.
The Arab Muslim media further claims that the Jews attacked the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, but they do not say that the Palestinians brought stones and Molotov cocktails into the mosque and used it as cover.
The reality is that if Hamas cared for these Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, it would buy a house for each one of them instead of using its money to buy and build rockets to fire at Tel Aviv.
The bottom line is that the Palestinians are divided between those represented by Hamas and those who stand behind the Palestinian Authority. For 14 years they have beaten, imprisoned, killed and assassinated one another. And that raises the question: How can such people claim to be standing for peace and justice when there is none among them?