Palestinian Christians March in Protest of Attack

Thousands of Israeli Arab protesters marched through the streets of this biblical town Saturday demanding better protection for holy sites after a troubled family set off firecrackers inside a major Christian shrine.

The emotional reaction to the attack on the Basilica of the Annunciation reflected the fragile status of Israel’s Arab minority, which has long claimed it suffers discrimination at the hands of the Jewish majority.

Many participants accused the government of failing to prevent the attack, and rejected the official claim that Friday’s attack was driven by personal distress, and not politically motivated.

“The Israeli institution is trying to explain the aggression by saying that anyone who did this is mentally unstable,” said Ramez Jaraisah, Nazareth’s Christian mayor. “We refuse to accept any excuse for this criminal act.”

Israeli Arabs, who make up about 20 percent of the country’s population, have long complained of systematic discrimination in housing, education and jobs.

Nazareth, the boyhood town of Jesus, is inhabited by about 74,000 Israeli Arabs, two-thirds of them Muslim and the remainder Christian.

Several thousand people led by Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, local Christian leaders and Arab lawmakers joined the protest, snaking through the town’s narrow streets to the basilica. Marchers clapped and sang songs, amid the chiming of church bells.

Participants held up Palestinian flags and banners with slogans such as “Israel breeds hate.”

…In the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, the designated Palestinian prime minister from the Islamic militant group Hamas said the attack was the result “of a hate culture which Israel is feeding its public against the Palestinians.” [source]

In case anyone was wondering at the title of this post, I’m well aware that I used “Palestinian Christians” instead of “Arab Israelis”. Fortunately, political correctness was never my forte.

I am however suprised that more Muslims live in Nazareth than Christians. Go figure. It’s one of the many towns I want to visit someday.


  • Again,

    The attackers ARE mentally ill.

    It’s not an excuse, it’s a fact.

    It’s sad that the leaders of the Palestinians who protested the attack could not be bothered with the facts.

    Here is my quick translation of a Supreme Court of Appeals decision on the appeal of Chaim Chabibi, Violet Chabibi and their children – Odelia, Yehudah and Chen.

    Bagatz 5446/01 (The “01” means it’s from 2001.)


    The appeal that was presented to us exposes deep distress of the plaintiffs that feel hurt from the behavior of the establishment to them, from charging them as criminal offenders and specially from separating their children from them.

    From the appeal and from the verdicts that were given in different cases regarding the plaintiffs, it is clear that the plaintiffs dedicate their time to the struggle with the establishment and the welfare authorities.

    The Jerusalem district court have even decided in a ruling that during this struggle, the plaintiffs violate the law and hurt their children, although their children are very dear to them.

    The appeal is full of strong expressions that are not suitable for court documents.

    We have ignored the style with the understanding that the plaintiffs believe they have been treated with injustice and we have examined the claims in the appeal.

    In light of the refusal of the plaintiffs to cooperate with different welfare bodies, and even the Probation Services, as we have read in documents from other criminal and civil procedures they have been involved in, other courts that dealt with their cases didn’t find ways to help them.

    Their very detailed appeal does not raise a question that justifies a hearing in this court. If the plaintiffs want to appeal against their conviction in the Jerusalem district court, they should appeal there.

    As for the other claims raised in this appeal, they are also not suitable for an intervention in the Supreme Court of Appeals.

    Therefore, the appeal is rejected.


    Please spread the word in the Arab blogosphere. It is important!


    Hanan Cohen –

  • Hanan,

    Thats a relief. In Islam there are three groups of people who are not responsible for their actions: children, the sleeping, and the insane. I believe the one who is intoxicated is exempt as well but if you have been drinking or doping up… tsk, tsk, tsk.

  • If one sums up all the Masacres and killings done by Israel and associated them with being mentally ill, well then the Israeli population has a serious mental

    p.s: I thought the Israeli authority said that the attackers were protesting because of their work situation. Hmmm, contradiction anyone?

Your Two Piasters: