Tonight again, armed Israeli forces raided West Bank towns and removed 7 Palestinian residents, among them a Turkish citizen, two 15 year old youths, and a 16 year old youth https://t.co/DF7AI5VpUI
— Yigal Arens (@yarens1) February 25, 2018
An Israeli activist tweeted last night that in their nightly raids, the IDF had arrested seven Palestinians. There is nothing new in this unfortunately. But one of the detainees was reported to be a Turkish national. That is unusual (though less so in the past few months). The report offered no further information about him.
The PA news agency, WAFA, has identified him. He is Hilal Qamar (25), a student in An-Najah University who has also a French nationality. If you are French or Turkish or have means to contact the foreign ministry of either country, please exert pressure on them to act on this case and to make a public statement on Qamar’s behalf.
For some inexplicable reason, no Israeli media have reported this arrest. Either it is under gag order or Israeli journalists don’t think it’s important that its police and intelligence agents have arrested a citizen of one of the most powerful Muslim countries in the region, whose president is intensely antagonistic toward Israel.
On a separate matter, Israel has taken the unprecedented step of levying nearly $200-million in taxes on churches in the country. It has accompanied this extortionate demand with a threat that it will commence confiscating church property if it doesn’t pay. Keep in mind that Israeli hondeling, unlike in most civilized countries, begins with an outrageous demand and then proceeds to agreement on a lesser sum. But that happens mostly in backroom political deals over patronage and financing of Orthodox institutions.
It’s astonishing that Israel would use the same brutish tactics on members of the Church; especially considering Israel’s claims that it is a champion of religious freedom (it isn’t). This behavior rips the mask off that pretense and shows Israel to be the intolerant, Jewish supremacist state that it denies being.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which has never been closed to the public in centuries, today closed its doors in protest. I imagine that the Israeli bean counters and Christophobes who devised this cockamamie plan will relent shortly and shelve it in the dustbin of bad ideas, where it belongs.
There is a strong element of Christian-hatred among the settler movement and other far-right extremists. This is the purpose of the NGO Lehava, whose mission is to preserve Jewish racial purity. Surprisingly, Christian Zionists allied with the settler movement have overlooked this phenomenon. As has Bibi Netanyahu, who believes that the evangelicals will replace fickle American Jews as key supporters of the Israel Lobby on the American political scene. Such Christophobia may put a crimp in those plans.