Anti-Assad? You Are Supporting the Murder of Christians

Whoever fights Assad wants to remove Christianity from the Middle East, and the hands of those who support Saudi Arabia or Qatar are covered with the blood of Coptic worshippers | Opinion

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An Egyptian raises a cross made of palm leaves as he is being lifted outside the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate in Alexandria after a bomb blast struck worshippers on April 9, 2017.
An Egyptian raises a cross made of palm leaves as he is being lifted outside the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate in Alexandria after a bomb blast struck worshippers on April 9, 2017.Credit: MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP
Abed L. Azab
Abed L. Azab

Jews in Israel are supporting the murder of Coptic Christians and Christians in the Middle East in general – and not just the killings that occurred in Egypt last Sunday. Anyone attacking Syrian President Bashar Assad is encouraging the murder of Christians in the Middle East and the entire world.

It should be clear to all that the atrocities committed by Islamic State against the Yazidis and any other non-Sunni Muslim minority it can get its murderous hands on will only be a prologue compared to what we should expect if Assad falls – which I hope never happens.

Let me be clear: There is no difference whatsoever between ISIS and the terrorist organizations fighting it: the Wahhabites in Saudi Arabia; the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; Hamas in the Gaza Strip; and the Islamic Movement in Umm al-Fahm. They all want to exterminate the heretics, which for them includes Israelis. Don’t delude yourselves: If they make conciliatory statements now, it is merely a tactic. The minute they are strong enough and you are weak enough, your turn will come, too.

You have supporters among the Arabs. Azmi Bishara, a Christian, and his Arab MK henchpersons in Israel – Haneen Zoabi, Basel Ghattas and Jamal Zahalka – support the terrorists fighting Assad. The evil empire, the United States, supports the Wahhabi-Salafi-ISIS terrorists. Now it has officially ended its war against ISIS.

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Coffins arriving for the funeral of those killed in a Palm Sunday church attack in Alexandria, Egypt, April 10, 2017. Credit: Samer Abdallah/AP

The support for Saudi Arabia and the war against Assad can have only one interpretation: support for terror. All the minorities that were massacred or fled Syria had lived in peace and security under the Assad regime. In Assad’s Syria, there is no religious coercion and minorities were not required to pay a jiziya tax because they weren’t Sunni Muslims. The ethnic and religious minorities enjoyed total freedom of worship, and the churches and non-Muslim houses of prayer flourished.

Copts were once again murdered on Palm Sunday because they were Christians. They never threatened the Muslim hegemony in Egypt. They served everywhere and are loyal citizens. But that did not help, because they are Christians. According to the terrorists – from the Islamic Movement here in Israel through to ISIS – heretics must not be allowed to live. When they make statements to the contrary, it is out of a lack of choice.

In private conversations, they are overjoyed by ISIS’ terrorism, the church bombings and the terror attacks in Europe. These terrorists will have no mercy on anyone outside their own community. This includes members of all religions that are not Wahhabi Islam – including the ethnic minorities living among them and, of course, Muslims who do not follow blindly, like me.

Don’t listen to the official statements. Listen to the conversations between ordinary people who belong to the terror camp. See the doctrine of the founding fathers of these terrorist movements: zero tolerance toward those who do not belong.

Yet Israel supports this terrorism. It is a satellite of the evil empire, the United States. Whoever supports Saudi Arabia supports the murder of Coptic Christians. Whoever defends Qatar has their hands covered in the blood of Coptic worshippers. Whoever fights Assad wants to exterminate the Christians from the Middle East.

In recent years, we have seen a rise in the number of young Christians in Israel, men and women, enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces or doing national service; these youngsters emphasize their Christianity over their Arabness. After the horrors in Syria, the terror they are suffering in Egypt – including in their holy sites in the Sinai Peninsula – I understand.

Ironically, and disconcertingly, it seems the only safe place in the Middle East for Christians in particular, but also for Arabs in general, is Israel. How has loyalty to their Egyptian homeland, which they used to rule, helped the Copts? After all, they are descendants of the Pharaohs, who were there for thousands of years before the Muslims conquered Egypt.

In the early 1980s I was a student at the Hebrew University, just after the Islamic revolution in Iran. This was one of the sources of inspiration for the establishment of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and pictures of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini were displayed on many of the movement’s supporters’ homes. They have since changed their tune and now, under the influence of Saudi Wahhabism, have remembered that most Iranians are Shi’ites so they are the enemy.

Please note, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Islamic Movement in Israel leader Sheikh Raed Salah is an enemy of Iran. A student I knew, who I was very close to and who lived with me in the dormitories, became much more religious and turned into a fervent devotee of the Islamic Movement. One day, he explained that he wanted to change our living arrangement, otherwise we would have to go our separate ways. I told him that because I had not changed and he knew exactly how I wanted to live, he should outline his demands. No alcohol in the room. No female students in the room. And, finally, Christians should not enter the room. I told him this was going too far. As the Koran says: “This is the parting of ways between me and thee” (Surah 18, verse 78).

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