Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Anti-Christian hatred in Israel

The Israelis want to charge an Armenian archbishop with assault in spite of the fact that he was the one who was attacked:

Police are now considering whether to initiate criminal proceedings against the Armenian archbishop and to charge him with assault. Meanwhile, the incident has sparked much anger among the clergy of the small Armenian community in Jerusalem.

Religious Jews, among them yeshiva students, customarily spit on the ground as a sign of disgust on seeing the cross. The Armenians, who live adjacent to the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, suffer from this phenomenon more than any of the other Christian sects in the Old City.

Manougian says he and his colleagues have already learned to live with it. "I no longer get worked up by people who turn around and spit when I pass them by in the street; but to approach in the middle of a religious procession and to spit on the cross in front of all the priests of the sect is humiliation that we are not prepared to accept," he notes.

A policeman is customarily posted to guard the Armenians' religious processions, but doesn't generally do anything to prevent the spitting. The Armenians took the matter up with Interior Minister Avraham Poraz some seven months ago, but nothing has been done about till now.

"The Israeli government is anti-Christian," Manougian charges. "It cries out in the face of any harm done to Jews all over the world, but is simply not interested at all when we are humiliated on an almost daily basis."

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