Palestinian Clerics Exploit Christmas with Boycott

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JERUSALEM, Israel – A handful of anti-Israel Palestinian Christian leaders are taking advantage of the Christmas season to call for a boycott against Israel and are calling on Christians worldwide to treat the Jewish state like the former apartheid regime in South Africa.

The initiative called "Kairos Palestine-2009: A moment of truth" was authored by a number of prominent clergymen in Jerusalem. It declares that as Palestinian Christians the "military occupation of our land is a sin against God and humanity".

According to a report in the Egyptian-based al-Ahram weekly, these Palestinian Christians launched the campaign to enlist the support of Christians worldwide to end what they call "the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories."

One Christian leader in Jerusalem, who monitors the situation for Arab Christians here, told CBN News that it's not clear how many of the local Arab Christians these leaders actually represent.

"It's a real shame for Arab Christians in the land that this handful of Arab clerics [is] exploiting Christmas to promote radical political views," said the leader who asked not to be named.

The document does not mention Muslim persecution of Christians in the Palestinian areas.

Human rights experts say that Palestinian Christians are often afraid to accuse their Muslim neighbors of abuses. But many say that Christians are often threatened. In the Gaza Strip two years ago, a Palestinian Bible Society worker was kidnapped and murdered allegedly for refusing to convert to Islam.

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