Wednesday, December 26, 2007

  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the Daily Telegraph (h/t Backspin):
A Christian children's home in Bethlehem, which has provided sanctuary for abandoned youngsters and orphans for more than a century, is being squeezed between Israel's security clampdown and growing hostility from Palestinian Muslims.

Babies have been abandoned to die on rubbish tips or in the street because the Israeli security wall that now hems in the West Bank city makes it difficult for distressed mothers to reach the Holy Family Children's Home.

Social workers also report that Palestinian Muslims are now more reluctant to rely on a Christian institution in the post-September 11 climate of distrust between the faiths.

Consequently, the number of children gathering around the home's modest Christmas tree this year will be half of that from recent years.

Sister Sophie, who runs the home, said: "The wall makes Bethlehem feel like a zoo. It makes it difficult for mothers to travel and so these children are being delivered in poor conditions and then abandoned on the street.

"Some of the little ones are already ill with severe health problems when they are found."

The home, which opened in 1895, was once the largest provider of care in the West Bank for abandoned children and young mothers who fell foul of Palestinian society's conservative and often brutal taboos.

Unmarried mothers or young Muslim women pregnant by non-Muslim men would flee in fear of their lives from so-called honour killings where members of their family would rather kill them than have their name tarnished.

In Bethlehem, a tradition had developed where such mothers were offered medical care for the delivery of the child who might then be brought up by a relative or in a foster home.

The 25ft concrete security wall has been ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

But Israel has persisted, arguing that it reduced the threat of suicide bombers.

A social worker said: "This home has been functioning for decades. But now, more than ever before, Palestinian families who consider sending their child here want to know about religion." This Christmas, only 15 children are left in the home.

Diana Mubarak, the director of social welfare in Bethlehem, said there were no other facilities in the occupied territories capable of looking after such infants.

Under Palestinian law, adoption is illegal. So Mrs Mubarak's department looks for foster homes to look after the foundlings.

If the religion of the child is not known, it is assumed they are Muslim.

So we have found out that even with the billions of dollars flowing into the PA, there are no Arab Muslim orphanages; Muslims would rather throw their babies in the garbage than have them raised by Christians, PalArab Muslims would rather kill their daughters then have their neighbors find out that they are pregnant; the PA outlaws adoption and therefore encourages the throwing out of babies.

Yet the entire tone and emphasis of the article is to blame Israel for daring to build a wall to keep out suicide bombers, and it bends over backwards to make sure that no one blames the Palestinian Muslim culture for any of this - even to the point of saying that the reasons that Muslims don't want Christians to raise the abandoned babies is because of "the post-September 11 climate of distrust between the faiths" as if somehow the heroic Christians who are trying to save the Muslim babies' lives are equally to blame for Muslims preferring to treat them like rubbish.



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