RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian security forces say they arrested two suspected Islamic radicals in the burning of a Christmas tree in the northern West Bank.First of all, here's what the article didn't say.
A Palestinian security officer said Friday the suspects set fire Wednesday to the tree in Zababdeh, a Christian majority village near Jenin. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he isn't authorized to speak to reporters.
He says both suspects are under investigation for possible ties to extremist Islamist groups. He also says Palestinian security forces arrested Wednesday about a dozen suspected radical Islamists in Bethlehem.
Christians make up about 2 percent of the West Bank population.
|Church in Zabadeh|
But the problem is bigger than that.
If this story hadn't been leaked, it would never have been reported.
The Christians in a Christian-majority town are so frightened of their Muslim neighbors that they did not publicize the burning of a public Christmas tree two days ago.
Palestinian media did not report the story at all.
Palestinian security did not publicly mention this incident, unlike every other police force that is transparent about its actions.
In other words, outside of a single Palestinian security official who wanted the world to hear this story, there is a conspiracy of silence among Palestinians to keep this story of attacks on a Christian symbol by the Muslim majority hidden. Christians don't talk about it because of fear; Muslims don't talk about it because they want the world to believe that their only problem is Israel's existence.
In September, a church in Bethlehem was burned by Muslims, according to locals. The PA claimed it was an electrical fire even though local Christians had been threatened by Muslims. Again, there was a conspiracy of silence - a tacit agreement between Palestinian Christians and Muslims to not publicize these incidents.
How many similar stories happen every day that don't get reported?
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