In a recent article, John Allen criticizes those who “play politics” with the global war on Christians.
As an example, he cites the relative silence of American Christians about the so-called “price tag” campaign of radical Israeli settlers. Every time the Israeli government closes a settlement, these radicals deface a Christian or Muslim holy site in retaliation. In addition, he mentions a broader streak of animus against Christians among some Orthodox Jews in Israel.
Now, clearly these acts of radical Jewish vandalism of Christian holy sites are worrisome, although rare. (Acts of vandalism against Palestinian property by Israeli radicals is less rare, though not common.) The animus against Christians is broader and while understandable, still not excusable. And clearly these acts of vandalism and generalized animus should be condemned, even when committed by Israelis.
Still, it seems to me that in the midst of condemning playing politics, Allen himself plays politics. How so? In the first paragraph, he mentions “a staggering total of 150,000 [Christian] martyrs every year.” But he goes on to note: “To be clear, so far these outrages haven’t resulted in any deaths.” Indeed, “Israel remains a fundamentally safe environment for Christians, certainly as compared to most places in its immediate neighborhood.”
If that’s the case, why mention Israel at all?