Middle East Christians have been largely portrayed as caught in the middle of a bitter war between Jews and Arabs over the Holy Land. But this is a profound misunderstanding of the reality of the conflict.
Mehdi Hasan, political director of the Huffington Post, UK, posted an article entitled, "If Mary and Joseph Tried to Reach Bethlehem Today, They Would Get Stuck at an Israeli Checkpoint." Actually, since Joseph and Mary were Jews from Nazareth, they wouldn't need to be afraid of Israeli roadblocks needed to combat Palestinian terrorism, but of being murdered by terrorists from Hamas or Fatah.
This sort of historical revisionism would be laughable if it were not so pernicious. It ignores the failure of the Arab side to recognize that the "Zionists" are not "European settler-colonialists," but a people with a three-thousand-year-plus tie to the Land of Israel, whose religion was born there, who ruled two separate kingdoms there, and who have prayed toward Jerusalem for two thousand years in their ancient Hebrew language.
Such denial, coming frequently from even "moderate" Palestinian Authority officials, means that the Arab side can't see any potential peace agreement as a historic reconciliation between two peoples with strong claims to the land, but as at best a humiliating capitulation to foreign occupation that would have to eventually be reversed. Until that mindset changes, there won't be long-term peace, regardless of paper agreements. Writers like Hasan are quite simply the enemies of peace.