Human Rights of Christians
in Palestinian Society
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Justus Reid Weiner
On the heels of the Gaza disengagement, which was intended to empower the Palestinian Authority to improve the lives of its people, few journalists have reported on the acutely trying times facing the Christians residing in areas "governed" by the Palestinian Authority. In his book, Professor Weiner, Scholar in Residence at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, provides an in-depth look into the nearly uninterrupted persecution of Christians throughout the decade since the Oslo peace process began.
Living amidst a xenophobic Muslim population plagued by endemic violence bordering on anarchy, the Christians have shrunk to less than 1.7 percent of the population in the Palestinian areas. “Tens of thousands have abandoned their holy sites and ancestral properties to live abroad, while those who remain do so as a beleaguered and dwindling minority," Weiner said.
"Their plight is, in part, attributable to the adoption of Muslim religious law (Sharia) in the Constitution of the Palestinian Authority. Moreover, the Christians have been abandoned by their religious leaders who, instead of protecting them, have chosen to curry favor with the Palestinian leadership." Professor Weiner's book reveals and analyzes why this persecution - largely ignored by the international community, the media, and even the human rights organizations - has metastasized to the extent that it threatens the very existence of this 2000-year-old community.
Professor Weiner earned his Juris Doctor degree at the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law and is a member of the Israel and New York Bar Associations. Weiner previously taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Boston University Law School. Currently he teaches courses on international and comparative law at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His scholarship has appeared in leading law journals and intellectual magazines.
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