Al-Qaeda’s Christian Massacre: Aiding and Abetting the Occupation of Palestine

If we are to believe the voice on those Osama bin Laden tapes, the elusive al-Qaeda leader cares deeply about Palestine. Yet the actions of the terrorist network he supposedly still directs all too often belie its statements of concern for their “brothers” under Israeli occupation.

The massacre of Iraqi Christians at Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad also makes one wonder about claims that the group has “a great sense of timing.” The slaughter of Catholic Mass-goers occurred just one week after church leaders from across the Middle East had forcefully condemned Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

More than 200 members of 14 different churches had gathered in Rome for a papal synod to address concerns about Christian emigration from the region. However, as one commentator observed, “Time and again, they turned the discussions … towards the Palestinian question.”

In their final communiqué, the bishops urged the international community to apply UN Security Council resolutions and take “the necessary legal steps to put an end to the occupation of the different Arab territories.” Significantly, they charged the Israeli occupation with causing tensions that have led to the exodus of Christians from the Middle East.

In a follow-up news conference, the archbishop in charge of the committee that drafted the communiqué, Cyrille Salim Bustros, rejected any biblical justification for the Zionist project. “The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians,” he said. “Sacred scripture should not be used to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestine.”

Not surprisingly, Tel Aviv was none too pleased with this serious challenge to the legitimacy of the self-described Jewish state. The following day, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon issued a statement condemning the bishops. The synod, he said, had been “hijacked by an anti-Israel majority,” turning it into “a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best history of Arab propaganda.” In particular, his government was “appalled” by Archbishop Bustros’ “outrageous comments,” describing them as “a libel against the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”

One week later, the Anti-Defamation League sought to enlist Pope Benedict XVI to Israel’s side. Expressing condolences over the Baghdad killings, ADL leaders asked the pope to “join together to eliminate all terrorism in the name of religion” and “to use the Church’s moral authority to prevent Israel from being made a pariah by its enemies.”

But with the Israeli occupation under such censure from Rome, it was a rather odd time for avowed supporters of the Palestinian cause to slaughter Catholics in the Middle East. Indeed, many Iraqi Muslims harbour “suspicions” about the shadowy al-Qaeda front’s targeting of “essentially non-players” in the country’s post-invasion sectarian strife.

Indeed, if anyone benefited from the church massacre it was Israel. Reminiscent of the Zionist underground’s attacks on Iraqi Jews in the 1950s, this assault on the Christian minority was clearly designed to encourage them to flee the country where they had lived in relative peace and prosperity for two millennia. The removal of a Christian presence from the Muslim-dominated region would eliminate the model of coexistence as a viable alternative to the “clash of civilisations” view of the world. “By focusing attention on a direct and eternal conflict between the West and Islam,” M. Shahid Alam argues in his new book, the clash thesis aims “to acquit Israel of serving as the chief source and conduit of this conflict.”

Moreover, the massacre lent plausibility to the Israeli narrative on why Christians are leaving the Middle East. In a 2006 report by the hawkishly pro-Israel Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, titled “The Christian Exodus from the Middle East,” senior fellows Jonathan Adelman and Agota Kuperman concluded: “The single greatest cause of this emigration is radical Islam.”

Ironically, it was a representative from Baghdad at the synod who had suggested a way to encourage Middle East emigrants to return to Palestine. Armenian Archbishop Emmanuel Dabbaghian proposed that every bishop should make an annual visit to the Holy Land. “The influx of pilgrims to the Holy Land,” he said, “would convince the inhabitants who have emigrated to return to their homeland.” Given the apprehension about “the Arab demographic threat,” such a development would be viewed with trepidation in Tel Aviv.

“Israel, the Jewish State, is predicated on a decisive and stable Jewish majority of at least 70 percent,” Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, wrote in a 2009 article in Commentary magazine. “Any lower than that and Israel will have to decide between being a Jewish state and a democratic state.” Still, it’s an improvement on the “at least 80 percent Jews” that David Ben-Gurion said would be necessary for “a viable and stable state” on the eve of the premeditated ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Muslims and Christians.

In contrast to al-Qaeda’s efforts to drive a wedge between Islam and Christianity, the solidarity between the world’s two largest religions in Palestine poses a real threat to the Israeli occupation.

Sabeel, an ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians, in its “Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism,” affirms “that Palestinians are one people, both Muslim and Christian” and rejects “all attempts to subvert and fragment their unity.”

Couldn’t the Baghdad church massacre also be seen as an attempt to “subvert and fragment” Palestinian unity? With “brothers” like al-Qaeda, who needs enemies?

Maidhc Ó Cathail writes extensively on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East. Read other articles by Maidhc, or visit Maidhc's website.

11 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on November 20th, 2010 at 9:06am #

    The attack certainly has all the signs of a false flag operation designed to set Catholics against Muslims. Indeed, I have always wondered if “al-Qaeda” really exists. Regardless of who carried out the attck, the loser is Israel. Catholics, especially American Catholics, will note that none of this would have happened if the US hadn’t invaded Iraq to do Israel’s bidding. That, in its turn, will remind them that Israel systematically discriminates against its Catholic citizens (about 75000, mainly Melkites and some Maronites), to say nothing of the Catholics in the rest of Mandate Palestine. Why should Catholics (1 billion people), especially American Catholics (1 American in 4), support a state that persecutes their co-religionists and uses its American bully to bring persecution down on their heads in other countries? To say nothing of the innumerable attacks on the Church emanating from Jewish organisations and others supporters of Israel. Yet another nail in Israel’s coffin!

  2. bozh said on November 20th, 2010 at 10:36am #

    i have already read maidhc’s piece and made a comment on ICH.
    from a strategic [endgoal point of view, 9-11 was just a criminal act that hurt, killed-maimed only [aside from civilians in the two towers] muslims and of no help whatever to the end solution.
    ok! i forgot about u. soldiers. some of them died and still die because of the wars for the supremes.
    thus, i believe that the recent terror attack on christians in baghdad and 9-11 had been a cia-fbi-mossad job and directed by w.h.

    in passing, it shld be noted that catholic church okayed invasion of palestina.
    it, as far as i know, still had not laid its cards down anent their viable solution for palestina. tnx

  3. hayate said on November 20th, 2010 at 11:52am #

    This al ciada is a zionist front, as their terrorism has ONLY aided zionist crimes, as this recent act described by Maidhc Ó Cathail shows:

    “The massacre of Iraqi Christians at Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad also makes one wonder about claims that the group has “a great sense of timing.” The slaughter of Catholic Mass-goers occurred just one week after church leaders from across the Middle East had forcefully condemned Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.”

    This is one of many al ciada attacks that followed that same formula. Do something the 21st century nazis at ziofascism, inc. don’t like, and you, or a group related, will get a visit from their al ciada.

    It’s part of the “great game” wars, the ziofascists/fascists are waging against the countries still not their colonies. Al ciada et al are there to cause destablisation and disruption, to make the region more pliant for the various other operations these 21st century nazis have going. Rozoff covers this war fairly well, like in his most recent piece:

    Global Warfare: After NATO Summit, U.S. To Intensify Military Drive Into Asia


    “No fewer than 38 European nations have supplied NATO troops for the Afghanistan-Pakistan war as well as providing training grounds and transport centers to support the war effort. As envisioned for at least a century, through peaceful means or otherwise, Europe has been united, not so much by the European Union as under the NATO flag and on the killing fields of Afghanistan. It is now relegated to the role of pre-deployment training area and forward operating base for military campaigns downrange: The Middle East, Africa and Asia.

    So uncritically and unquestioningly compliant has Europe been in the above regards that Obama and the governing elite in the imperial metropolis as a whole have already looked beyond the continent for additional military partners. With the exception of fellow members of the NATO Quint – Britain, Germany, France and Italy (Britain more and Italy less than the others) – Alliance partners are accorded the same status and assigned the same functions as American territories like Puerto Rico, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands: Geopolitically convenient locations for live-fire military training and for troop, warplane and warship deployments.

    Two millennia ago the Pax Romana of Augustus brought roads and ports, aqueducts and irrigation, amphitheaters and libraries, and Greek writers from Aristotle to Aeschylus to occupied territories. Bellum Americanum burdens its vassals and tributaries with military bases, interceptor missile batteries, McDonald’s and Lady Gaga.”


  4. hayate said on November 20th, 2010 at 11:58am #

    The sort of cowardly terrorism perpetrated by al ciada is a contuing application of the very same terrorist tactics and strategy Jewish zionists used in Palestine, and throughout the Mideast (the stern gang, begin’s bois, etc.), before they created their idf to do it officially.

  5. shabnam said on November 20th, 2010 at 9:01pm #

    There is no Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has been created by the CIA and Mossad under direction of a Judeofascist by the name of Rita Katz, an Iraq Jews, to kill Muslims and to destroy their societies.


    The zionist Rita Katz left Iraq for the occupied land and later in 1997 landed in the United States where since is working for CIA. The killing attributed to ‘Al qaeda’ in fact is the work CIA/Mossad directed by a Judeafascist, Rita Katz.

    Who says Al Qaeda takes credit for a bombing? Rita Katz. Who gets us bin Laden tapes? Rita Katz. Who gets us pretty much all information telling us Muslims are bad? Rita Katz? Rita Katz is the Director of Site Intelligence, primary source for intelligence used by news services, Homeland Security, the FBI and CIA. What is her qualification? She served in the IDF. She has a college degree and most investigative journalists believe the Mossad “helps” her with her information. We find no evidence of any qualification whatsoever of any kind. A bartender has more intelligence gathering experience. Nobody verifies her claims. SITE says Al Qaeda did it, it hits the papers. SITE says Israel didn’t do it, that hits the papers too. What does SITE really do? They check the internet for “information,” almost invariably information that Israel wants reported, and it is sold as news, seen on US TV, reported in our papers and passed around the internet almost as though it were actually true. Amazing. Do we know if the information reported comes from a teenager in Seattle or a terror cell in Jakarta? No, of course not, we don’t have a clue. Can you imagine buying information on Islamic terrorism from an Israeli whose father was executed as a spy by Arabs? It is quite likely that everything you think you know about terror attacks such as the one in Detroit or whether Osama bin Laden is alive or dead comes from Rita Katz. Does she make it all up? We don’t know, nobody knows, nobody checks, they simply buy it, print it, say it comes from Site Intelligence and simply forget to tell us that this is, not only a highly biased organization but also an extremely amateur one also. Is any of this her fault, Rita’s? No. She is herself, selling her work. The blame is not Site Intelligence, it is the people who pass on the information under misleading circumstances. Imagine if a paper carried a story like this:
    Reports that Al Qaeda was responsible for bombing the mosque and train station were given to us by an Israeli woman who says she found it on the internet. Please read the following link:


    People of the world united against Judeofascists and people who assist them.

  6. Rehmat said on November 21st, 2010 at 8:23am #

    Professor R.T. Naylor (McGill University, Montreal, Canada) in June 2003 interview (published in Counterpunch) said that no Muslim Al-Qaeda exist: “Al Queda itself does not exist, except in the fevered imaginations of neo-cons and Likudniks, some of whom, I suspect, also know it is a myth, but find it extremely useful as a bogeyman to spook the public and the politicians to acquiesce in otherwise unacceptable policy initiatives at home and abroad”.

    Zionist Mafia is using the Al-Qaeda ghost to demonize the genuine Islamic movements resisting the neocons (mostly Jewish) imperialism. One doesn’t need a PhD to figure out who benefits from the religious and sectarian wars in the Middle East? Similar Jewish terrorism was used against Iraq’s Jewish communities which forced 137,000 of them to immigrate to Israel in early 1950s. Christians make less than 5% of Iraqi population but held the post of vice-president (Tariq Aziz) in addition to five cabinet ministers under Saddam’s regime.

  7. Deadbeat said on November 21st, 2010 at 2:14pm #

    bozh writes …

    inventing labels such as islamophobia, judeofascist, islamofacist not only do not elucidate what is going on, but actually do harm to our causes. the word “zionism” merely hurts our cause. … is it any surprise that cosa nostra allows free speech, voting, schools, etc. when it benefits so much from it?

    Thus the implication of bozh remark is that the current problems, especially with the influential factors of U.S. Foreign Policy is the fault of Italians and not Jews. This is yet another Chomsky-like maneuver to shift the focus away from Zionism.

  8. bozh said on November 21st, 2010 at 3:32pm #

    i shld have warned u not to read the post u commented on. according to DB, if i wld use the word imperialism, being latin in origin just like cosa nostra, i am solely blaming an italian folk, called “latins’, for theft with intent to murder and expel people.
    and i am also blaming etruscans, lombards, sicilians, calabresi, sardinians, et al for inventing-using the word and being sole cause for the theft of land thus far perpetrated.
    i cld use the slav word for theft of land “osvojiti” [appropriate, take for self; sounds nice doesn’t it?] and wld have implied that ‘jews’ do not steal anything.

    ok! we have improvement in ur post– u don’t behave like an attack dog. i suggest u read my post in question a bit slower!

    caveat about labels! spade shld always be called spade. a muslim cld always be called muslim. so, labels are ok. but when one overpopulates language with new labels, without previously listing its charachteristics, that to me is counterproductive.
    so, ok, use zionazi, judeofascist, et al labels but lay ur cards on the table and reveal what such people do.

    i do try to use labels that have been in usage for long time. communist, socialist, fascist, catholic, democrat, plutocrat, salespeople, general, et al are valid labels.
    there is nothing wrong about using them as long as one sees them as mere symbols and not as reality.

    i do not accept stupidity, arrogance, ignorance, crap, uneducated, careless, et al as valid labels. these represent nothing in reality. to me, they represent fiction! an knowing that leaves one much calmer! tnx

  9. Deadbeat said on November 21st, 2010 at 4:29pm #

    bozh writes …

    i do try to use labels that have been in usage for long time. communist, socialist, fascist, catholic, democrat, plutocrat, salespeople, general, et al are valid labels. there is nothing wrong about using them as long as one sees them as mere symbols and not as reality.

    Yeah right bozh you use OTHER labels. My point is stop writing for yourself and start COMMUNICATING with others.

  10. shabnam said on November 24th, 2010 at 11:32am #

    United States/Israel and Saudi Arabia added another war crime to their dark history when they killed 17 Shi’ites in YEMEN.

    {A suicide car bomber struck a convoy of Yemeni Shi’ites on their way to a religious ceremony on Wednesday, killing 17 and wounding more than 15 people, a security official said.}


    They always added phony word of ‘suicide’ to keep their ignorant population hostage so they can continue their war crime activities supported by their illiterate and silent population where have have benefitted from the killing of other groups including MUSLIMS.

    The People in the occupied region MUST BE UNITED AGAINST the Western WAR CRIMINALS regardless of their religious and ethnic divide to wipe the occupying forces, US, NATO and their extension off the map of the region. How long are you going to wait? Down with the criminal WEST and their extension in the region.

  11. zoolaby said on December 10th, 2010 at 7:53pm #

    [VIDEO] Al-Qaeda’s Christian Massacre – Aiding and Abetting the Occupation of Palestine