I just read your column, and this quote from Carter really leaped out:
“[Christians]…complained to us that their holy sites and culture were not being respected by Israeli authorities — the same complaint heard by Jesus and his disciples almost 2,000 years earlier.”
Is Carter completely unaware of the way in which Christians under the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been, not just disrespected, but persecuted? Whole towns, e.g., Bethlehem, once predominately Christian, are nearly empty of Christians now. Christians have been systematically subjected to property seizures, beatings, rapes, and murders intended to terrorize them into submission to Muslims, or force them to leave. Holy places have been defiled. Recall, for example, the Church of the Nativity where Palestinian terrorists took refuge. They thoroughly vandalized the sanctuary, and used the supposed birth place of Jesus as a latrine. When the left they stole anything that looked valuable and portable. Nor is this the only time churches have been vandalized and desecrated; it happens whenever the Palestinians want to make a point, e.g., the burning of churches following the Pope’s remarks about Islam’s violent tendancies.
Also, this e-mailer catches a mistake in that passage of my column:
It wasn’t a group of Christians that complained to former Pres. Carter “that their holy sites and culture were not being respected by Israeli authorities”. They were members of the Samaritan sect, descendents of the breakaway “northern kingdom” during biblical times….