Today’s Washington Free Beacon posted a story about a CBS News report aired on “60 Minutes” that blamed Israel for the persecution and ensuing exodus of Palestinian Christians.
The story blamed Israeli security policies for the fact that Christians are leaving the traditionally Christian areas such as Nazareth and Bethlehem.
CBN News painted a much more accurate picture of what is really happening in a story posted in December:
Unpredictable — that’s how Israeli author and human rights lawyer Justus Weiner describes the plight of Christians in Bethlehem and the West Bank.
For years they’ve suffered from human rights violations such as land theft, beatings, and even forced marriages between Christian women and Muslim men.
The worst persecution has come against converts to Christianity.
“If they were born Muslim but they decided to find Jesus, this is like being a traitor to God,” Weiner told CBN News. “There’s very substantial chance they’ll be beaten, forced to leave the country, or killed.”
Somehow those facts were overlooked in the CBS News report.
The Washington Free Beacon points out:
Experts on the region noted that Palestinian Christians live in fear of their Muslim neighbors, who routinely intimidate them and sometimes carry out violent attacks. For this reason, it is incredibly dangerous to criticize the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which control the areas they live in.
“As a persecuted minority, if [Christians] shift the blame to Israel, they take the heat off of themselves,” said Jordanna McMillan, director of outreach for the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation, a group that unites pro-Israel advocates across the religious spectrum. “‘60 Minutes’ doesn’t understand the intricacies of the issue.”
We have seen the way that Muslims treat Christians when they take over a country, e.g. the Coptic Christians in Egypt are fleeing the country because they fear for their safety. Why wasn’t CBS News able to look at the entire picture of the Middle East to see what was happening in Israel? Israel is the only country in the Middle East that allows true freedom of religion. Even some of the countries that we regard as free or as friendly to America will not allow tourists with Israeli passports or Israeli visa stamps to visit their countries.
I don’t know if the report on 60 Minutes was simple ignorance or Anti-Semitism, but either way, there should be a more balanced report aired to counter what has already been reported. Again, the Internet proved its value in exposing erroneous reporting.