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Mon Apr 23, 2012, 03:55 AM

When Michael Oren irked Bob Simon

Was it justified for Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. to contact top CBS officials in a quest to influence a '60 Minutes' report on Israel's Christian community?

<snip>

"Israeli Knesset members and diplomats have a long-term grudge against the CBS flagship program, "60 Minutes", over several critical reports that deal with the issues of Jewish settlements, the City of David and the Stuxnet computer worm. But Suday's segment of the program, dedicated to the exodus of the Palestinian Christians from cities like Bethlehem and Jerusalem, seemed to bring about record tensions.

In that episode, Veteran reporter Bob Simon scolded Israel's Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren for his attempt to influence the segment by calling top CBS officials, saying that had never happened to him before a segment was actually broadcasted. "There is always a first time," Oren replied calmly, but throughout the interview he looked visibly annoyed. "I do it as representative of the state of Israel. I do it infrequently," he explained.

Reactions to the segment over the blogosphere varied widely - from praises to Simon that "exposed the way the Israeli government tries to silence everybody" - to complaints about the "biased story." That was basically the Ambassador's claim - that Israel is not to blame for this exodus and that the persecution of Christians in other Middle Eastern countries should be more concerning.

At the Israeli Embassy, the final report was seen as sort of diplomatic victory, and the ambassador's attempt to intervene was presented as a fine example of a pro-active approach to Israeli diplomacy. "The relationship between Israel and the Christian world is our strategic interest and when we received information about this report several months ago and plans for broadcasting without any reaction by Israeli officials, Ambassador Oren did what a diplomat is supposed to do to prevent serious damage to the country he represents," a senior Israeli diplomat told Haaretz."

http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/focus-u-s-a/when-michael-oren-irked-bob-simon-1.425972


’60 Minutes’ profiles Palestinian Christians, Michael Oren falls on his face



<snip>

"The above story ran on 60 Minutes tonight. It's a powerful piece showing life under occupation, and a damning portrait of Michael Oren as the chief spokesperson for Israel's unjust control over the West Bank. On the onerous permit regime that limits freedom of movement and defines Palestinian existence in the occupied territories Oren says, "It's their inconvenience, it's our survival." Oren tries to blame the dwindling Christian community in the West Bank on Islamic extremism, and Palestinian Christians interviewed nearly break out laughing. Not surprisingly, Oren calls Israel's Christian critics anti-Semites.

But perhaps the most revealing part of the show was Bob Simon sharing that Oren had complained to CBS News head Jeff Fager before the segment had even been aired, calling it "a hatchet job."

more

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Arrow 79 replies Author Time Post
Reply When Michael Oren irked Bob Simon (Original post)
Scurrilous Apr 2012 OP
shira Apr 2012 #1
oberliner Apr 2012 #2
leveymg Apr 2012 #3
shira Apr 2012 #5
leveymg Apr 2012 #7
shira Apr 2012 #8
leveymg Apr 2012 #10
shira Apr 2012 #13
BudT Apr 2012 #14
shaayecanaan Apr 2012 #19
shira Apr 2012 #23
leveymg Apr 2012 #24
shira Apr 2012 #26
BudT Apr 2012 #27
leveymg Apr 2012 #34
shira Apr 2012 #38
shaayecanaan Apr 2012 #39
shira Apr 2012 #40
BudT Apr 2012 #43
shaayecanaan Apr 2012 #52
BudT Apr 2012 #54
BudT Apr 2012 #44
shaayecanaan Apr 2012 #53
BudT Apr 2012 #55
shaayecanaan Apr 2012 #56
BudT Apr 2012 #60
shaayecanaan Apr 2012 #61
BudT Apr 2012 #64
shaayecanaan Apr 2012 #65
BudT Apr 2012 #72
jimmie Apr 2012 #16
shaayecanaan Apr 2012 #20
shira Apr 2012 #28
BudT Apr 2012 #4
shira Apr 2012 #6
Scurrilous Apr 2012 #9
oberliner Apr 2012 #68
azurnoir Apr 2012 #11
oberliner Apr 2012 #12
azurnoir Apr 2012 #15
oberliner Apr 2012 #18
azurnoir Apr 2012 #21
oberliner Apr 2012 #22
azurnoir Apr 2012 #35
oberliner Apr 2012 #41
Jefferson23 Apr 2012 #17
Scurrilous Apr 2012 #25
shira Apr 2012 #29
oberliner Apr 2012 #30
Jefferson23 Apr 2012 #31
oberliner Apr 2012 #32
Jefferson23 Apr 2012 #33
oberliner Apr 2012 #42
Jefferson23 Apr 2012 #47
Scurrilous Apr 2012 #36
shira Apr 2012 #37
azurnoir Apr 2012 #45
BudT Apr 2012 #46
shira Apr 2012 #48
azurnoir Apr 2012 #49
shira Apr 2012 #50
azurnoir Apr 2012 #51
oberliner Apr 2012 #58
shira Apr 2012 #71
shaayecanaan Apr 2012 #57
oberliner Apr 2012 #59
shaayecanaan Apr 2012 #62
oberliner Apr 2012 #63
shaayecanaan Apr 2012 #66
oberliner Apr 2012 #67
shaayecanaan Apr 2012 #69
oberliner Apr 2012 #70
shira Apr 2012 #74
jimmie Apr 2012 #76
shira Apr 2012 #77
Mosby Apr 2012 #73
shira Apr 2012 #75
henank Apr 2012 #78
shira Apr 2012 #79

Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 05:34 AM

1. The 60 minutes piece was a hatchet job. Oren is right...

Last edited Mon Apr 23, 2012, 06:14 AM - Edit history (1)

Islamic extremism is the reason, as anyone can observe throughout the mideast, from Lebanon to Egypt. Only in Israel is the christian community thriving, unlike anywhere else in the mideast.

Why didn't 60 minutes look into the christian situation elsewhere throughout the mideast? Rhetorical question...

Here's a 2008 article about the deteriorating situation for christians in the territories:
http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=3074&q=1

Somehow, 60 minutes is unaware of such things.



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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 07:03 AM

2. The interior quote in the OP is from Mondoweiss, not Ha'aretz

This poster has deceptively included a Mondoweiss "article" after the Ha'aretz one.

The second headline and text that follows is not from the Ha'aretz article but rather from Mondoweiss, which, interestingly is linked to with simply a "more" rather than the name of the site.

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 08:08 AM

3. What upsets Oren is that the report doesn't mischaracterize all Palestinians as Islamic extremists

Simon's story was notable, and seemed to unhinge the Ambassador -- who didn't come across as very professional -- because it undermines the official Israeli narrative that justifies the Wall and the Occupation.

60 Minutes shows what The Wall and The Occupation really symbolize to the people who have to live within its shadows: for Israeli Arabs and Palestinians on the West Bank, The Wall is their East Germany, and the Occupation is like South Africa.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 12:42 PM

5. What upsets Oren & others is there's no evidence Israeli policy has an adverse affect on Xtians.

It's a baseless assertion, ignores entirely the roles of Fatah and Hamas, as well as the rest of the Arab world where Christians are under constant assault from extreme Islamists.

It's interesting that only Oren is cross-examined. The BS claims of the Arab christian who never heard of Islamists oppressing Christians is taken as fact. Not that I blame any christians who fear Islamist reprisals against them for speaking out...

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Response to shira (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 01:18 PM

7. If you watched it, the adverse effects on Israeli/Pal Xtians are clear

How would you like it if The Wall was built on three sides of your family's house? How about The Occupation of the West Bank, the checkpoints, and the Bantustanization of your native land by a bunch of heavily-armed invaders?

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Response to leveymg (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 02:08 PM

8. How does the wall, occupation, checkpoints single out christians and not muslims?

You're making Ari Shavit's point from 60 minutes. All those things you describe effect Palestinians, not Christians in particular.

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Response to shira (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 03:27 PM

10. The point is that it impacts all Palestinians, including Christians, who are leaving Palestine

because normal life within the Occupied Territories (what the Catholic Priest called "the holes of the swiss cheese") has become impossible for all under the Israeli occupation.

That's an indictment of the policy, not, grounds to defend it. I don't believe Shavit was defending what he calls "political Judaism" in its clash with "political Islam". He says the two are both "harsh" and grinding the Christians together. I also agree with him that the damage to Palestinian Christians isn't intentional on Israel's part, but the collateral damage is a symptom and part of a badly conceived policy of occupation.

Bob Simon: Do you think the Israeli government ever thinks of the fact that if Christians aren't being treated well here, and America is an overwhelmingly Christian country, that this could have consequences?

Ari Shavit: Israel is not persecuting Christians as Christians. The Christians in the Holy Land suffer from Israeli policies that are a result of the overall tragic situation. And this, of course, has consequences for everybody.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 06:20 PM

13. Rrrright. It has nothing to do with Hamas/Fatah and Islamist extremism, does it?

Here's one of many articles on what 60 minutes chose not to report:
http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=3074&q=1

Instead, Oren was cross-examined as if he were lying about Islamist extremism. A Palestinian christian was quoted saying christians had no problems with Islamists, as though that were fact.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 06:27 PM

14. So then -

So then you're saying that the occupation creates difficulties for Palestinians on the WB - whether they are Christian or Muslim. Correct?

But the 60 Minutes program was not about the difficulties posed by the occupation on Palestinians - something I think everyone accepts. It was about Christians leaving the WB because of "Israel's policies". It was not about Muslims leaving the WB, because, in fact, the Muslim population has significantly increased in the last 10 years, as the program pointed out.

Can you explain what Israeli (government) policies are causing Christian Arabs to flee the WB even while the Muslim Arab population is growing rapidly? As I saw it that was the message the program sent even though it offered no evidence of any such Israeli policies that would affect the two populations in opposite ways.

It was not clear to me exactly what Bob Simon was getting at. The program clearly implied that something Israel was doing was causing Arab Christians to move from the WB. Yet, why would Palestine's Arab Muslims be affected in the exact opposite way? Maybe you can explain this better than Bob Simon.

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Response to BudT (Reply #14)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:05 PM

19. The Christians leave in larger numbers because they can...

by and large, they tend to be wealthier than average. They also generally have more family abroad as large numbers of them left shortly after the Naqba.

By way of illustration, about half of the Arabs living in the US are Christian, most of which are of Lebanese and Palestinian extraction.

Palestinians Christians tended to be employed in mercantile industries (much like Jews tended to fill that role in Europe) and so the checkpoints and settlements had a large impact on their livelihoods. Bethlehem in particular is now surrounded on four sides by expropriated land.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #19)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 06:14 AM

23. In other words, you realize the 60 minutes piece was misleading BS...

...and that Christians are not uniquely targeted by Israel as Bob Simon very clearly reported.

Tell me, why do you think the Christian population in Lebanon has dwindled from 60% to 40%? Israeli checkpoint policy?

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Response to shira (Reply #23)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 09:58 AM

24. I think you're putting words in his/her mouth, and twisting them beyond recognition

The point of Simon's report is that the Israeli Occupation -- of which the checkpoints and The Wall are part -- are making normal life impossible for all Palestinians on the West Bank, including the dwindling number of Christians.

Your question answers itself, and you're raising a red-herring.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #24)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:49 AM

26. You're trying to cover for Simon's misleading report...

are making normal life impossible for all Palestinians on the West Bank, including the dwindling number of Christians.

No. Simon claimed Christians were uniquely being singled out or affected by Israeli policy. Nothing about comparing them to Muslim Palestians to make his case. And of course nothing about Christian populations dwindling everywhere throughout the mideast due to Islamic extremism. Only in Israel is the Christian population increasing.

He never even showed or proved how checkpoints are affecting all Christians in the territories. Or how Israeli policy in the territories is different WRT Christian populations dwindling across the mideast.

Totally misleading report, and I'm certain you realize that.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #24)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:56 AM

27. I beg to differ

The point of the program was absolutely not - that "The Israeli Occupation -- of which the checkpoints and The Wall are part -- are making normal life impossible for all Palestinians on the West Bank, including the dwindling number of Christians". The point was that Israel's policies are specifically causing Christian Arabs to leave - while the program acknowledged that the Arab Muslim population climbs. I think if you watch the segment again you'll see that the segment was all about the plight of the Arab Christians, not the general hardships of the occupation on everyone.

The program offered no evidence that Israeli policies were the cause of this (dwindling Christian, rising Muslim) population anomaly. Almost all interviews were of resident Christians who all blamed Israel for their plight. (I wonder why.) Shaayecanaan at least addressed the anomaly suggesting life style differences as the cause. If you notice, he/she also offers no evidence or reasons to believe that Israel is selectively encouraging Christians to leave.

The fact that the total population of the Territories has more than doubled in the last twenty years casts serious doubt on the program's message - whether it was the one you prefer to believe (the easier to defend Israel's equality of persecution in the Territories) or the one that they tried to pass off on a public largely ignorant of the facts (that Israel has it in for Palestinian Christians).

The subtext of the segment was that Israel selectively persecutes Christians in the Holy Land and therefore American Christians (especially Evangelicals) should rethink their support for Israel. This was brought home by Simon's not-so-subtle last question for Oren asking if he wasn't worried that this (loss of American Christian support because of Israel's policies) could happen.

It seems to me the topic of this thread is understandably muddled because 60 minutes wanted to leave American Christians believing that Israel has some evil policy of selectively persecuting Palestinian Christians while not providing any clearly laid out argument for their premise that could be more easily refuted if it was not logical. Obviously they succeeded.

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Response to BudT (Reply #27)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 02:32 PM

34. I don't see the same message in Simon's report that Xtians are being intentionally persecuted.

That's a red-herring, an argument thrown in to distract from the main point of the broadcast. That segment is about the impact of the Occupation on Palestinians who happen to be Christian. It was a particularly interesting report precisely because it deviated from the Likkud-approved narrative that the only victims of the Occupation are Islamic extremists who are getting what's coming to them. I did not hear anyone say that Israel was specifically singling out Palestian Christians - quite the opposite, as Shavit specifically says in his on-camera interview:

Ari Shavit: Israel is not persecuting Christians as Christians. The Christians in the Holy Land suffer from Israeli policies that are a result of the overall tragic situation. And this, of course, has consequences for everybody.


What I saw on 60 Minutes was contrary to the message I get from Oren and other defenders and apologists for the Israeli Right that the vicitims of the Occupation are all radical Islamic extremists who deserve to be walled-in and treated like criminals.

Your red-herring argument is also an attempt to justify group punishment of Palestinians which is a further violation of international human rights norms attendant to the Occupation.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #34)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 05:31 PM

38. Oh please. The report was about Israeli policy leading to a dwindling Christian population...

...in the territories.

There is no connection between Israeli policy and Christians leaving the territories.

It's an absurd accusation that makes one wonder why those racist apartheid Israelis aren't targeting Muslims instead.

Once again, you're ignoring...

a) Christians throughout the mideast are dwindling in population (due to Islamist extremism) except within Israel where the population is growing. Indeed, the population within the territories has grown significantly. This crucial context, of course, was not mentioned b/c the segment was a hatchet job.

b) The Palestinian Christian interviewed couldn't be expected to criticize Fatah or Hamas for their treatment of Christians. We both know damned well why this wasn't mentioned by Simon.

=======

Now of course you won't address any of the above. You'll just accuse us of being rightwing likudnik hasbarists trying to cover for zionist crimes. We know that's about all you've got.

Let's face it. At this point, given the arguments against Simon's hatchet job, the only people defending the 60 minutes report are those who get orgasmic at any opportunity to bash and delegitimize the Jewish state. Prove me wrong and address the above points. Pretty please.

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Response to BudT (Reply #27)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 06:44 PM

39. I think we've done our best to make it clear for you...

Israel makes it hard for Palestinians of all stripes equally. However, this has led to an exodus of Christians in particular as they have the financial means and contacts needed to emigrate, as well as the financial incentive to relocate somewhere with better business prospects. For example, the world's richest man Carlos Slim is a Lebanese Catholic whose forbears migrated to Mexico a century ago.

Palestinian Christians, whether in the diaspora or in the territories, consistently cite Israeli policy as their reason for wanting to leave. It would seem minimally respectful to actually take their words at face value, rather than try and sit them down on a psychiatrist's couch and persuade them that they couldn't possibly mean what they say.

I watched the report. Nowhere does it claim that Israel is targeting Christians specifically. Having said that, I don't think that this will affect the evangelical mindset at all. Most evangelicals express open distaste for Black Christian leaders in particular, and I see no reason why this distaste should not extend to Christians of other colours. Their worldview is more informed by right-wing populism and nationalism rather than Christianity.




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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #39)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 07:07 PM

40. You're Lebanese. Tell us what has led to the mass exodus of Christians from Lebanon...

Was that Israeli policy too?

What was it exactly?

Does it have anything at all to do with what Palestinian Christians claim here:
http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=3074&q=1

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #39)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 10:48 AM

43. And I appreciate your efforts at making it clear for me.

Your comments on this include several interesting ideas I had not considered before - - possible reasons for Arab Christians to leave the Territories while the Arab Muslim population soars. This recent comment also makes sense to me, especially the first and the last paragraphs. One factor you did not mention in any of your comments is that historically some Christian sects and communities have been virulently antisemitic and are today - - such as Mel Gibson's. I have no reason to believe that the Arab Christians of Palestine would be less antisemitic than some Western Christian communities and that could be driving their beliefs regarding Israel motives. Another is that it's seems possible that Palestine's Arab Christians are "paying" for the tolerance of their Arab neighbors with their ability to harm Israel in their public statements. This type of "tolerance" is quite common for most remaining (token) Christian communities in the Arab ME such as in Iran, Lybia, Tunisia, etc.

But I mostly would take issue with your middle paragraph above. For example, in comment #1 Shira linked to an article that seemed to have reasonable points that are generally consistent with virtually all other Arab Muslim majority states in the ME including your home of Lebanon (as Shira points out in #40). Yet you suggest we should take at face value the words of the WB Arab Christians who blame Israel for all their problems. If one simply wants to taker sides and never admit that your own side is ever wrong or fabricates the truth then I guess that's OK. But here we have two opposing stories. I doubt either one is completely right or wrong but chances are one is much closer to the truth than the other.

I tend to believe that human behavior is usually caused by a combination of several factors and it's not always easy to parse out the most important of those. However, my limited exposure to the conflict pretty clearly shows that Palestinians have been caught in numerous lies and fabrications when it comes to blaming Israel for the most outlandish actions and motives they have any chance of getting others to believe, even if easily debunked. Where is the space in your analysis for this crucial data? Or, have you simply taken sides and that has priority over the truth?

I'm not saying that you are intentionally supporting a lie. I'm just trying to understand what you are seeing that I am missing. Shira's linked article is full of events that can all be checked against other sources. If you can show a couple of those to be fabrications that would go a log way toward me wondering if maybe Palestinian Arab Christians are a special case and that, unlike in all other ME Muslim majority states, Palestinian Arab Muslims really like having them around practicing their "Crusader" rituals.

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Response to BudT (Reply #43)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 07:49 PM

52. For someone who claims to be unacquainted with the issues at hand...


you certainly seem rather set in your ideas.

I'm not saying that you are intentionally supporting a lie. I'm just trying to understand what you are seeing that I am missing. Shira's linked article is full of events that can all be checked against other sources. If you can show a couple of those to be fabrications that would go a log way toward me wondering if maybe Palestinian Arab Christians are a special case and that, unlike in all other ME Muslim majority states, Palestinian Arab Muslims really like having them around practicing their "Crusader" rituals.


Oh.

Hmm.

(clicks on profile)

Ah.

Bud T
Account status: Active
Member since: Tue Apr 17, 2012, 01:16 PM
Number of posts: 8
Last post: Wed Apr 25, 2012, 12:21 PM

I'm guessing all of those 8 posts have been here.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #52)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 08:43 PM

54. I did not claim "to be unacquainted with the issues at hand".

I did not claim to be unacquainted with the issues at hand. I said my exposure was limited. I meant that it was limited compared to yours since someone said you lived in (or are from) Lebanon. My exposure is what I read and see on TV and people I talk to.

I have lurked here before joining recently. It's kind of an interesting forum but gets repetitious. My views are pro peace and pro truth. For that reason I am usually pro-Israel because that's where I usually find the most interest in peace and being truthful. I'd like to find someone from the opposite side who felt it was important to be factual and to accept the reality that the facts lead to. I kinda thought you might be that person but now I see that you're more interested in discussing my post count. I don't mind but that's not much of a payoff for me to want to spend much time here.

The Pal Christian Arab topic is complex and that makes it interesting. I've actually learned something new and changed my opinions on it since I joined this thread and part of that was from your comments. I enjoy respectful disagreement. I guarantee you I'll change my mind on any thing that you can show me I'm wrong about. But it wont be easy if you don't have the facts and a reasonable case to make. I get bored swapping comments with people I agree with.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #39)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 11:25 AM

44. Another factor driving the situation

Last edited Wed Apr 25, 2012, 12:22 PM - Edit history (3)

One more factor that just occurred to me, related to those I just mentioned, is that the Palestinians, unlike all other Arab Muslim communities, are almost totally dependent on the goodwill of the West, not only for billions of dollars in aid but especially to have any chance to damage Israel politically without the US and/or Britain resisting or vetoing the attempt in the SC.

This means that, especially regarding the opinion of the US where there are millions of Christians, WB Arab Muslims treating their own Christians like all other ME Arab states treat their Christians would be suicidal, politically. It seems to me that the present arrangement, whereby the few remaining WB Christians are tolerated, at least temporarily, in exchange for enthusiastically supporting the anti-Israel narrative at every opportunity, is a very profitable exchange for both the Christians and the Muslim leadership of the Territories.

Again, I believe the reality probably includes a weighting of all the factors mentioned so far and probably some neither of us have thought of yet.

On edit: I do believe that the WB and Gaza Arab Christians are a special case in some respects. They do have a very long history there, longer than their Muslim neighbors and they suffered equally as being on the losing side in all the wars the Arabs initiated against the Jews (except for those who remained in Israel after 1948). So I fully expect their Arab heritage to be a significant part of their identity and a significant part of Arab identity is extremely anti-Israel and anti-Jew. This is to say that I also accept a very natural tendency by WB Arab Christians to identify with their Muslim neighbors and against Israel. The fact that that could also be beneficial for them in other ways could be a minor factor.

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Response to BudT (Reply #44)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 08:13 PM

53. A few more things for you to consider...


Jews and Arab Christians have generally gotten along fairly well. The Lebanese Christians were in fact the allies of the Israeli Defence Forces when they invaded Lebanon, and for the most part Lebanese Christians remain pro-Israel in the orientation. Someone like Brigitte Gabriel, for instance, represents the politics of a fair amount of Lebanese Christians reasonably well.

On a side note, the first non-Jewish member of Hillcrest, the most prominent American Jewish country club, was a Lebanese Catholic.

As you point out, the Christians have been living in Palestine for thousands of years, when if anything, the attitude of Muslims in the West Bank was less secular than it is today. If the Christians had a problem living with Muslims they would have moved out a long time ago. The major reason that they have moved out in large numbers over the last century or so is because of the social unrest that began with large-scale Jewish settlement in Palestine and later the establishment of Israel and the occupation of the West Bank.





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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #53)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 09:06 PM

55. Thanks. Keep filling me in.

I read Brigitte Gabrielle's book. I think her story was interesting but a bit over-dramatized. Maybe it was just her style. It was a good statement of her experiences but I'm not sure how much of it I should extrapolate to the big picture. I'll admit my understanding of the various religious and political forces in Lebanon is scant. I've read what I could but still don't understand it very well. I just know that Israel doesn't have too many friends there now.

I found Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book very compelling but it was not focused on the I/P issue as much as a view of Arab/Mulsim life on the east end of the Arabian peninsula.

As far as your last paragraph - - are you aware that the Palestinian Arab Christian population declined very rapidly between 1948 and 1967 while Jordan was ruling the place? And that since 1967 - - under Israeli control - - the Arab Christian population of the territories has actually seen a net increase? It seems the whole narrative about Arab Christians leaving in large numbers has been overstated - - and tendentiously IMO as far as the 60 minutes segment goes. What's been happening is that the Arab Muslims population in the territories has been exploding and so the percentage of Arab Christians in the total has dropped. Especially in places like Bethlehem which has many Arab Muslims moving in.

Here's a very well written paper on this topic I just found:

https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5145/images/JCPA%20Background%20Paper%20on%20Palestinian%20Christians%207%202.pdf

It is full of citations that allows anyone to check up on their attachment to the truth. That's the kind of document that carries a lot of weight with me.

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Response to BudT (Reply #55)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 10:23 PM

56. Not many plot points on that graph there...

They simply say that the Christian population in 1945 was x, the 1961 population was y, and they draw a straight line between the two. In reality, the biggest departure was probably around the events of 1948.

And most of those Christians who left in that period would have been moving to Jordan itself. Both King Adbullah (the present king) and his father King Hussein were noted for their protection of minorities, not just the Christians but the Samaritans as well. In fact, the Jordanian monarchy tacitly welcomed Christians as a counterbalance to both the nationalists and Islamists that were seen as a threat to the crown.

As a consequence, Jordan's Christian population is 6% of the total, the highest in the region after Lebanon (and much higher than Israel), and most of those Christians would be Palestinian or Iraqis, who in turn fled to Jordan after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

I imagine that the reason why Christian emigration tapered off somewhat after about 1987 or so is that after this time, Palestinians were no longer as freely entitled to leave the West Bank and take up residence in Jordan as they did previously.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #56)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 12:21 PM

60. I noticed that too.

Apparently the data in that period is sparse. We do know that between '45 and '67 when Israel did not have control over the territories the Christian population lost 16,666 members or 28% of the '45 numbers. We also know that between '67 and 2007 while Israel controlled those same territories the Christian population increased by 9,216 which is 22% of the '67 numbers.

Just based on those figures alone, the 60 Minutes segment was an out right lie. I don't think anyone watched the whole thing without coming away believing that the Christian population was just a wisp of it's former years and about to disappear altogether. I know that's what I believed. And they'd be hard pressed to believe that "terrible situation" was anybody's fault but Israel's. I was more skeptical about that but I'll bet the average viewer with only a casual understanding of the ME conflict had no reason to doubt that toxic message either.

I find your comments carefully worded in a way that says you care about only stating what you believe to be objectively true. Doesn't it bother you even a little when a powerful and trusted public voice exposes millions of viewers to a blatant lie about this important topic?

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Response to BudT (Reply #60)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 05:28 PM

61. Well, it cuts both ways, Bud...

If Arab Christians are not in fact leaving the West Bank, then not only is Israel vindicated, but so are the Christians' Muslim neighbours. If they're not fleeing Israel because they're not actually fleeing, then they're not fleeing their Muslim brethren, either.

And in fairness to 60 minutes, pro-Israel advocates have been running the line that Christians are leaving because of "Muslim pressure" for a long, long time.

See for example:-

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/bethlehem_exodus_jH6iVNuarsPLBceXPzHO6I

Christians are fleeing the town of Christ's birth, and the much-reported hardship that Israel inflicts on residents of the West Bank town has little to do with it. It's the same reality across the Arab world: rising Islamism pushes non-Muslims away.

Back to the exodus: Fifty years ago, Christians made up 70 percent of Bethlehem's population; today, about 15 percent.
Indeed, the Christian population of the entire West Bank -- mostly Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic, with Copts, Russian Orthodox, Armenians and others -- is dwindling.

But, again, the story's the same in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere in the Mideast. Practically the only place in the region where the Christian population is growing is in Israel.


Now, that is just an outright lie. The Christian population has been mostly increasing in Syria and Jordan. Israel's Christian population has mostly remained steady at 2.3%.

But if Christians are leaving Bethlehem, but remaining within the West Bank, that means that they are leaving a town where the Muslim population is 85%, for an area where the Muslim population is 90%+, which doesnt make sense if they are fleeing from Muslims.

It does make sense, however, if they are leaving because of this:-

&feature=relmfu

&feature=related



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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #61)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 07:18 PM

64. Like most real issues it cuts many ways.

If Arab Christians are not in fact leaving the West Bank, then not only is Israel vindicated, but so are the Christians' Muslim neighbours. If they're not fleeing Israel because they're not actually fleeing, then they're not fleeing their Muslim brethren, either.

I agree - - with the understanding that there is movement by Arab Christians (on net) from areas where they are less acceptable to the local population and into areas where they are not as likely to be harassed.

And in fairness to 60 minutes, pro-Israel advocates have been running the line that Christians are leaving because of "Muslim pressure" for a long, long time.

OK lets look at that. I doubt that pro-Israel advocates noticed one day that large numbers of Arab Christians were leaving the WB and decided to make an issue of it. I don't think pro-Israel advocates care much one way or the other if any denomination of Arabs leave the WB as long as they don't come to Israel. Based on what I've learned from reading up on this because of this thread - - it appears Arab Christians have been used (and are cooperating) in the making of a false issue to smear Israel. It's a smart tactic. The same one used by 60 Minutes. Accuse the Israelis and their occupation for a major decline in the Christian population of the Holy Land. Some Pro-Israel advocates reply by saying no, it's the Muslims who are abusing them, not us. Then 60 Minutes does a segment on the topic accusing Israel of the same thing on national TV. See how it works? Now no-one is talking about the accusation (which happens to be false when you look at net population figures) it's all about who's to blame for it.

But if Christians are leaving Bethlehem, but remaining within the West Bank, that means that they are leaving a town where the Muslim population is 85%, for an area where the Muslim population is 90%+, which doesn't make sense if they are fleeing from Muslims.

Actually they are fleeing from Bethlehem because Bethlehem has become a hotbed of Islamic ideology and Hamas support. Syria (under Assad) and Jordan have both been pretty protective of their Arab Christian minorities. Its understandable they would move there or to other cities on the WB.

It does make sense, however, if they are leaving because of this:

I'd say much of what was happening in that clip was young soldiers showing off for the camera - - showing how tough they can be because their friend was filming it. I'd guess for every case like that one there are just as many IDF soldiers who treat the Palestinians decently, despite the regular occurrence of attempts to kill those same soldiers doing their jobs.

Think about this. For 2 to 3 years after the Six Day War ended thousands of Palestinians crossed into Israel every day for good paying jobs and returned home after work with almost zero hassle. During this time the infant mortality rate dropped, health care and education improved. (Note that this was territory Israel wanted to return to Jordan and Egypt in exchange for a peace treaty and recognition of Israel's right to exist but was turned down at Khartoum.)

But what happened to reverse all that progress in the Palestinians' living conditions? Did Israel decide it would be better policy to make the Palestinians miserable and humiliate them so they'd hate Israelis more than they already did? Did Israel start putting in unnecessary road blocks and check points and manning them with a**holes? That's a rhetorical question because I'm sure you know the answer as to what happened.

Just as an aside I pass back and forth between Canada and the US several times a year. I have waited in lines for hours. I've had all the contents of my van totally dumped on the ground several times by US customs and gone through with drug dogs. I've been strip searched. I've been taken into an interrogation room and sat in front of a guy who asked me casually if I ever smoked marijuana. (It was all I could do to keep from breaking out laughing at that one.) It's never easy crossing the border but some times it's just dealing with people who have the power to f**k with you - - and so some of them do.

When that happens I try to assume the officer was having a bad day for some reason and I try not to get pissed off. I'm sure most of them are decent folks just trying to make a living and retire some day. It was unfair and sometimes humiliating but I got over it. And all that happened at a time when Canadians were not lobbing rockets across the border trying to kill US civilians in Bellingham or planting bombs along the border trying to kill and/or kidnap soldiers on patrol.

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Response to BudT (Reply #64)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 08:29 PM

65. That doesn't make sense, Bud...


it appears Arab Christians have been used (and are cooperating) in the making of a false issue to smear Israel.


You simply don't have any evidence for that.

I can point you to plenty of old news articles from pro-Israel ideologues blaming Muslims for the problems of Christians in Bethlehem:-

http://www.rightnetwork.com/posts/bethlehem-today-aka-hamas-central

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/feb/2/20060202-103631-9587r/?page=all

You haven't pointed to a single article to demonstrate your allegation that Palestinian Christians conspired to somehow make this an issue long before pro-Israel ideologues took it up. That is simply a baseless smear that makes me doubt your temerity and your stated willingness to simply understand this issue better.

Actually they are fleeing from Bethlehem because Bethlehem has become a hotbed of Islamic ideology and Hamas support. Syria (under Assad) and Jordan have both been pretty protective of their Arab Christian minorities. Its understandable they would move there or to other cities on the WB.


Again, you have no evidence for that. Why would Hamas be any stronger in Bethlehem, yet relatively weaker in other cities in the West Bank? This is a very strange statement from someone who claims to be only interested in the evidence.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #65)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:27 AM

72. Doesn't make sense?

That's pretty funny when you think about it. Although several of your points in this thread did make some sense what fails the sensibility test is your underlying position - - that whatever the Palestinians do in this conflict including lying about their intentions - - whether Hamas establishing a presence on the WB or the PA pretending they would not allow it or Arab Christians denying that they ever suffer harassment at the hands of Islamists - - is even worth arguing over.

The Palestinian leadership has very long and voluminous record of lying about everything that's ever happened in this conflict. Every day there's a new story from them about how the Jews are trying to undermine the Aqsa Mosque or putting aphrodisiacs in the chewing gum or some cleric tells us there's never been a single piece of evidence supporting an historic presence of Jews in the region. That's without even having to mention the ambulance that supposedly had a direct hit from a missile that neatly severed abn cuaterized the leg of the man inside it or the famous Al Dura myth, the mythical Gaza beach naval attack, etc. etc. etc. The biggest lie Arabs told was when they joined the UN which required them to agree to abide by the resolutions that the UN body approved and not start wars of aggression.

But back to the current batch of lies under discussion. When I Google "Bethlehem Hamas" I get 1.6 million hits. I'd enjoy a respectful discussion with someone on your side who actually wanted to try to reach some fundamental truths about the conflict that we could agree on - - rather than someone who I guess fancies themselves a jihadi keyboard warrior.

I can see that my brief attempt at joining this "discusion" was a mistake. This is Bud signing off for now.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 06:35 PM

16. And does anyone in their right mind

 

think that the Palestinian Christians are suicidal and will blame the pal. Arabs for their problems and risk their lives ?

I think the pal. Christians know what happens when someone doesn't say the right thing.

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Response to jimmie (Reply #16)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:10 PM

20. "the Palestinian Arabs"?

Both Muslims and Christians in the West Bank are considered Palestinian Arabs.

from Wikipedia:-

In a 2006 poll of Christians in Bethlehem by the Palestinian Centre for Research and Cultural Dialogue, 90% reported having Muslim friends, 73.3% agreed that the Palestinian Authority treats Christian heritage in the city with respect, and 78% attributed the ongoing exodus of Christians from Bethlehem to the Israeli occupation and travel restrictions on the area. Daniel Rossing, the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs' chief liaison to Christians in the 1970s and 1980s, has stated that the situations for them in Gaza became much worse after the election of Hamas. He also stated that the Palestinian Authority, which counts on Christian westerners for financial support, treats the minority fairly. He blamed the Israeli West Bank barrier as the primary problem for the Christians.

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Response to jimmie (Reply #16)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:56 AM

28. Of course that wasn't mentioned by Bob Simon either. Just a hatchet job. n/t

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 10:28 AM

4. I watched it carefully.

I was struck by the difference between the general message 60 minutes was pushing: That Israel is the reason for the dropping numbers of Arab-Christians on the WB - and the lack of any evidence in the program to support that message.

The closest they came was to highlight the problems faced by a single Christian Arab family who's home was next to the separation wall that Israel built, mostly explaining that their view from their windows was obstructed. Was 60 Minutes trying to say that Israel built the wall in that spot because of that Christian family's proximity to it? It was quite a dramatic part of the segment - but I could not figure out what it had to do with Israel's supposed anti-Christian motives.

The segment even pointed out clearly that the Arab population of the WB had grown significantly - while the Christian population declined. How exactly does Israel manage that - since the theme of the segment was Israel's supposed cause of the Christian decline vis-a-vis Arab Muslims? Does Israel have policies that favor WB Arabs Muslims while singling out WB Arab Christians for ill treatment? If so they failed to show even one instance of such discrimination.

Yet they have no problem promoting their message that Israel is somehow responsible for the Arab Christian decline. I believe that is what Michael Oren objected to - and I agree with him. It was a hatchet job. Added to similar treatment of Israel in past programs I believe it suggests a deep anti-Israel bias on the part of 60 Minute's management.

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Response to BudT (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 12:47 PM

6. Excellent response! I believe what is truly sinister about this 60 minutes hatchet job...

...is that it does absolutely nothing to help Christians who are bullied by Hamas and Fatah. Palestinian christians are merely used as a prop or pawns in order to attack Israel.

The message to Hamas and Fatah is clear. They can do whatever they want as Islamists to the Christians, and not only can they get away with it scot-free, the bonus is that the Jews take the blame.

The segment only appeals to useful idiots and Israel haters who have orgasms every time Israel is bashed.

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 03:20 PM

9. Interesting...

Google news links to this DU thread (when searching for articles under 'Israel'):

When Israel's ambassador to the US irked a '60 Minutes' reporter‎
Haaretz (blog) - 13 hours ago
Was it justified for Michael Oren to contact top CBS officials in a quest to influence a report over Israel's Christian community?

Israel Daily News Stream 04/23/2012‎ Honestreporting.com

Who ya gonna call?‎ Power Line (blog)

When Michael Oren irked Bob Simon‎ Democratic Underground

Greek Reporter
all 18 news articles »

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Response to Scurrilous (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:06 AM

68. What is interesting about that?

What was the point of your response here to your own post?

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 05:25 PM

11. An occasional Palestinian Christian encounter of Israeli intolerance

The Israeli ambassador to the US appears to really believe that Palestinian Christians suffer significantly from Palestinian Muslims, and just occasionally from Israeli intolerance.

Palestinian Christians' reality is the complete opposite.

The ambassador's latest missives in the American press have provoked Palestinian Christian leaders to remind him and his readers that Israel really isn't all that friendly to its Christians.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=475979

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 05:34 PM

12. This is an Op Ed piece by Baha Hilo

Since you like to identify who is saying what, that ought to be front and center, no?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #12)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 06:33 PM

15. well what of it? what damning evidence do you have against this person? n/t

Last edited Mon Apr 23, 2012, 07:06 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #15)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 07:59 PM

18. Evidence of what?

I am just saying he has his own biases and POV, as do most commentators on the subject.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:39 PM

21. oh so it seems you were red flagging bias based on the writer having an Arab name? n/t

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 04:50 AM

22. Bizarre that it would seem that way to you

With that conclusion having no basis in reality whatsoever.

I wonder - when people note that a piece was written by Alan Dershowitz, are they flagging bias based on the writer having a Jewish name?

Or do they just want people to be aware of who wrote the piece and where he is coming from?

But your "assumption" here speaks volumes.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #22)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 02:47 PM

35. was wondering the same thing what if someone brought up a Jewish writer simply on that basis however

it was indeed you who brought up this subject and seeing as how at least yesterday you had nothing but the authors name and that you seemed to presume some sort of bias based on that then what are we to think? Not to mention your attempt at turning this around falls quite flat as once again it was you who brought this up, now as to Dershowitz he is not criticized on the ethnicity of his name he is criticized on his past work

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #35)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 06:04 AM

41. I just think it's good to know who is saying what

And evaluate their statements accordingly.

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 06:37 PM

17. I was surprised 60 Minutes ran this story..good for them. n/t

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 10:07 AM

25. Netanyahu was briefed on efforts to stop '60 Minutes' report on Israel's Christians

PM was fully updated by Israeli ambassador to U.S. Michael Oren on his attempts to halt an investigative report on Israel's treatment of its Christian community which he thought would harm Israel's interests.

<snip>

"The attempts by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren to halt the broadcast of a "60 Minutes" investigative report on the Christian community in Israel and the West Bank were carried out after a series of consultations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political adviser Ron Dermer.

It is unclear whether Netanyahu or Dermer were the ones who instructed or suggested that Oren directly address the president of CBS in an attempt to prevent the broadcast, but the two were fully informed on the affair almost since its start.

According to a senior Israeli official, Oren visited Israel two months ago for family matters, but met with Netanyahu and Dermer during his visit and updated them on the information he obtained regarding the report in "60 Minutes."

During those consultations, Oren stressed that the report, in addition to other articles recently published on Israel's treatment of Christians, may harm Israel's strategic interests in all matters concerning Israel's image in the United States.

Many Christian communities in the United States, in particular the Evangelical denomination, are considered great supporters of Israel. Netanyahu is closely associated with numerous Evangelical leaders and is a usual speaker at the annual conference of the organization Christians United for Israel.

Oren told Netanyahu and his advisers that the broadcast of the report may harm Israel's ties with those Christian communities in the U.S."

http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/diplomania/netanyahu-was-briefed-on-efforts-to-stop-60-minutes-report-on-israel-s-christians-1.426118

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Response to Scurrilous (Reply #25)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:03 PM

29. Good to see Israel is pro-actively addressing the Delegitimization campaign. n/t

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Response to Scurrilous (Reply #25)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:58 PM

30. Guess this buries the myth of Israeli influence over the US

In spite of protestations from the highest levels of the Israeli government.

AIPAC nowhere to be found?

The Jewish/Israel Lobby?

Who are the other bogeymen? Hasbarists or whatever the nomenclature of choice is now.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #30)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 01:29 PM

31. Yea, if lobby influence and the Israeli government influence are not 100% successful

100% of the time, that dispels their influence. You can't be serious, at least I hope not.

snip* A senior Israeli official said that Oren's op-ed, together with Netanyahu's speech and the petition to the president of CBS, were meant to foil the broadcast of the investigative report, or to at least affect public opinion in the U.S., particularly in Christian communities, ahead of the broadcast.

Nonetheless, the attempt to thwart the broadcast of the report has brought up the issue of Israel's treatment of its Christian community all the more forcefully. A source in the Foreign Ministry even said that on some level, the preemptive campaign against the report just intensified the resolve of the "60 Minutes" reporters to air it.

"We awakened the dead - instead of stifling the subject we just increased interest in it," the source said.

Officials in the Prime Minister's Office said that, on the contrary, the attempts to affect the article proved successful. "The broadcast of the article was delayed for several weeks because they reexamined the entire report," officials said. "The article was malignant and harmful, but the wording was much softer than in the original version."

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #31)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 02:05 PM

32. Zero Percent actually

It's a myth. That is my point. This helps to illustrate the point.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #32)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 02:13 PM

33. There is no influence, ok. Enjoy your fantasy. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #33)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 06:07 AM

42. And you are free to enjoy yours

Open minds lead to greater understanding.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #42)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 01:13 PM

47. One day you'll be able to demonstrate that, perhaps. n/t

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 03:11 PM

36. Israeli PR machine in frenzy over CBS report on Christians

By going to such great lengths to interfere in a report by CBS News simply because it involves Israel, the government and foreign ministry of Israel are proving just how reprehensible the country’s policies are – that they require constant PR surveillance.

<snip>

"When the Israeli government and its embassy in Washington discovered that CBS News show 60 Minutes was going to run a segment on the increasing departure of Christians from the West Bank, they felt obligated to step in. With Prime Minister Netanyahu’s advice and blessing, Ambassador Michael Oren decided months ago that before the show even aired, he must speak with the network’s chairman in order to make sure the report included an Israeli reaction, delaying the report’s airing from last Christmas to this last Sunday.

The Ambassador claimed he had information the 60 Minutes story was going to do a “hatchet job” on Israel which, apparently for Israeli leadership and diplomatic officials, means any mention at all of the possible suffering of Christian Palestinians in places like Bethlehem, due to the separation wall towering over their homes, or the myriad other hardships and violations committed by Israel’s military occupation.

In this clip from the full 60 Minutes report, Bob Simon tells Ambassador Oren that he has never in all his years of journalism been confronted with such interference in his reporting, before a story even aired.



By telling Bob Simon of CBS News that there is a ‘first time for everything,’ Ambassador Oren admitted that Israel’s Foreign Ministry is pioneering a new kind of diplomacy: pure damage control. Israel will continue to be an occupying force, while doing everything in its power to make sure its PR strategy is cleansed of any mention of it. Great plan.

As far as Israel is concerned, this makes perfect sense. As one Israeli diplomat told Haaretz: ”Ambassador Oren did what a diplomat is supposed to do to – prevent serious damage.”

more

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Response to Scurrilous (Reply #36)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 03:24 PM

37. This isn't damage control for Israel. It's being proactive vs. the delegitimization campaign. n/t

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 12:10 PM

45. PALESTINIAN CHRISTLANS: CHALLENGES AND HOPES

Excellent Christian-Moslem Relations

In order to better understand or contextualise the Palestinian Christian response, there is need to reaffirm the traditionally excellent relations between Christians and their Moslem neighbours. This tradition of good Christian-Moslem relations has evolved through centuries of coexistence and exchange in the cities of Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Ramallah and in the rural areas such as Zababdeh, BirZeit and other towns and villages where Moslems and Christians live side by side and interact in their pursuit of daily pre-occupations and concerns. A number of factors have historically contributed to this tradition of excellent Moslem-Christian relations:4

First, the modem history of Palestine with the Arab-Israeli conflict affecting the entire population equally, with the experience of dispersal and loss of homeland.

Second, the contribution which Christian institutions, mostly Western, have made since the 19th century to the education, health and other needs of the population irrespective of religion.

Third, the presence of the Holy Places, and the recognition by Islam of the centrality of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth to Christianity. This recognition is best crystallised in Caliph 'Umar's "al-Uhda al-'Umariyya" which was his guarantee of the safety of Christians and their holy places in 638 when Islam entered the country.


http://www.al-bushra.org/holyland/sabella.htm

about the author Dr Bernard Sabella

Professor of Sociology at Bethlehem University; Ph.D. in Sociology, Viriginia University, USA; member of various Palestinian institutions; scientific and research interest focuses on Palestinian society; co-author of many academic publications; Executive Secretary of the Department of Services to Palestinian Refugees in the Middle East Council of Churches.

http://www.passia.org/about_us/sabella.html

passia's board of trustees

Dr. Mahdi Abdul Hadi - Chairman
Ms. Diana Safieh
Dr. Addnan Musallam
Dr. Sari Nusseibeh
Dr. Bernard Sabella
Dr. Said Zeedani
Dr. Kamal Abdul Fattah

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #45)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 12:21 PM

46. Good article

Although I didn't read it carefully yet - - just the first pass through - - this seems to be pretty well balanced. I was going to post a link but you beat me to it.

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #45)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 01:28 PM

48. Christian/Muslim relations in the territories are excellent? Who is the author kidding?

Are we to assume that Islamists in the territories treat Christians significantly better than their Islamist mideast neighbors? That given how Jews were persecuted throughout the mideast, this is not happening with respect to Christians (but only in the territories)?

Please!

Here are articles refuting these "excellent" relations b/w Christians and Islamists in the the territories:


http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=3074&q=1

http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp490.htm

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/palestinian-christians-suffering-severe-blows-muslims-muslim-says

http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=3895

http://roshpinaproject.com/2012/03/18/how-does-catc2012-respond-to-pa-treatment-of-palestinian-christians/

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2009/December/Rights-Group-Hamas-Desecrated-Christian-Graves-/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/23/gaza-christians-hamas-cancelled-christmas

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/501/the-beleaguered-christians-in-bethlehem

http://blog.camera.org/archives/2007/01/bethlehem_christians_speak_out.html

http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=48&x_issue=5&x_article=2224

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2002/5/The%20Involvement%20of%20Arafat-%20PA%20Senior%20Officials%20and

Of course, Bob Simon and the entire 60 minutes crew knew nothing about the above before the airing of the show this past week.



So Shira did a little googling for just a few minutes to find the above. Something the 60 minutes crew is incapable of doing for some odd reason.

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Response to shira (Reply #48)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 02:42 PM

49. Thank you for that incredible list

gleaned from rightist organizations the Stone Gate Institute is an example a look at their columnists should be informative

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/columnists/

not to mention CAMERA and MFA

eta Bernard Sabella is a Palestinian Christian Roman Catholic I believe but what does he know right?

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #49)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:03 PM

50. In other words, you have nothing other than shooting the messenger....

What exactly makes Khaled Abu Toameh, the crew from CAMERA, and the MFA rightist in your opinion? Be very clear.

As to Bernard Sabella, you're right. He's a Palestinian Christian. You don't think he's worried about the repercussions of speaking out against Islamists in the territories? And are you assuming he's not someone who just hates Jews (the old type of religious christian hatred)?

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Response to shira (Reply #50)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 05:43 PM

51. well it quite a crop you;ve harvested from there

let's see Israel Ministry of Foreifn Affairs, Camera, Hudson Institute , PalWatch aside lets look at RoshPina Project

The Rosh Pina Project is an online meeting place for Messianic Jews and all those who believe that Messianic Jews deserve fair treatment in Israel and the Diaspora, and protection as a religious minority in Israel. Joe and Gev, both affiliated with Messianic Jewish fellowships, are currently the main contributors to this site. The Rosh Pina Project will be highlighting the persecution of Messianic Jews in Israel, unfair treatment of Messianic Jews in the mainstream media, post cultural and political reviews and whatever else we find interesting.

http://roshpinaproject.com/about

CSN

CNSNews.com was launched on June 16, 1998 as a news source for individuals, news organizations and broadcasters who put a higher premium on balance than spin and seek news that’s ignored or under-reported as a result of media bias by omission.

Study after study by the Media Research Center, the parent organization of CNSNews.com, clearly demonstrate a liberal bias in many news outlets – bias by commission and bias by omission – that results in a frequent double-standard in editorial decisions on what constitutes "news."

In response to these shortcomings, MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell III* founded CNSNews.com in an effort to provide an alternative news source that would cover stories that are subject to the bias of omission and report on other news subject to bias by commission.

CNSNews.com endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story and debunk popular, albeit incorrect, myths about cultural and policy issues.

*emphasis mine

http://cnsnews.com/about-us

and CBN who also bring us The 700 Club

now if wish to call upon these organizations to represent your view point then be my guest

as to Dr Sabella once again I ask if he's so in fear why speak at all ?

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #51)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 09:09 AM

58. What about The Guardian?

I noticed you didn't mention that one.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #58)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:50 AM

71. I'm betting the Guardian would erase all traces of the article...

...if they could.

They regret such 'rightwing' reporting.

Did they fire that columnist for being an evil rightwing Kahanist shill for Likud?

Here's another from the Guardian from 2005 about an Islamist pogrom against Palestinian christians:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/sep/05/israel

More rightwing bigoted, anti-Muslim reporting from the Guardian, obviously.

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #49)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 08:15 AM

57. You'd think there might have been at least one Arab Christian source in amongst all that (nt)

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #57)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 09:10 AM

59. What are some good Arab Christian sources?

Can you list a few such examples? Thanks in advance!

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Response to oberliner (Reply #59)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 05:44 PM

62. You're talking to one...

and if I'm not to your taste, there's an Arab orthodox church about fifteen minutes' drive from your town, in Akron, Ohio. By all means, go there and and have a chat with them:-

http://www.stgeorgeakron.com

At the end of the day, if you want to know what an Arab Christian thinks, you'd be better off asking them, rather than asking a white North American Jew at a pro-Israel advocacy group (as Shira would apparently have it). Quite a European colonist mindset when you think about it.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #62)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 05:51 PM

63. I was just wondering if there was a specific news source or blog you had in mind

You were understandably critical of the links that were provided above. I wasn't sure if you knew of any Arab Christian bloggers or the like who presented a fair representation of the various points of views within those communities.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #63)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 08:31 PM

66. Have a read of this if you like

http://wenchepaavestbredden.blogspot.com.au/

Bear in mind that it is written by a Hitlerjugend Norwegian.

I still think you'd be better off meeting some Arab Christians yourself. Would be a good use of that liberal arts education of yours.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #66)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 11:54 PM

67. I taught Arab Christians for a year in Jerusalem

Actually got to work with the children of some of the soon to be PA elite.

It was a really good use of my liberal arts education.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #67)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:10 AM

69. I'm not sure why you need me to refer you to Arab blogs then

given that you could simply ask your former students whether they are more bothered by the occupation, or by Muslims.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #69)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:16 AM

70. Not everyone has that luxury

It would be useful, I think, to post some blogs here that showcase those points of views. That way, anyone who wants to say anything on the topic can actually provide links and references that won't be the subject of (understandable) derision.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #57)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 08:19 AM

74. Where are all the reports out of Palestine about persecution of gays, women....

...honor killings, using children as militants and shields, etc., etc.? Female genital mutilation?

Those things must not be happening, but if those problems could somehow be blamed on Israel I'm certain 60 minutes would report on it.

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Response to shira (Reply #74)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:37 AM

76. Of course no one supports this

 

And of course no one wants to speak out against these atrocities.

Not the UN
Not Amnesty international... Except the occasional blip
Not the World courts
And not that loathsome Bob Simon

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Response to jimmie (Reply #76)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 02:39 PM

77. Yeah, nice "Leftist/Progressive" movement doing rightwing humanitarianism.

They don't like what would happen if they did report on it.

They'd lose access to the territories. No more reporting there means less $$ revenue $$, and endangers journalists there. Not to mention the Oil Lobby, which would probably raise oil prices as a result of the West turning against them. As to the UN? It's practically run by dictatorships already, so what do you expect?

Therefore, there are no human rights violations going on within Gaza or the W.Bank in which Hamas or the PLO are the perpetrators.

Just as women aren't being oppressed throughout the mideast.
And christians have it great throughout that region as well.
Gays too.

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:18 PM

73. PA Declares Church in Bethlehem to be Unlawful

The Palestinian Authority declared a Baptist Church in Bethlehem to be unlawful and said that it will no longer receive rights as a religious institution, Algemeiner reported.

This decision comes a week after Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told an audience of Evangelical Protestants that his government respected the rights of its Christian minorities.

“They said that our legitimacy as a church from a governmental point of view is not approved,” said an assistant pastor at the First Baptist Church. “They said they will not recognize any legal paper work from our church. That includes birth certificates, wedding certificates and death certificates. Children are not even considered to be legitimate if they don’t have recognized paperwork.”

The messianic church was subjected to an ongoing onslaught of attacks by Arabs during the height of the First Intifada.

At a recent gathering of Evangelical Protestants, Prime Minister Fayyad said that ensuring the rights of the Christian minority to access their holy sites is, in part, what it “means to be a Palestinian.”

Pastor Reverend Naim Khoury noted, however, that animosity towards the Christian minority in areas controlled by the PA continues to get increasingly worse.

“People are always telling , ‘Convert to Islam. Convert to Islam. It’s the true and right religion,’” Khoury said.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/153747#.T5rDfdnhfLD

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Response to Mosby (Reply #73)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 08:21 AM

75. Remember the disgusting Church of the Nativity siege by Palestinian gunmen...

...back in 2002? Remember how well they treated their christian captives there and were very careful to not desecrate Church grounds?

Oh right, I don't remember it that way either.

None of these things are happening as it's all Israel's fault.

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Response to Scurrilous (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 12:39 PM

78. Bob Simon himself invited Oren to react to the program BEFORE it broadcast

Bob Simon has been exposed as a fraud and a liar. Bob Simon himself invited Ambassador Oren to comment and react to the program. See here:

It was a polite letter that brought Israeli Ambassador to CBS for on-camera outrage.

When the venerable CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” aired a segment critical of the Israeli treatment of Palestinian Christians last week, correspondent Bob Simon repeatedly suggested that Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren had crossed a line by contacting the network's top executive in advance to complain of a coming “hatchet job.”

"We didn't realize it would become so controversial,” Simon said in his introduction to the story, which featured an on-air clash between him and Oren. "I've never gotten a reaction before from a story that hasn't been broadcast yet," Simon told the ambassador during the segment.

But Simon’s apparent shock — and high dudgeon — at Oren’s conduct were nowhere to be found in a letter he wrote the ambassador before the taping, and which was provided to BuzzFeed by a political operative not party to the dispute who said he shared it because he thought it illustrated CBS doubletalk.

When the venerable CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” aired a segment critical of the Israeli treatment of Palestinian Christians last week, correspondent Bob Simon repeatedly suggested that Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren had crossed a line by contacting the network's top executive in advance to complain of a coming “hatchet job.”

"We didn't realize it would become so controversial,” Simon said in his introduction to the story, which featured an on-air clash between him and Oren. "I've never gotten a reaction before from a story that hasn't been broadcast yet," Simon told the ambassador during the segment.

But Simon’s apparent shock — and high dudgeon — at Oren’s conduct were nowhere to be found in a letter he wrote the ambassador before the taping, and which was provided to BuzzFeed by a political operative not party to the dispute who said he shared it because he thought it illustrated CBS doubletalk.


Read it all and read the letter itself.

Simple double talk from CBS - anything to smear Israel and raise the ratings.

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Response to henank (Reply #78)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 12:54 PM

79. As long as his lies affect only Israel negatively, that's okay...

And we have no reason whatsoever to suspect there were any lies (either by commission or omission) in the 60 minutes broadcast.

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