Response to 60 Minutes Anti-Israel Report on Christians in the Holy Land
April 30 - Israel’s enemies never miss an opportunity to libel or try and discredit it. While the Middle East rages in turmoil – Syria slaughters its own citizens in cold blood, Egypt is “democratically” taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran attempts to execute a Christian Pastor for the “crime” of converting from Islam – the world prefers instead to vilify the only democratic country in the Middle East.
The plight of Christians in the Middle East has become an increasing popular topic in the mainstream media in the past year. A 60 Minutes segment from last Sunday that covered the issue remarks on violence that Christians are suffering for all of two sentences and then proceeded to state: “The one place where Christians are not suffering from violence is the Holy Land: but Palestinian Christians have been leaving in large numbers for years.”
Whether their aim is to drive a wedge between Israel’s largest group of supporters – Evangelical Christians – or to simply criticize the Jewish State – they certainly failed in what should have been their most important concern, the truth.
The Washinton Free Beacon's coverage of the 60 Minutes piece, Christians in the Holy Land, included a response from the IIACF's Director of Outreach:
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.”
The narrative that Christians are fleeing Israel and the Territories under Palestinian Authority control because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is by no means the whole of the story. Christians, and specifically Evangelical Christians throughout the Middle East, are suffering daily persecution from the Muslim majority surrounding them, as they have been since the beginning of Islam. Christians are suffering under the Palestinian Authority despite what is being reported, but no persecuted minority in their right mind would jeopardize their well-being – or life – for the sake of a news report.
The 60 minutes conclusion? “That's not a religious question anymore. It's political.” Yet it certainly is a religious question – 60 Minutes it’s just not asking the right one.
To read the entire Free Beacon response click here.