Wednesday, April 25, 2012

60 Minutes Delivers Shoddy Journalism

60 Minutes Delivers Shoddy Journalism
Christians of the Holy Land report was ridiculously shallow in the facts
By Donna Diorio

Arrows from Zion | Israelprayer
April 22, 2012

Yesterday, 60 Minutes aired a segment on Christian Arabs fleeing the Holy Land where they featured Rev Mitri Reheb and some other Christian Arabs who denied that the reason Christian Arabs fled was because of persecution of Islamists.

HERE'S THE PROBLEM WITH THAT, the ones who stayed have already taken the steps to avoid being lashed out at by their Muslim neighbors. 60 Minutes was asking the wrong people if there is persecution of Christian Arabs by Muslim Arabs. They need to ask the ones who already fled and are now safe, not the ones who are still in the line of fire.

When I started Israelprayer in August of 2001, it wasn't long before we were enlisted by David and Leah Ortiz, Messianic Jews in Ariel, to pray for many Christian Arabs who were in Palestinian Authority jails. Some were being tortured, some even died. When Israel, in the aftermath of 9/11, launched Operation Defensive Shield where the IDF went into Palestinian towns to uproot munitions factories and terror nests city-by-city, they also set free the Christian Arabs who were being held in PA jails.

See my story of my 'chance' meeting with "S" in 2003 in Tel Aviv - the last Christian Arab who was released by the IDF in Operation Defensive Shield from a PA prison where he feared for his life. In this blog entry I tell the story of praying for the Christian Arabs who were imprisoned by the PA in 2001-2002, and how the IDF set them free, and meeting the Palestinian Christian "S" who was the last to be released from Nablus jail.

This is only one the example we know intimately about regarding Palestinian Muslim persecution of Christian Arabs. There have been murders of Christian pastors, beatings, threats. Yet 60 Minutes takes 3 people who are grinning and denying as if it is the lie of the century. Hey, 60 Minutes, we know that is how you WANT to believe in, but those denials don't square with the truth.

During the second Intifada - and one of the reasons cited that Christian Arabs began fleeing the holy land in droves - is the use of their homes as sniper nests where even a Jewish baby was shot in the mother's arms. Palestinian Islamists used Christian Arab homes because they knew it would draw Israeli return fire - two birds killed with one stone.

You can't waltz into Israel and the Palestinian controlled areas, do a few interviews and think you are emerging with the true situation as 60 Minutes did in this interview. You have to have a track record following the events there. 60 Minutes presented a false view in its report last night. A false narrative is not the basis for reconciliation bridges.

*** Today, I am getting emails highlighting the woefully inadequate 60 Minutes report. They are citing the extensive report by Justus Reid Weiner of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, who wrote "Human Rights of Christians in Palestinian Society".

Now I first learned of Justus Reid Weiner's work around 2000-2001 through David and Leah Ortiz, Messianic Jews in Ariel. David was a major source for Weiner's investigation and is cited eight or nine times in the investigation. David took Weiner into places and to sources Weiner would otherwise not have had entrance to.

Ironically, the Jewish terrorist who bombed the Ortiz home near fatally wounding the 15-year old son of David & Leah Ortiz, is in court this month where it is expected that the charges against him for the bombing of Ami Ortiz will be dropped in exchange for a confession of guilt from Jack Teitel in the murder of two Arabs.

David is like Mordechai, in the book of Esther, who revealed a plot against the king and then became the target of a plot against his own life and the life of the Israelis in exile.

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren writes on The Plight of Mideast Christians here.