Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

How Haaretz Ruined My Christmas Eve

December 24, 2012 7:23 pm 5 comments

Prime Minister Netanyahu delivers his Christmas message to Christians. Photo: Screenshot.

It’s Christmas Eve and here I am writing a piece for The Algemeiner.

No, it’s not Dovid Efune’s fault.

It’s the fault of Barak Ravid, a writer at Haaretz. It’s his fault I’m writing while away on my vacation. He wrote a piece for Haaretz that begged for a quick reply.

I can’t blame Barak Ravid entirely. It’s my fault for checking my email. A few minutes ago I had just come back from walking the dog and was watching my wife and youngest daughter bake cookies when I made the mistake of checking my email.

I received a message from a colleague alerting me to Ravid’s piece in Haaretz condemning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for radicalizing “his traditional Christmas greeting into an attack on Muslims in Arab countries.”

Whoah, that’s a serious charge.

Apparently, in his Christmas greeting, Netanyahu made the unforgivable sin of stating the obvious: That Christian populations are shrinking and are in danger in the Middle East. Netanyahu then added salt to the wound and reminded his listeners that Christians are safe in Israel.

According to Ravid, “Netanyahu did not specify in his greeting who is threatening to annihilate the Christians, but it’s clear from the wording that he means the Muslims.”

Earth to Barak Ravid: Netanyahu didn’t have to say who was threatening the annihilation of the Christians because we already know.

Unless they’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, most Christians know that Muslim extremists throughout the Middle East have been attacking Christians on a regular basis for the past few years. Their churches have been bombed. Their pastors kidnapped, held for ransom and killed.

And moderate Muslims and secularists in the region do not have the power necessary to stop the attacks on their Christian neighbors. They can’t even defend themselves.

In 2003, there were more than 1.5 million Christians living in Iraq. Now there are less than 500,000 living in that country. Why? Because Muslims have been attacking them on a regular basis since the ouster of Saddam Hussein!

Many of the Christians who fled Iraq went to Syria because it was safer. And guess what? Many of them are now heading back to Iraq to avoid being murdered by the Islamist rebels who are fighting against the Assad regime.

And with the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, Christians are under siege in Egypt. More than 100,000 have left the country since the ouster of President Mubarak in 2011.

Barak Ravid ignores all of this and writes that “Netanyahu did not go so far as to use the Christian holy figures for political purposes,” but then some how tries to blame Netanyahu for the decision of Israeli diplomats in Ireland to post a now-deleted entry on the Embassy’s Facebook page stating that the Holy Family would probably be lynched by Palestinians if they had tried to get into Bethlehem today.

It was a bit over the top. But Christians are being lynched and attacked on a regular basis in Muslim-majority countries throughout the world. They get little support from the secular human rights community and liberal Christian peacemakers in North America and Europe who have portrayed Israel as the singular threat to human rights and peace in the Middle East.

As a result of this obsession with Israel, time, energy and money that could be used to promote awareness of the plight of Christians suffering from Islamist oppression is wasted on portraying Palestinians as the quintessential victims of oppression in the Middle East.

They aren’t. Not by a long shot.

People are screaming pretty loud in a lot of places in the Middle East, but their screams are not heard in the West because peace and human rights activists allow Palestinian leaders to hog the microphone. Every Christmas we see pictures of the Jesus and Mary blocked from getting into Bethlehem by the security barrier. (Maybe that’s where the Israeli diplomats in Ireland got their inspiration.)

Yesterday, (Dec. 23) I watched a webcast of a Bethlehem Prayer Service that was organized in part by the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Not one word of solace or comfort was offered on behalf of Christians living under the threat of Islamist violence in Syria, where Christians are starving to death or Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood is achieving a fascist takeover.

In light of this violence, Barak Ravid wants to take Netanyahu to task for stating that Christians are safer in Israel than they are elsewhere in the Middle East. Ravid says this is “radicalizing” a Christmas greeting.

No it isn’t.

It’s simply stating the obvious.

Dexter Van Zile is Christian Media Analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). His opinions are his own.

5 Comments

  • AND THE VATICAN KEEPS IT MOUTH SHUT.
    THEY DON’T EVEN SPEAK UP WHEN CHRISTIANS HAVE TO RUN
    FOR THEIR LIVES.
    THE VATICAN DID MURDER OTHER CHRISTIANS IN THE PAST.

  • Why is there no mention of the many recent “price tag” attacks by israeli settlers on Christians in Israel?

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Blogs Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Actress Natalie Portman acted like a typical “Jewish mother” on the set of her latest movie, Jane Got a Gun, the Israeli-born star told the New York Post‘s Page Six on Sunday. The 34-year-old, who also co-produced the western, said she made it her job to look out for everyone involved in the project, because the film has had to overcome “so many obstacles,” such as losing its director early on. She explained: “Actors changed. We suffered financial and legal challenges. We endured so many replacements. There were delays. […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    “We’re looking very much forward to coming back to Israel this summer,” said the lead singer of the German rock band Scorpions in a video on Monday. “Make sure you don’t miss it because we rock you like a hurricane!” said a jovial Klaus Meine, quoting the band’s seminal 1984 anthem, “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” The hard rock band lands in Israel for a show at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena on July 14 as part of its 50th anniversary tour. It will be the band’s third time […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel were the two most immediate and authentic literary voices who gave witness to the Holocaust. Wiesel was an extrovert and a very public figure who wrote initially in French. Levi was a modest retiring chemist who wrote in Italian. Whereas Wiesel was rooted in the Eastern European Jewish Hassidic world, Levi was the product of an assimilated, secular Italian society that saw itself as Italian first and Jewish as an accident of birth. As Levi himself said, “At Auschwitz I […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Lifestyle Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    JNS.org – Wine has long been considered a social lubricant, and it’s Nir Lavie’s hope that wine from his Har Bracha Winery in the Samarian hills will serve as a social lubricant between the city-goers of Tel Aviv and the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, two locales split geographically, and often politically, on the left and right of the country. The new flagship store of Har Bracha has recently popped its corks on 190 Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Gentile Actor Zachary Levi Says He’s Denied Roles for Being ‘Too Jewish’

    Gentile Actor Zachary Levi Says He’s Denied Roles for Being ‘Too Jewish’

    Actor Zachary Levi said casting directors have denied him roles for being “too Jewish,” despite the fact that he is not a Jew, the New York Daily News‘ Confidenti@l reported on Wednesday. “I guess they were looking for more of a corn-fed, white boy look,” he said. “My family is from f****** Indiana! Come on, I’m like dying here!” The Thor star clarified that he is Welsh, and that Levi is actually his middle name, while his real last name is Pugh. He said he […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Spirituality/Tradition Tracing Chabad’s History and Success (REVIEW)

    Tracing Chabad’s History and Success (REVIEW)

    The secret of Chabad’s worldwide success is revealed by veteran Chabad shliach (emissary) Rabbi David Eliezrie in his new book, The Secret of Chabad. The Chabad movement was founded by Rabbi Schnur Zalman of Liadi, Belarus, in 1775. Years later it came to the US with the arrival of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn in 1940, after his escape from Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Upon his arrival in New York, a number of his co-religionists advised him that there was no place for traditional […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Rapper B.o.B’s New Song Invoking Antisemitism, Holocaust Denial Has Jewish Group ‘Deeply Troubled’

    Rapper B.o.B’s New Song Invoking Antisemitism, Holocaust Denial Has Jewish Group ‘Deeply Troubled’

    A Jewish human rights organization expressed concern on Wednesday over a new song by a popular US rapper that includes lyrics promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories and cites a Holocaust denier, The Algemeiner has learned. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was responding to Tuesday’s release of B.o.B’s “Flatline,” the lyrics of which include: “But before you try to curve it, do your research on David Irving; Stalin was way worse than Hitler, That’s why the POTUS gotta wear a Kippa.” Irving is a historian who has questioned […]

    Read more →
  • Business Features World-Changing Israeli Technologies Wow at Global Investor Summit

    World-Changing Israeli Technologies Wow at Global Investor Summit

    JNS.org – You’re cruising along the highway. Suddenly, your car starts to sputter, your engine grumbles, and your car comes to a screeching halt. The tow truck drags the car to a local auto mechanic. Damage: $1,000. You have no idea whether or not the mechanic is trying to do one over on you, but you will soon, thanks to a new Israeli innovation. Engie puts the car owner in the driver’s seat by providing a special malfunction reader that simply […]

    Read more →