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...

  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    JNS.org – Alan Gross used to be nothing more to me than a tragic headline. When I started my position at this news service in July 2011, Gross had been imprisoned in Cuba since December 2009 for what that country called “crimes against the state.” Gross, a subcontractor for the United States Agency for International Development, went to Cuba to help the Jewish community there access the Internet. After his arrest, he received a trial he describes as a “B movie,” […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Features New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    JNS.org – When I saw the recent Academy Award-winning film “The Big Short,” I was struck by the sheer genius of the financiers who devised the schemes and packaged the loans for resale, but it left me with unanswered questions about how the properties these loans represented were moved. “The Big Short” was largely about paper transactions, big money, and wealthy investors, and it mildly touched on the way the actual end-users — the home buyers and brokers — played into this […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Why do we think so negatively about psychiatrists that we still insult them by calling them shrinks? Some medics might be quacks, but we don’t generally refer to them as witches! Shrinks; The Untold Story of Psychiatry, by Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, is a sobering account of how psychiatry has swung from a marginal, unscientific mixture of weird theories into one of the most common and pervasive forms of treatment of what are commonly called “disorders of the mind.” Is it […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion At Forbes Summit in Israel, Entrepreneurship Is a ‘Common Language’

    At Forbes Summit in Israel, Entrepreneurship Is a ‘Common Language’

    JNS.org – Nine months ago, Seth Cohen, director of network initiatives for the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and Randall Lane, editor of Forbes Magazine, were schmoozing about the “vibrancy of Tel Aviv and soul of Jerusalem,” as Lane put it. They dreamed about how they could bring young and innovative millennials to the so-called “start-up nation.” From April 3-7, Forbes turned that dream into a reality. Israel played host to the first-ever Forbes Under 30 EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) […]

    Read more →