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December 22, 2015 2:14 pm

Watchdog: USA Today Commits Front-Page ‘Anti-Israel Hatchet Job’ in Report on Gaza Christians

avatar by Ruthie Blum

A Christian mother and child in Gaza. Photo: Wikipedia.

A Christian mother and child in Gaza. Photo: Wikipedia.

A media watchdog referred to a recent USA Today article blaming the Jewish state for the mass flight of Christians out of Gaza and the West Bank as “an anti-Israel hatchet job.”

The piece, which appeared on the front page of the Fairfax, Virginia-based publication on Monday, “requires rebuttal,” according to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

Titled “Faith is fading out in Gaza” in the print edition (and headlined “After 2,000 years, Christians disappearing from Gaza” on the paper’s website) – the article asserts that “the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and the highest unemployment rate in the world are prompting Christians to leave the besieged area in droves.”

It also cites a Palestinian Arab from Bethlehem stating that “Palestinian Christians … receive no tolerance or mercy from the Israeli occupation. Their land has been confiscated, their houses have been destroyed.”

However, CAMERA responded, “Gaza doesn’t have the world’s highest unemployment rate; the West Bank’s Christian population has increased; and any lack of tolerance Christians there face may come primarily from the ruling Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement and the area’s largely Muslim majority.”

CAMERA additionally pointed to the fact that the author of the article, stringer Matthew Vickery, has also done reporting for Al-Jazeera English, a Qatar-headquartered media outlet whose “chronic anti-Israel slant” the watchdog regularly documents.

CAMERA said that though “perhaps the Vickery-Al-Jazeera connection does not taint” the article in question, “Qatar has supported Sunni Muslim extremist groups, including Hamas, the US-and Israeli-designated terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip, and USA Today’s story virtually omits the role of Islamic radicals in persecuting Gaza Christians.”

Nearly every word in the piece, accused CAMERA, “is a lie.”

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