Post-surgery fatigue, so we’ll just do this in general order without a lot of commentary:
The 60 Minutes Story
60 Minutes’ Bob Simon does a story on why Christian Palestinians are leaving the “Holy Land”, largely disputing any claims (made by Israel) that the Christians are a non-player, just caught up in the wider Jewish/Muslim conflict, and are fleeing because of MUSLIM fanaticism and persecution.
Bob Simon Story on Christian Palestinians
Israel's Attempts to Quash the Story
Israel’s ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, placed a call to the CBS Chairman, before the piece is even aired, calling it a hatchet job. This is pretty much unheard of. Bob Simon broadcast an interview with Oren, in which Oren baldly admits that the mere existence of the story, without knowing what’s in it, is already enough of a provocation to excuse one country trying to interfere with another’s free press. Uh, yeah.
But that’s not the first Hasbara attempt — here’s an article on some of the efforts made by the Israeli PR machine.
Here is a letter Oren wrote to the Wall Street Journal in which he tries to scatter blame on everyone but Israel.
And here is an excerpt from 60 Minutes where he tries to divert attention to bad things happening elsewhere in the Middle East (why do Israeli officials think that if someone else is doing something bad, that makes them look good?)
Michael Oren does Hasbara on the Christians of the Middle East
972 Magazine Gets Extra Footage of the Simon-Oren Interview
Humorous take on the Bob Simon / Michael Oren interview
Palestinian journalist Omar Rahman has more to say on this. While the subject of Israeli Hasbara efforts is important, somewhere the plight of Christian Palestinians got lost in the shuffle. Rahman wants to tell us that they are PALESTINIANS, and that they suffer the same fate as all Palestinians under the Israeli regime. (read more…)
(Did anyone actually fall for Oren’s “We love our Christians!” routine? You are hereby banned from this blog!).
I have to say, I think Oren really makes a fool of himself in that interview. I can’t believe he thought that intervening, not merely to make a comment after the story was published, but actually injecting himself into the story itself, could possibly be a good idea. Wow.
I spent a week in Bethlehem during my time in the region and recall fondly our visit to the Church of the Nativity. I also remember one day, just outside of Bethlehem we came across a road that had been torn up in one spot with a pile of dirt and concrete placed in the middle of the road. There were two oil tankers on either side of this dirt pile, and it turned out that to bring oil into the city it was necessary to transfer from one tanker on one side to another tanker on the other side, rather than just driving the tanker directly into town. Apparently the road block had been put in place by settlers specifically for this reason, and there was a settler standing there overseeing the whole process.
Imagine how inefficient that must be, how much time it must waste, and how all those bits and pieces (checkpoints, etc.) must build up to affect the economy and just bring life to a stand-still. Then it’s no wonder that some people would eventually give in to the desire to just give up and leave.
In any case, thanks for walking us through this Tsipi. And also, hope you are feeling better soon! Keep us updated.
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