CBS Stands Behind Anti-Israel Propaganda

60-minutesOn April 22, 2012, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired a segment titled Christians in the Holy Land.  Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, called it “a hatchet job.” The piece by Bob Simon was full of inaccuracies and false allegations about the state of Israel and its mistreatment of Christians.  The sheer irony is in the very airing of the piece.  The fact that it focused on Israel and not on the Muslim world is in itself a telling story. In the face of glaring persecution of Christians in the Arab and Muslim Middle East (including the Christians under the jurisdiction of Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank), CBS’s allegations against Israel, where Christians do enjoy full civil rights and religious freedom, are offensive. It exposed CBS’s cowardice.  Instead of challenging Muslim aggression against Christians and Christianity, CBS chose to express its anti-Israel disposition.

Despite repeated requests by CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) to correct the false information regarding the defensive barrier around Bethlehem (aided by maps that refute CBS allegations), CBS has refused to issue a retraction.  In fact, Jeffrey Fager, chairman of CBS News, while addressing a large audience at the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in New Canaan, CT, on April 7, 2013, refused to admit the inaccuracies in the broadcast Christians in the Holy Land. He actually repeated the same false allegations made in the original broadcast.

Israel’s defensive barrier in Gaza and the West Bank was not meant to confine Palestinians, Muslims or Christians.  It was meant to save Israeli lives from Palestinian Arab terrorists who, prior to the barrier, murdered scores of Israeli civilians. CBS 60 Minutes did not consider doing a segment on that piece of reality.  To conclude as CBS 60 Minutes did, that Israel has caused Christians to suffer, is not only false, it is malicious.

The Christians suffer in Gaza and the West Bank because of the intolerance of Islamist imams, and the encouragement of the Islamist regime of Hamas in the persecution of Christians, and the extortion and violence of Fatah gangs in the West Bank with the blessings of the PA. Moreover, Article 4 of the Palestinian Authority Constitution stipulates that “Islam is the official religion in Palestine,” and that “The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.”

In April, 2002, the Church of the Nativity was invaded by more than 100 Palestinian Muslim gunmen who shot their way inside while attempting to evade capture by Israeli soldiers who had entered Bethlehem to quell on-going terrorism and, in particular, suicide bombings. As confirmed by Abdullah Abu-Hadid, a senior commander in the Tanzim militia, “the idea was to enter the Church in order to create international pressure on Israel.” While inside the church, gunmen engaged in theft, intimidation, hostage-taking, and vandalism.

According to a Lutheran pastor interviewed in Jerusalem on November 15, 2001, Bethlehem’s Nativity Square was traditionally filled with Christian stores, but the Muslim boycott has forced many of these stores out of business. Many Muslims, especially members of various ‘security’ forces, are increasingly forcing Christian-owned shops out of business.  Bob Simon, however, did not see fit to interview that pastor for the segment.

After acquiring control of Bethlehem in 1994, Yaser Arafat, the P.L.O. chairman and Palestinian Authority President, changed the municipal boundaries of Bethlehem by extending the city’s borders to include the 30,000 Muslims living in the neighboring refugee camps of Dehaisheh, El-Ayda, and El-Azeh.  In addition, Arafat encouraged Muslim immigration from Hebron (an Islamist bastion) to Bethlehem.  As a result, in 1990, the Christian population of Bethlehem stood at 60%.  In 2001, it declined to less than 20%.  Israel, had nothing to do with this reality, which again, Bob Simon chose to ignore, and Jeff Fager failed to correct

This reporter interviewed the late Christian Mayor of Bethlehem Elias Freij in 1993, at his office in Bethlehem City Hall, a hand throw away from the Church of the Nativity.  Asked about the decline in the Christian population of the city, Freij pointed with his finger westward and said sardonically, “they are in Santiago de Chile.”  “Why” I asked? In a moment of honesty and frustration Freij replied “Because of intimidation.”

Most of the top Arab Palestinian Christian clergy has been co-opted by the Palestinian Authority, and it is these very people that Bob Simon and CBS 60-Minutes turned to for opinion. The quid-pro-quo for these members of the clergy is to ignore the suffering of their flock caused by Muslim intolerance and intimidation, and blame Israel for their trouble.  It is really fear of jeopardizing their standing with the PA, and to achieve a position within the hierarchy of Palestinian society, that Arab Palestinian Christians leaders, religious and secular, are willing to obfuscate the situation in the PA in spite of the adverse impact on their constituents.

Justus Reid Weiner, the author of Human Rights of Christians in Palestinian Society, in a 2006 interview with Christianity Today described the following: “There is a Greek Orthodox Christian who was so tight with the Palestinian Liberation Organization that during the first intifada, Israel expelled him from the West Bank. Arafat brought him back to the West Bank after the Oslo process began. He ran a TV station that he built in Bethlehem. Despite that connection, he gradually got fed up with what was going on with the Christians. About two months ago, he went public with a dossier that he had previously delivered to Arafat and then Abu Mazen. The dossier gives 70 detailed examples of attacks on specific Christians—beatings, sexual harassment, all nature of theft, stealing land—and 140 cases of land theft where Muslim gangs in cahoots with the Palestinian Authority showed up, poured a slab of cement, built apartment houses, and sold them right under the nose of the land’s Christian owners.”

A while back, Rev. Dr. Bill Harter (PCUSA pastor) and this reporter met with a U.S. State Department official in charge of Israel and the Palestinian Authority Desk. Rev. Harter made over 40 trips to Israel and the West Bank, and met regularly with Arab Palestinian Christians.  He developed close relationships with many families.  Harter pointed out to the State Department official that what Arab Palestinian Christians tell reporters in public is one thing, usually, harsh anti-Israel statements to appease their Muslim neighbors in order to save their skin and protect their families.  Otherwise, they might be accused of being “Zionist agents” and become a prey for Fatah gangsters or Islamists.  In private, Rev. Harter intimated, they complain of harassment, intimidation, and violence against them by Muslims.

CBS News boss Jeff Fager defended the Kairos Document featured on the 60 Minutes segment, which was hailed by Bob Simon’s guest, Rev. Mitri Raheb, an Arab Palestinian pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bethlehem,  (and one of the authors of the Kairos Document) as a “peaceful document.”  In fact, the Central Conference of American Rabbis described the Kairos Document as nothing less than “anti-Semitic and supersessionist.”

The time has come for CBS News and 60 Minutes to get their facts straight and not cower before the idol of political correctness, and attempt to appease the Palestinians and the Muslim world.  60 Minutes should instead re-visit its Christians in the Holy Land segment by going to those persecuted Christians who live in fear of their Muslim neighbors and the PA, but cannot openly speak because their lives are in danger.  It is a lot easier to blame the Jewish State than face the terror of intimidation of the Muslim world, and CBS 60 Minutes proved it.

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  • AdinaK

    It matters not a whit which main tv station it is because the fact of the matter is that an Omerta envelops America and the west: Islam and terror cannot be co-joined, and everything else flows from there. Therefore, when Muslims, via Sharia law underpinnings, wage jihad against Israel and Christians, then its origins must be whitewashed, no matter what the facts are –

    Due to the above, and so much more, does anyone think that the left leaning media would not bow to Islam? Moreover, this has been going on for yrs, but it has become exponentially worse under Obama Inc!

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel

  • @TheFlying_Camel

    I cannot understand Bob Simon. He lived for years in Ramat Ha'Sharon Israel… he knows full well that he is lying about Israel.

    We treated him well during his time in Israel. What gives?

  • @TheFlying_Camel

    I cannot understand Bob Simon. He lived for years in Ramat Ha'Sharon Israel… he knows full well that he is lying about Israel.

    We treated him well during his time in Israel. What gives?

    • guest

      What gives? Inner backbone of human morality; he knows he is lying but he will toe "part line" nevertheless. . Over the last several decades, the press got the taste of being a "king maker" From Watergate reporting through doggedly defense of Clinton's indiscretions, through utter submission to the precious one in WH. It is not the fourth estate as envisioned by the founding fathers, it is a limp and willing "organ" of progressive movement. They dance to the tune of global "politbureaus", the UNs, the NGOs and alike.
      Sorry for too indiscriminate use of quotation marks, but that is only way I could convey past experiences.

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    Because they are,those who hate Jews in particular, are raised that way trough the centuries.
    So to speak,it is in there genes.

  • Fat Chance

    @The FlyingCamel it's simple, the Political Ideology is stronger than the sense of Heritage and Theology. Many American Jews donate money to Jewish causes, it assuages their guilt of backing a political party becoming increasingly hostile to Israel. But their worldly Socialist selves refuse to understand just what damage they are causing Israel.
    Also as in many things in life it is possible to link it to money, in this case oil money. Key American corporations increasingly have heavy Arab money invested in them. banks, communications are at the top of the Arab money invested. With this investment comes power to shape the message.
    Christians in the US are increasing being marginalized and ridiculed. Yet children have learned to say the pledge of allegiance in Arabic at one school, Children have been taken to a Mosque and taught how to pray at another school, but never could you take kids to a Christian or Buddhist temple to do the same. No there is a Democrat push to Islam in the US and it will not end well

  • EthanP

    The left, which controls ALL TV & Cable news except Fox News, has long been anti Israel. This same leftist mentality (Jews or not) has partnered with Islamist/pro Sharia groups. Part of the price is ever more anti Israel/Zionist deceit. Where have been the MSM condemnations for terror in Syria by Hezballah and Iranin Quds forces. Where the condemnation for the Palestinians killed by the same groups. Fact is, if your not killed by Jews, it don't count!

  • Western Spirit

    The Left and Islam are joined at the hip because they serve the same master, the evil one. Lies, intimidation, destruction are the qualities of both the Left and Islam. If Satan's house is divided against itself how can it stand was Jesus' question that still remains true today. That's why Satan house isn't divided, it stands solid with the Left supporting Islam and that alone gives their true nature away.

    Just so Protestants and Catholics Jews and Christians have been at odds with each other throughout the ages. yet each in turn gave birth to the other. The Jews gave birth to Christianity, the Catholics gave birth to Protestants. And it is time we acknowledge this kinship because we all belong to the house of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There are now forces out to destroy us all. And how can a house divided against itself stand?

    We don't have to agree. We just have to give each other their due. If we are to make our alliance succeed we don't need power struggles where one tries to convert the other. That's futile and counter productive. We do need to simply agree on what we do agree on—the worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So that God's house will stand in the face of great adversity.

    While Islam belongs to the house of Allah, it is not the same God as Abraham's, even though Islam claims to belong to the same God as Jews and Christians. We don't worship a moon God, we worship the Lord of all creation. While the big Mo is the one who gave birth to Islam, the Jews had nothing to do with passing along their gift to Islam as they did to Christianity.

  • Choi

    Their TOP-RATED Drama,"NCIS" has on many occassions used Israel and The Mossad as its FALL GUY/SCAPEGOAT many times over the past few yrs,actully, since the 2008 Election.Hmmm?
    CBS has DONE and is DOING everything it can to HURT Israel ,including POISONING its viewer's minds in its #1Rated Show.
    The NCIS script writers keep finding NEW ways to make Israel APPEAR, FALSELY, as an "ADVERSARY" instead of the LOYAL ALLY she IS.
    Their portrayal of Israelis,except for the self- Israel REJECTOR,"Ziva" is PROPAGANDA at its WORST and would make Goebbles PROUD!
    It's SUBLIMINAL effect on viewers is INTENDED to make them Israel-Haters,and its End-Game is to WEAKEN Americans' personal SUPPORT for Israel AGAINST theJjihadist COMMON ENEMY!!

    • Raymond in DC

      Yep. The constant digs at Israel and the Mossad on NCIS just grated, and I stopped watching the show. "Blue Bloods" is itself "on probation" given their recent pro-Islam pandering. (In a recent episode, a case of honor killing was not traced to a hate-spewing Islamist but to … a Catholic father, angered over his daughter's conversion to Islam!)

  • Jim

    When an entity like the media asserts an untruth or hides a truth there must be a special interest behind it.

    What is pressuring such a powerful social force as the mass media to act like special interest propagandists ?

    A powerful social force like the media should have nothing to fear by telling the truth and all of it.

    Something more powerful must be behind the paradox.

  • pierce

    The only thing I watch on any of the 3 Major networks is Sports.
    99% of their news coverage is so slanted, that it is impossible to know what is really going on, and what the truth is.
    CNN is also another News outlet which carries its own form of the truth.
    In essence ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN all seem to hire each others anchors, and in so doing get the same stale biases. It is pathetic, and true in the eyes of this interested follower of world politics.
    I feel well uninformed when I watch them.

  • Kelly

    Did Israel do 911? I keep hearing they had a hand in it. I think the United States might need to be told the truth on that. Not every US citizen is a dumbed down easily fooled brain dead fodder. Some are but many have opened their eyes and it looks like we need some answers. What about that Golden Calf Israel that was built in the Negev desert? Is that the missing gold from the World Trade Center? Do tell!

  • Dave Eboch

    Silverstein shipped that Gold to the Bibster and the Bibster built himself a giant gold moo cow in the desert to remind himself, the Mossad, and the Likud Party of their incredible victory over the US! Will the US do anything about it? Probably not, as Mike Haseiri of the Mossad said,” what can America do about, so what if we did it,”


    The world has woken up to the fact that Mossad and Israel carried out 9/11, from the dancing Israelis, the control of New York by Jews, Jewish owned PTEC, Comverse and Amdocs that was hooked into the systems involved in communication and control in action on 9/11. Then there is Silversteins ‘Pull it’ comment, the 2 trillion dollars lost under the watch of Rabbi Dov Zachiem who was the Pentagon comptroller, who was also the boss of a company that designs flight termination systems. There is the PNAC document drawn up by mainly Jews in George ‘The Puppet’ Bush’s Government that called for a ‘New Pearl Harbour’.
    The Zionist tried to take control of Syria but were stopped by Russia, a country that only too well knows about Jewish terror that came in the form of Bolchevic Jews that slaughtered over 20+ million non Jews. The world is in wake up mode and Israels trick of hiding behind the holocaust no longer fools anyone.
    Let not foregt the murder of 34 sailors on the USS Liberty.

  • Don

    This cowering to Islamic fundamentalism by Western politicians should be expected to trickle down to the propaganda networks in Hollywood. The truth is, which is evident by many anti-Christian shows on CBS (e.g., Criminal Minds and Big Bang Theory), that CBS does not give a damn for the plights of Christians; they only utilized the scheme as a framework of support for their anti-Israeli message. Most Christians no longer watch CBS because their blatant anti-Christian message has reached a disgusting low. Indeed, networks like CBS are completely the products of liberal progressives, and Judeo-Christianity is the target of their propaganda aggression. If they have to employ the tactics of Jews against Christians or Christians against Jews, they will do so, all under the facade of unbiased journalism and etertainment. And the author is indeed correct, that they are too cowardly against the trutb threat against the West and Israel in our times- fanatical Islam.