Saturday, December 29, 2007


Following the recent story about the Church leaders who came back to bear false witness about events in Israel/Palestine, I found an article that demonstrates the length of the garden path down which visitors to the region are often led. Some who reach the end of that garden path are wise enought to recognise the tooth fairy that features regularly in the propaganda used by Palestinians to dupe well meaning people into coming to all the wrong conclusions – COAL IN ISRAEL'S STOCKING.

"The low point for tourism to Bethlehem came in 2002. Then-Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat had turned down the peace offers forged by President Clinton during his last days in office. Arafat went on to launch a wave of suicide bombings against Israel, a terrorist assault known as the al-Aqsa Intifadah. At one point in that conflict, Palestinian terrorists took over the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and used the Christians inside -- including nuns and priests -- as human shields.

Yet Woodward argues that Israel "cannot blame the Christians' dire circumstances" on the Intifadah because "Muslims are suffering just as much as the tiny Christian minority." Does Woodward actually believe militant Islamists spare ordinary Muslims from suffering? Does he not know that the majority of victims of Islamist terrorism -- in Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and elsewhere -- have been moderate Muslims?

Woodward also seems unaware of the extent to which Bethlehem's Christian population has declined since 1995 -- the year Arafat's Palestinian Authority took over the West Bank and Gaza as part of the Oslo Accords. Arafat quickly fired the city's Christian politicians and replaced them with his cronies.

Conceding that "Israel, of course, must protect its security," Woodward nevertheless slams Israel for doing so. He singles out the security barrier separating the Christian village of Beit Jala from the Jerusalem neighbor of Gilo. Woodward fails to mention that Palestinian snipers had used locations in Beit Jala to shoot at Israeli men, women and children in Gilo. On my first trip to Israel, in 2002, I visited Gilo. The residents had indeed erected a concrete barrier to stop the bullets. On it, they had painted a mural of Beit Jala -- to remind them of the neighbor it had become too dangerous to look upon."

Like Woodward and so many others of his ilk, it's so convenient to ignore those Palestinian snipers and the fact that their targets were innocent men, women and children going about their normal lives. More so because most of them were Jews?

No comments: