By Tabitha Korol
Just to be sure I wasn’t asking more of CBS’s 60 Minutes than is reasonable, I researched Journalism Ethics. I discovered that while the media is not legally bound, the public assumes and expects it to be honor bound to enforce the rules and avoid irresponsible and destructive journalism. But with this production, Christians in the Holy Land, both Jeffrey Fager, CBS news chairman and executive producer, and Bob Simon, host reporter, have betrayed the values of their profession, and produced a program that is not only severely slanted, but injurious to a country, Israel, that is currently fighting for her survival and that we Americans recognize to be our only trustworthy ally in the Middle East. Not only was the report of Christian life in Israel inaccurate because Simon sought out and interviewed Arab-Christian sources with an Islamic agenda, but it was sufficiently twisted to promote the Palestinian narrative, which is contrived to suit the objective of the Islamic global conquest.
Just as Islam is at war (jihad) with civilizations worldwide, so is it also at war with Israel, and the tactics are as varied as the cultures and societies to be subjugated. Among the many strategies are open warfare, destruction, enslavement, and beheading in Africa; conversion, rioting and occupying swaths of cities in Europe; infiltrating and scheming within the administration and media in America; suicide bombings and rocket/missile fire in Israel, and the overall use of propaganda to dupe the Western World. The Qur’an 9:29 commands that the Muslim world fight the People of the Book (Christians and Jews), and these Arab-Christians appear to have been motivated by them, but the violence and non-violence policies are directed toward the same end: the Islamization of the world and implementation of Sharia law over all kafir societies.
CBS’s objective should have been to remove personal prejudices (in which Bob Simon seems extraordinarily steeped) and objectively report the truth. Rather, the story was complicit with the Arab storyline, deserting the laws of our culture in order to aid Islam. They have not produced a factual report on how Christians live in Israel; they interviewed Arab Christians who live in Arab-controlled cities and who have adopted the Arab grievances. By not accurately describing Christian life among Muslims, they have also continued to endanger those who are targeted for their religion. In fact, this video effort contributes to the suffering and death of Christians who live among Muslims.
An Al-Qaeda bulletin proclaimed that “all Christian centers, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for jihadists.” Nearly two-thirds of the 500,000 Christians in Baghdad have fled or been killed. Of the roughly 100,000 Christians who lived in Mosul, only 5,000 remain. Coptic Christians are routinely murdered, persecuted and prevented from worshipping in Egypt; 200,000 fled and 200 churches were burned. Muslim converts to Christianity are executed in Saudi Arabia. Islamists butcher priests and nuns in Turkey. And Christians are menaced by surging Shiites and Sunnis in Lebanon. And, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia declared all churches in the region be destroyed! What would CBS report if the Pope had declared that all mosques be destroyed?
Under Islam, Christians are enslaved, tortured and slaughtered for their religious beliefs, and this might have been the perfect opportunity to inform the world of their plight and perhaps be responsible for a course of action to save them. Imagine the potential of such a story – to save people at risk and earn praise and journalism awards for the effort! Rather, CBS chose to sink to new depths that are recognized by many as fulfilling an Islamic jihad strategy of projectionism – blaming Islam’s evils on Israel. And has there not been sufficient backlash from this tainted report to bring CBS to the boardroom for a re-evaluation of its mission and methods?
Christians live well in Israel. Only under Jordanian control of the Old City (1948-1967) were Christian rights infringed, Israeli Christians barred from their holy places, and the Christian population in decline. Muslim Palestinians have attacked Christians in Gaza, defaced their cemeteries, and broken into their monasteries. With the security fence, while Christians may be inconvenienced, they are now protected; they remain unharmed and have the freedom of access to their holy places. The population of Christians in the Palestinian territories had dropped radically (Christian populations do decline worldwide when Muslim populations increase). By contrast, Israel’s Arab-Christian population continues to increase. Palestinians also expropriate housing and lands belonging to Catholics, as well as molest young women, and attempt to press Christians into their Intifada actions. Christians in Palestinian territories are harrassed, have their property plundered and looted, and fear speaking out for their safety to the Palestinian Authority. Not so in Israel.
In reality, Brigitte Gabriel, Walid Shoebat, and a host of others who have fled Islamic countries, have written books and spoken at televised conferences in praise of life in Israel for all races and religions. What the staff of 60 Minutes has done is spoken of life for Arab-Christians in Arab-controlled areas! While it may be part of the “Holy Land,” it is not under Israeli rule.
The Arab-Christians in the program advocate the unrealistic two-state solution. Although Mahmoud Abbas was the one to rebuff Israel in her quest for peace, such a solution could only have ended in Israel’s signing her own death warrant. As Ambassador Michael Oren aptly grasped the motive for this 60 Minutes program, he clearly explained that the security wall and checkpoints against its warring neighbors have saved the lives of Israeli citizens of all faiths. And if some must be merely inconvenienced so that others may live, so be it.
I am certain that I represent many who insist on an immediate retake – a truthful enlightenment of life in Israel – for all citizens. Israel ranks sixth in life satisfaction, 11th lowest employment rate (60%), seventh highest self-reported good health (81%), and sixth highest life expectancy of 81.7 years, all despite security concerns.
Therefore, if there is an honest, unbiased journalist among the CBS staff to announce the necessary corrections and report the truth to the viewing public, and an executive who will stress honesty and reject Simon’s penchant for anti-Semitism, 60 Minutes should apologize and correct its defamation of Israel while exposing the true plight of Christians in the Islamic world. Wouldn’t that demand a modicum of heroism!