Abu Toameh reported that, “Ironically, leaders of the Palestinian Christians are also to blame for the ongoing plight of their people because they refuse to see the reality as it is. And the reality is that many Palestinian Christians feel insecure and intimidated because of what we Muslims are doing to them and not only because of the bad economy.”
Toameh continued, “When they go on the record, these leaders always insist that Israel and the occupation are the only reason behind the plight of their constituents. They stubbornly refuse to admit that many Christians are being targeted by Muslims. By not talking openly about the problem, the Christian leaders are encouraging the perpetrators to continue their harassment and assaults against Christian families.”
Simon must recognize that Israel is an open society and the only democracy in the region where religious freedom, women’s rights, and human rights are enjoyed by everyone, albeit, security concerns such as prevention of terrorist attacks necessitated the construction of the defensive barrier, which Simon concedes reduced Palestinian terrorist attacks by 90%. Conversely, the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas rule in Gaza are hardly open and democratic. Western and local reporters are harassed, intimidated and at times murdered, which may explain why all the reporters covering the “Holy Land” prefer to live in the safety and security of Jewish Jerusalem, where they can and do defame Israel regularly with no adverse consequences.
What is clearly undeniable to any objective observer is the persecution of the Christian minorities throughout the Middle East, including the Holy Land. The increase in such persecution comes in direct proportion to the rise of Islamism and Salafism throughout the region. Christian Copts in Egypt that comprise over 10% of Egypt’s population, and form the authentic and indigenous Egyptians, preceded the Arab conquest of Egypt in the seventh century CE, are fleeing in the hundreds of thousands. In Iraq, the Iran inspired Shiite-Muslim government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is effecting the ethnic cleansing of the ancient Christian community. And, in the rest of the Arab Middle East, the electoral victories of the Muslim Brotherhood and their affiliates have increased the persecution of Christians and their subsequent exodus from the region. In Israel alone, the Christian community is secure and growing in numbers.
Simon decidedly agrees with the idea that the 2009 Kairos Document authored by Palestinian Christian clergy is meant to promote “peace” between Israel and the Palestinians. Simon called it “unprecedented,” and went on to say that “the published document called Kairos, criticized Islamic extremism and advocated non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation which they called a sin against God.” He should have asked the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) what they thought of the Kairos Document, which he naturally did not. The CCAR denounced the Kairos Document as “supersessionist and anti-Semitic.” The rabbis considered the Kairos Document to be extremely hostile to Jews and Israel and totally one-sided. And in what is clearly an act of commission, Simon elevated the rabidly anti-Israel and anti-Jewish Rev. Mitri Raheb (one of the authors of the Kairos) to that of a peacemaker.
Simon and his producer Harry Radliffe failed to bring balance and fairness on a subject that required serious study and thought. But then, Simon, like the Palestinian Christian authors of Kairos, know that while exposing the ugly reality of Islamist intolerance carries deadly consequences, abusing Israel by perverting reality does not.
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