By Chad Groening
One of the nation's most popular news programs is coming under fire for a report that blames Israel for the mass exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land.
The Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) recently sent out a news release calling attention to the April 22 broadcast of 60 Minutes on CBS. In a segment entitled "Christians of the Holy Land," correspondent Bob Simon declared that the "exodus of Christians from the Holy Land" could eventually leave it "without a Christian population."
Faith McDonnell, IRD's director of religious liberty, says Simon's report ignored Islamic violence against Christians and laid the blame for the Christian migration squarely at the feet of Israel.
"I really felt that this was an attack on Israel more than it was anything else," she tells OneNewsNow. "There was also an interview with Michael Oren, who is Israel's ambassador to the United States, and he was treated with tremendous disrespect."
Jan Markell is founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries in Minnesota. She says the Palestinian Christian flight is not because of some perceived "Israeli occupation."
"This is being done by the Arab community," says the ministry leader. "This is not being done by Israel. Israel is a democracy. She's pro-freedom of religion. She's not chasing anybody out—particularly Arab Christians ... many of [whom] take the Bible literally and properly that Israel would be God's chosen people."
Neither Markell nor McDonnell is surprised that Simon, who is Jewish, would do a "hatchet job" on Israel. Most American Jews, they say, are very liberal and not pro-Israel.
Myths and Facts: The Exodus of Christians from the West Bank • Randy White Ministries (Mitchell Bard)
Demonize Israel in 60 minutes! • New Antisemitism (Olivier Melnick)
More than Mistakes: The Real Problems with '60 Minutes' Slander of Israel • Big Hollywood
Journalistic Malpractice • Washington Free Beacon
Bob Simon and Bethlehem Christians • CBN News (Chris Mitchell)