When it comes to the politicization of the Christmas story, I thought I had seen it all.
But the London Independent´s shameless mischaracterization of Mary, the mother of Jesus, as "a Palestinian refugee" takes the proverbial cake.
The story by Johann Hari published Dec. 23 begins: "In two days, a third of humanity will gather to celebrate the birth pains of a Palestinian refugee in Bethlehem but two millennia later, another mother in another glorified stable in this rubble-strewn, locked down town is trying not to howl."
It goes on to describe a 5-year-old tale of an Arab woman who claims she was stopped from entering Israel to deliver her twins and forced to go 20 minutes in another direction to an Arab hospital.
It´s amazing. It´s bizarre. It´s breathtaking at what passes for Western journalism in the Middle East today.
First of all, was Mary "a Palestinian refugee"? No, Mary was a Jew, living in the occupied territory of Israel. She wasn´t trying to get to a Roman hospital to have her child. She was traveling with her husband from her home in Nazareth to Bethlehem, where the Roman authorities decreed those from the House of David would pay their taxes.
By the way, neither the area of Bethlehem nor Nazareth had ever been considered Palestine or, more appropriately, Philistia, up through the time of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. In fact, it was not for another 100 years that the Romans would think about renaming Israel as Palestine in an effort to make the world forget about the Jews who had been slaughtered and dispersed.
There were no Philistines or Palestinians around. They hadn´t been heard from for over 500 years.
It´s beyond silliness.
Who are these anti-Israel activists the Western press dispatches to cover the Middle East? Where do they come from? Where are they trained? Where are they educated? How is it possible that such drivel is actually published?
What is it exactly that the so-called Palestinians want? Do they want their own homeland or not? It seems to me they´ve got it. But now they want to be able to travel into Israel for medical care? What´s wrong with their own hospitals? Why is it that they don´t decide to buy more medicine and fewer guns?
Don´t get me wrong. I don´t blame "the modern-day Mary" in this fable for wanting first-class medical care in Israel. And had Bethlehem remained under Israeli governance, that´s exactly what the people of Bethlehem would have received. But the so-called Palestinians demanded their own country. Unfortunately for them, that means Palestinian hospitals, too.
The Palestinian authorities are also demanding that no Jews be permitted to live in their territories. Yet, there is shock that Arab Palestinians should not be able to cross into Israel at all hours of the day and night without facing checkpoints and security.
Is this a tragedy?
Yes, it is. I would much prefer to see these poor Arabs live freely, as they did under Israeli governance. But, for heaven´s sake, they rejected that option with extreme violence and terrorism.
Is that context not important for people unfamiliar with the region to understand? Is it not important for reporters covering the region to understand?
Let´s call this what it is: Deliberate deception. It is the worst form of propaganda. In another time, we labeled it agit-prop. What is the purpose? Is it to stir up more hate and violence? Is the purpose of such lies to immunize those serving them up from terrorist attacks? Paragraph-17 Contains
One can only speculate. But one thing is certain: This is not journalism. Paragraph-18 Contains
On a side note, as one of those Christians referred to in the reporter´s lead paragraph, I wasn´t aware that one-third of humanity celebrated Mary´s birth pains on Christmas. Silly me. I was under the impression we celebrated the birth of the Savior. (© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com, Inc 12/30/06)
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