Monday, 18 May 2009

A Follow-up

Last week I discussed a piece in the New York Times about the decline of Christianity in the Middle East.

Today, I have seen this piece which is a vital follow-up to the NYT story. Turns out that the Times weren't quite as honest as they should have been, downplaying the role of Islamic persecution of Christians in their exodus, and distorting the figures so as not to mention that while Christianity has declined throughout the Middle East overall, it has thrived in Israel. Below are a couple of key extracts, but be sure to read it all.

As documented in the Central Bureau of Statistics' Statistical Abstract of Israel 2008 (Chart 2.2), in the last dozen years, Israel's Christian population grew from 120,600 in 1995 to 151,600 in 2007, representing a growth rate of 25 percent. In fact, the Christian growth rate has outpaced the Jewish growth in Israel in the last 12 years! In 1995, there were 4,522,300 Jews in Israel, and in 2007 there were 5,478,2000, representing a growth rate of 21 percent – 4 percent less than the Christian population grew during the same time.

Since 1949, when there were 34,000 Christians in Israel, the population has grown 345 percent...

Why doesn't Bronner mention the Muslim theft of Christian lands? The reported involvement of Muslim employees of the Palestinian Authority in the theft of Christian lands contradicts the PA official quoted by Bronner who insists that the population decline is negative and that the authority is determined to stop it. Why does Bronner likewise ignore any other specific examples of Muslim intimidation of Palestinian Christians – sexual harassment, demands for "protection" money, and job discrimination? Why does he make do with the vague, euphemistic statement that "Islam is also playing an unprecedented role in defining identity?" Land dispossession is an unusual way of "defining identity."

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