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1) Exodus from
On one thing we can all agree this Christmas:
If the Israelis contributed in any way
to the exodus of Christians, it was by withdrawing from
If you believe the New York Times or former President Jimmy Carter, the Israelis are to blame. Those nasty Jews built a security fence around the town, apparently with the specific purpose of persecuting Christians, who have fled the town in droves.
Here's what Carter had
to say in calling the security fence a crime against Christianity: "[It]
ravages many places along its devious route that are important to Christians. …
In addition to enclosing
Tracing this particular myth of the
While Snopes did nothing to bust this hoax, I did my best when I first read the story by Greg Myre. It began:
"In the town where Christians believe Christ was born, the Christians are leaving. Four years of violence, an economic free fall and the Israeli separation barrier have all contributed to the hardships facing Palestinian Christians in
There you have it. Why
are the Christians leaving
But, as I pointed out then, the claim defies common sense. Just ask yourself a question: Why would the security fence disproportionately affect Christians? If the security fence were contributing to the exodus, it should be causing an exodus of Muslims as well, right?
Last year, perhaps
taking their cue from the New York Times, the story was recycled in a thousand
other news venues. Political leaders around the world took up the lie as their
own. And, of course, Arab and Muslim leaders were only too happy to begin
championing the cause of these poor, misplaced, mistreated Christians.
There's just one problem. It's a total, bald-faced lie.
Here is the truth. Bethlehem, once a 90 percent Christian town, now claims only 12 percent of its population of 60,000 Arab residents as Christians. The number drops day by day, month by month, year by year. Last year, for comparison purposes, the town was 35 percent Christian.
They haven't left for no good reason. They have left for very good reasons. In fact, knowing the conditions these Christians face today, it's surprising there are still some around. But the exodus of Christians has nothing to do with the Israeli security fence.
Six years ago, when the latest exodus began, the Israelis had not even started construction of the security fence.
Up until 1948,
Buried in the New York Times story of two years ago was a key paragraph that explained why:
"In the early days of the uprising, Muslim gunmen in the
In other words,
Muslim terrorists have intentionally placed Christians in the crossfire between
If the Israelis
contributed in any way to the exodus of Christians, it was by withdrawing from
That's why the
Christians have left and continue to leave. They enjoyed life while their towns
were under the control of
*Joseph Farah is founder, editor and CEO of WND and a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. His latest book is "Taking America Back." He also edits the weekly online intelligence newsletter Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, in which he utilizes his sources developed over 30 years in the news business.