Latest Lie About
the Church of the Nativity
By Ray Hanania
April 4, 2002
In addition to its policy of murdering anyone it does not like,
Israel's Nazi-like government is also engaged in a policy of murdering
the truth, too.
And, they are very good at it.
You can't get away with a lie unless you have two things in place:
First, you have to impose controls on the media in the area of the
conflict, which Israel has done by banning reporters from covering
areas where its soldiers are on a blitzkrieg like rampage, shooting
Second, you need to have a news media that doesn't care about the
truth, which is the dominant attitude of the mainstream American
news media. People like MSNBC's Alan Keyes, for example, who asserts
that "there is no occupation" in Palestine, and a list
of commentators who enjoy the gratuity of the Israeli lobby like
NPR's Linda Gradstein.
(Both Gradstein and Keyes are making more "cents" than
sense these days.)
With these two factors in place, the Government of Israel can say
whatever it wishes, and it is reported like fact. And, each lie
adds to the impact of the subsequent lie.
For example, the Israeli Government is asserting that "Palestinian
gunmen" have "occupied" the Church of the Nativity.
The truth is that Palestinians who are resisting Israel's assault
have taken refuge in the Church of the Nativity and nearly every
other building in the region. But the Israeli point is to touch
a nerve with Christian Americans, who are so naive about the reality
of the Middle East they will swallow anything they are fed.
These naive Americans -- who are contributing to the violence by
providing financial, political and military support of Sharon's
crimes -- imagine Muslims taking over this great Christian icon.
Of course, most of these Americans have amnesia and have forgotten
that the Church of the Nativity has been under siege for the past
18 months, damaged, assaulted and attacked by the non-Christian
Israeli army. (If one refers to the Israeli soldiers as Jewish,
they are automatically denounced as anti-Semitic, another strategy
in Sharon's arsenal of tricks.)
The Palestinians seeking refuge in the Church of the Nativity are
also Christians who are fleeing Israel's attacks. These Palestinians,
described by the Israelis as "armed militants" -- a canard
accepted as fact by the spoon-fed American media -- are actually
Palestinians who are doing everything they can to defend themselves.
They have a right to defend themselves against Israel's vicious
aggression. Israel is rampaging through the occupied territories
that Alan Keyes says do not exist, murdering anyone it feels like
All Israel has to do is say these Palestinians are "terrorists,"
-- exploiting the tragedy of September 11th to their self-serving
benefit -- and then they shoot them.
Journalists in America who are merely reciting and reading what
they are handed by the Israelis, accept this as fact.
In fact, every Palestinian killed by Israel is a terrorist, while
every Israeli killed by a Palestinian is an innocent civilian who
is killed by a "terrorist suicide bomber."
The majority of Palestinians do not support the suicide bombers,
but they do support their right to defend themselves and to resist
Israel's human rights violations. Resistance is not terrorism. American
journalists who accept the lie that resistance is terrorism are
doing an injustice to their profession.
They are also contributing to Israel's ability to hide its criminal
behavior behind the lie. Israel's government's assault on the Palestinians
is as much a war against Christianity as it is against the Muslim
Yes, the Church of the Nativity is under siege, the marvelous ancient
icon of the Christian World.
But it has been under siege for months, as Israel has battered
the church with bullets, killed its parishioners -- Christian Palestinians
who live around the church and who are as deeply engaged in resisting
Israel's aggression as anyone else.
And Israel's goal is both short term and long term. Short term,
the Israel's want to kill as many Palestinians as possible and beat
down the Palestinian right to independent statehood. But their long
term goal is more sinister. Since 1967, Israel has coveted the Christian-owned
lands around the Church of the Nativity and has confiscated and
evicted Christian inhabitants.
Nearby Shepherd's Field is prime real estate to build a racist
settlement for Jewish people, settlements that prohibit residency
Americans should be concerned about the fate of the Church of the
Nativity. And they should be asking why Israel is doing what it
is doing, instead of accepting Israel's Nazi-like government's spoon-fed
Ray Hanania is the executive director of the National Arab American
Journalists Association. He can be reached by email at Rayhanania@aol.com.
His columns are archived on the web at http://www.hanania.com