More followup on the great "60 Minutes" piece on Christians living under occupation that so disturbed Israeli ambassador Michael Oren.
In a post highlighting the CBS report, Robert Wright at the Atlantic has linked the excellent Kairos report of 2009 on the occupation, and used the word "apartheid" in the MSM. It is great to see that report shown to a wide audience.
Oren clearly doesn't want this document, mentioned by Simon, to get attention. In it an interdominational group of Middle Eastern Christian clergy--Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant--refer to the occupation as "clear apartheid." (Oren hints that they're anti-Semitic.)
Natasha Mozgovaya in Haaretz believes that others also sought to intercede with CBS:
Michael Oren probably should have tried to work with the reporter instead of driving him mad by going over his head to complain to his bosses. I am not convinced Oren was the first one to attempt to influence the 60 Minutes report before it was broadcasted - my experience tells me otherwise – for people do tend to try to influence unflattering reports before they are published or broadcasted quite often.
There's some support for Mozgovaya's view in an email that Jewish Federations CEO Jerry Silverman sent out yesterday, before "60 Minutes" aired its Palestinian Christians report. The Federations anticipated a report that would "demonize" Israel, and urged its supporters to call and twitter CBS. (Adam Kredo reported this).
Note that the Federations says that CBS manipulated the Christians by interviewing them on camera!
This evening CBS' "60 Minutes" will be broadcasting a segment on Palestinian Christians that is expected to be highly critical of Israel. Below is a facts sheet, along with links to materials that will assist in responding with the facts....
...The discourse [i.e., your letters and calls] should focus primarily on the biased portrayal of Israel in the program. "60 Minutes" will likely attempt to demonize Israel and blame it for the very real problems that the Christian community faces within the territories.
... Further, the program is being incredibly manipulative in interviewing Christians on camera. The Palestinian Christian community is insecure in the region (see sources below) and unlikely to state anything that can negatively influence their status within the Palestinian Authority or jeopardize the status of the Christian brethren in Gaza...
These examples will attempt to manipulate the viewer to believe that Israel pressures the Palestinian community to flee the region. Once we have seen the program we will be able to provide you with more relevant examples to counteract the allegations made on Sunday...
We hope that CBS will be flooded with responses through their inboxes, facebook, twitter and mail after the program to express discontent if it is as biased as we anticipate.