How long will Bob Simon keep his job with 60 Minutes?
On Sunday, the Jewish American CBS correspondent, exposed the exodus of Christians from Israel (a once dominant community is now a shell) and laid it at the door of Israel’s policies toward all Palestinians: Christians and Muslims. The report shown on one of the biggest shows on U.S. television will be seen by millions of Americans.
It was a very important report because it showed American Christians that their religious counterparts in Israel/Palestine are not Israeli settlers and soldiers but Christian Palestinians. Most of these people identified the word Palestinian with Arabs (which they are) and Muslims (which most are) and with Islamic extremists (which a tiny fringe are). Seeing the descendants of the first Christians being forced out of Christ’s homeland makes for bad propaganda for Israel. As does the very idea that some Palestinians are Christians (and still very much Palestinian Arab).
And that is why Ambassador Michael Oren made himself look like a total ass when he maligned Christian Palestinians as tools of Islamic terrorists!
Accordingly the best part of the show was not the report itself. The best part, unprecedented, was when Bob Simon confronted a flummoxed Ambassador Michael Oren and asked why he had called the producer of 60 Minutes and the president of CBS to get them stop the story before it had even been produced.
Oren lost it. No media outlook ever asks an Israeli official, in public, why do you use your influence to stop the truth. Oren said he had to because Israel is “battling for survival.” As for the oppression of Christians, he blamed it on … Muslims.
It was an amazing moment. I have never seen Israeli media tactics exposed like this. Bob Simon deserves an Emmy and a Pulitzer. But he’ll be lucky not to get fired.
Check out why Oren and his government tried to stop the story on Israel’s bad treatment of Christians. Here is Bob Simon: “For Israel, there could be serious economic consequences. According to Israeli government figures, tourism is a multi billion dollar business there. Most tourists are Christian. Many of them are American. That’s one reason why Israelis are very sensitive about their image in the United States. And that could be why Ambassador Oren phoned Jeff Fager, the head of CBS News and executive producer of 60 Minutes, while we were still reporting the story, long before tonight’s broadcast. He said he had information our story was quote: ‘a hatchet job.’ “