Daily Express

Daily Express bizarrely puts Israel atop list of ‘worst places to be Christian this Christmas’


It sometimes seems as if the UK media truly can’t help themselves. Not only do news sites fail to acknowledge the undeniable truth that Israel is the only state in the Middle East which fiercely protects the rights of their Christian population, but they also insist – every holiday season – on repeating false narratives suggesting that Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ’s birth, are hampered by ‘the occupation’.

However, some UK news sites go even further, and suggest that Israel is actually oppressing its Christian population.

One of the more egregious examples of this entirely erroneous claim can be found in the British tabloid Daily Express in a report published on Dec. 26th.

daily express

Remarkably, Israel is atop their list of worst places to be Christian this Christmas, ahead of Syria, Iraq, N. Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and Gambia.

To see the absurdity of their decision to include Israel on the list at all, note how the worst persecution they could find ‘in Israel’ is Christians being told (by the Palestinian Authority, let’s remember) to “tone down their Christmas celebrations”.  In Syria and Iraq on the other hand, the next country on their list, Christians face ‘abduction, torture and murder’ and ethnic cleansing by ISIS.  Whilst 100s of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee ISIS-controlled territories in recent years, the indigenous Christian population in Israel has increased 300 percent since its founding.

In fact, quite tellingly, the Daily Express failed to note that the PA had to beef up security in Bethlehem, and ‘tone down celebrations’, due in part to intel indicating that Salafists affiliated with ISIS may launch an attack.

Contrary to the message conveyed in the Daily Express article, Christians are thriving in Israel – a country which represents a beacon of religious freedom in a region awash in intolerance and extremism.

(See important update to this post here.)

 

34 replies »

  1. Well, I suppose looking on the bright side, the Daily Express does not recognize the Palestinian Authority’s claims that Bethlehem is part of the non-existent state of Palestine!! For once it is not Israel erased from the map by a geographically-challenged UK media outlet.

    • This is an outright lie. Your journalists probably believe in the principle of Taqiyya – i.e. permission to lie to the infidels.

  2. It should more accurately be called, The Daily Excess.

    What morons. The Palestinians threw rocks at the Head of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land — how’s that for a welcome of Christianity. But I bet not one Brit read about that in their rags.

  3. It’s as surprising as it is painful to see the Express spout this sort of garbage as it has hitherto had a reasonable and fair pro-Israel record under Richard Desmond’s management – notably during the 2014 war in Gaza.

  4. To call the Daily Express a news site is stretching it, Adam. The Daily Express makes the Daily Mail look like a Mensa qualification test for Noble laureates. Their main news is usually which celebrity dyed their hair what color.

  5. I’m almost impressed by what an own goal the structure of this article is: it reads like a parody of an anti-Israel publication where the joke is that the writer is saying “Forget being raped, tortured, robbed and murdered; whose heart would not be rent asunder by the lack of ability to fully plan holiday parties?”
    But that leads into a much deeper problem on ME reporting that’s common in a lot of subjects: the track record for Arab/Muslim countries is so bad (both compared to Israel and compared to other troubled regions on Earth) that in order to not 100% destroy the image of those countries for anyone who isn’t already in their Amen corner, the common Left standard is to COMPLETELY whitewash them. And that makes the situation tragic, because it’s based in determined un-reality, and it continues because it’s politically more palatable to lie for a bankrupt cause than tell the truth for a noble one. The article in question for this post is unintentionally funny, but the thinking that drives it is intentionally depraved.

  6. I live in Tel Aviv but I was in New York over Christmas and I must say this makes me want to puke. I have a close friend, a young beautiful girl who is a model and former Ms. Columbia who was in Israel over Christmas with two other girlfriends and she though I could not be there with her she kept sending me voice messages on Whatsappp telling me what an amazing time she was having experiencing Christmas in Jerusalem! We should take those WhatsApp messages as physical proof and launch a class action law suit against The Daily Express for Character Defamation of an entire nation state….I am dead serious when I say this. Let us bring this bullshit off of Facebook and social media and the ‘Court of Public Opinion’ to an actual British Court because when you defame or slander someone in Britain I am almost certain is a suable offence….

  7. @Adam Levick –

    Re. “the absurdity of [the Express’s] decision to include Israel on the list at all …”

    It’s not in the least absurd if you consider that journalists generally read and research rather more widely than you give them credit for – and so can’t always be counted on to parrot the ludicrously idealized script you dish out here.

    By all means take issue with Israel’s positioning at the top of the list (though as the birthplace of Christianity and hence a major magnet for Christian tourism – which none of the other listed countries even remotely are – this does somewhat affect Israel’s “Christmas news” status); but to offer in lieu a wholesale denial of ANY noteworthy problems is downright dishonest.

    The Express, for example, may well have seen in the run-up to Christmas that pilgrims were finding their Little Town of Bethlehem stinking foully of tear gas and skunk water and had heard its Christian mayor despairingly lament: “The Israelis are suffocating us. The city of peace has no peace” ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/violence-makes-for-a-somber-little-town-of-bethlehem-this-year/2015/12/22/98a30cf8-a81b-11e5-b596-113f59ee069a_story.html ).

    It might also have taken on board that since October – in Bethlehem alone – the Palestine Red Crescent had ‘treated more than 1,300 cases of gas inhalation, 310 injuries from rubber bullets, and 74 bullet wounds’ with medical crews recording ‘six fatalities during clashes, most from live fire.’ ( https://news.vice.com/article/welcome-to-bethlehem-at-christmas-where-tear-gas-is-clouding-any-festive-cheer ).

    Do you seriously suppose Israel’s Christian population and visitors were left feeling singularly un-oppressed and unscathed by such draconian military activity in Bethlehem and elsewhere on the “Christian pilgrimage” map… ?

    By way of wider context, the Express’s attention may further have been drawn to a US State Department Report on International Religious Freedom published in 2012 (@ http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2011/nea/192889.htm ), which presented a pretty ugly picture of institutional hurdles and religious bigotry in both Israel itself and and its areas of occupation. I strongly suggest you read it too before making such idiotically myopic claims yet again.

    • “It’s not in the least absurd if you consider that journalists generally read and research rather more widely than you give them credit for – and so can’t always be counted on to parrot the ludicrously idealized script you dish out here.”

      I see your need for a script. As in, a prescription.

      Fact is, this site finds many errors and journalistic patterns of biased reporting.

      You must be new here? I kid, of course.

    • But Bethlehem is under the control of the PA so Israel is not responsible for it. Israel’s Christian population is rising not least due to Christian expulsion & persecution from that same PA as well as the Hamas-controlled Gaza region & most of the other Arab countries.

    • “It’s not in the least absurd if you consider that journalists generally read and research rather more widely than you give them credit for – and so can’t always be counted on to parrot the ludicrously idealized script you dish out here. “
      Well since Adam is a professional journalist we shouldn’t count on the ludicrous script you have dished out here.

      “By all means take issue with Israel’s positioning at the top of the list (though as the birthplace of Christianity and hence a major magnet for Christian tourism – which none of the other listed countries even remotely are – this does somewhat affect Israel’s “Christmas news” status); but to offer in lieu a wholesale denial of ANY noteworthy problems is downright dishonest. “
      If you would take the pain (truth is painful for you) to analyze the whole situation, you would find that the “incidents” are far outweighed by the non-occurrence of “incidents.” That would, of course, fail to service your propaganda. If it was as bad as you try to deceive others into believing, there would probably be inclusion of Israel among the top 50 in this list: http://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/country_profiles.php

      “The Express, for example, may well have seen in the run-up to Christmas that pilgrims were finding their Little Town of Bethlehem stinking foully of tear gas and skunk water and had heard its Christian mayor despairingly lament: “The Israelis are suffocating us. The city of peace has no peace” ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/violence-makes-for-a-somber-little-town-of-bethlehem-this-year/2015/12/22/98a30cf8-a81b-11e5-b596-113f59ee069a_story.html ). “
      That’s right, Israel just decided to skunk and tear gas just for the hell of it. And go on ignoring the fact that Bethlehemites are subject to Palestinian rule and pressure. http://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/worldwatch/palestinian_territories.php
      “Of all types of Christians, Muslim-background believers face the most severe persecution. In the West Bank, they are threatened and pressured; in Gaza, their situation is so dangerous that they live their faith in utmost secrecy. Children whose parents have converted are likely to be harassed or discriminated, and if a Christian married to a Muslim is divorced, he or she would be excluded from having custody of the children. Muslim-background believers cannot officially gather as a congregation nor can they openly join existing churches. Nevertheless, the number of such believers is growing slowly.“

      It might also have taken on board that since October – in Bethlehem alone – the Palestine Red Crescent had ‘treated more than 1,300 cases of gas inhalation, 310 injuries from rubber bullets, and 74 bullet wounds’ with medical crews recording ‘six fatalities during clashes, most from live fire.’ ( https://news.vice.com/article/welcome-to-bethlehem-at-christmas-where-tear-gas-is-clouding-any-festive-cheer ).
      The Red Cross treats all injuries much like Magen David Adom. However, even the most air-headed idiot can figure out that if you attack you lessen your chance of injury in a counter-attack. Duh!

      “Do you seriously suppose Israel’s Christian population and visitors were left feeling singularly un-oppressed and unscathed by such draconian military activity in Bethlehem and elsewhere on the “Christian pilgrimage” map… ? “ As the monitor of persecution of Christians supposes itself, yeah.

      “Israel exercises varying degrees of legal, military, and economic control in the Occupied Territories. Israel’s Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty provides for the protection of religious freedom. The Israeli government respected the right to freedom of religion within the Occupied Territories during the year, although the government’s closure policies and the separation barrier restricted the ability of Palestinian Muslims and Christians to reach some places of worship and to practice their religious rites, particularly in Jerusalem. Israeli security authorities at times restricted Muslim and Christian worship within Jerusalem. Israeli policies also limited the ability of Israeli Jews to reach places of worship in areas under Palestinian control.”

      By way of wider context, the Express’s attention may further have been drawn to a US State Department Report on International Religious Freedom published in 2012 (@ http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2011/nea/192889.htm ), which presented a pretty ugly picture of institutional hurdles and religious bigotry in both Israel itself and and its areas of occupation. I strongly suggest you read it too before making such idiotically myopic claims yet again.
      If that is the best you can do, then it shows how weak your “argument “really is. You may want to consider that before you make such idiotically myopic claims again.

    • Lara Kroll of the Jewish Media Agency reports: “”After many of us tweeted the owner and Editor of the Daily Express I am delighted to announce that they edited the article that listed Israel as one of the worst destinations for Christians to spend Christmas. Israel has been omitted from the list. A small victory!”

      • Very small as that still leaves the impression that Israel is responsible for the behaviour of the PA towards Christians in Bethlehem.

    • Miranda,

      What you say is just so damn funny, I can’t stop laughing. I love the “birthplace of Christianity” shtick. In other words, a Jewish town. Christianity wasn’t born there, Jesus was. And he wasn’t a Christian. He wasn’t even a “Palestinian,” Miranda. He was a Jew. You can cite the token Christian mayor in a Muslim dominated closed society if you like, but any visitor from another planet with powers and abilities far above those of mortal men would immediately recognize that the Christian community was, and would be, far better off under the Israelis than under your “clean footed” friends who, shall we say, “encourage” them to speak and live the party line. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a picnic, but once the Israelis transferred power to your buddies things started going down hill. Notice how much more fun Christmas is in Jerusalem, under Israeli/Jewish rule than Bethlehem under Arab rule. The root of the problem is not the Israelis, it’s your zero sum pets.

  8. Whoever wrote this article has never been to Israel and is totally stupid.
    Israel is one of the best places to celebrate Christmas whether Christian or another
    religion. The Daily Express Reporter should have spent Christmas in Syria or Iraq
    and if he was Christian he definitely would never celebrate another Christmas.

    .