Amira Hass should to a better job of vetting the facts handed to her by Palestinian Christian leaders, because sometimes, these folks simply do not provide factual information to their supporters.
In her recent response to an op-ed by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren about the status of Christians in the Middle East, Hass quotes a letter signed by 80 prominent Palestinian Christians who state the following:
"The exaggerated growth of the Christian population in Israel that Mr. Oren claims is due primarily to the immigration of Russian Christians whom Israel was unable to distinguish from the Jewish immigrants pouring into the country after the fall of the Soviet Union."
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Here are the facts from the Statistical Abstract of Israel.
One: There were 34,000 Christians living in Israel in 1949.
Two: At the end of 2009, there were approximately 152,000 Christians living in Israel. (An increase of 346 percent!)
Three: At the end of 2009, there were approximately 122,000 Arab Christians living in Israel.
Just looking at these numbers reveals that the increase in the population of Christians in Israel is due primarily to the growth in the Arab Christian (and not Russian) community.
Even if every one of the non-Arab Christians came from Russia, the growth in this community would still be dwarfed by the growth of the Arab Christian community in Israel.
In other words, Hass got played by the Palestinian Christian leaders.
Ironically enough, Hass's article is titled "Christian Palestinians: Israel 'manipulating facts' by claiming we are welcome."
Who is manipulating the facts, really?
First published at CAMERA.
Posted on 03/30/2012 1:47 PM by Dexter Van Zile