Is This Carter's Source For His Recent Book?Melanie Phillips has a new column about British perception of the severely deteriorating situation of Bethlehem's Christian, which we discussed below. In the course of her column, Phillips mentions a book that appears to have misinformed top members of the British clergy about the situation in Bethlehem, including Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has stated publicly that he believes the situation is the fault of the
Speaking of which, isn't it wonderful to have Christians now lecturing Jews about the treatment of Christians and Christian sites.
In any case, Phillips description of the book, to follow, made me wonder if this was the source of Jimmy Carter's recent book on Israel as well, as it seems to incorporate many of the same buzzwords and specious arguments that he utilized.
Here is Phillips' description of the book, Bethelehem Besieged, by Mitri Raheb, a Palestinian Christian pastor in Bethlehem:
Recently, a cleric of the Church of England sent me — as an apparently pointed rebuke — a truly wicked book, Bethelehem Besieged, by one Mitri Raheb, a Palestinian Christian pastor in Bethlehem. With a jacket garlanded by encomia from Hanan Ashrawi, George McGovern, James Zogby, Desmond Tutu and others, this book presents a picture of Bethlehem’s Christians suffering under a yoke imposed by the cruel and belligerent Israelis. Page after page is devoted to claims about the ‘apartheid-like wall’; unwarranted ‘invasions’ of Bethlehem by overwhelming Israeli military might; the siege of the Church of the Holy Nativity when Israeli troops ‘clearly had instructions to go in and destroy’ (doubtless that’s why there was a stand-off for days while the Israelis tried to persuade the Arab gunmen inside, who were trashing the church, to surrender) — a scandalous misrepresentation with more than a whiff of old-style theological prejudice, when the author compares his family locked inside the parsonage for safety to ‘the first disciples after the crucifixion of Jesus’; the ‘devastating impact’ of the closures and the curfews under the Second Intifada; and so on and dishonestly, virulently, sickeningly, on.