Wednesday, December 24, 2014

  • Wednesday, December 24, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
From AFP:
For most of Gaza's tiny community of some 3,500 Christians, 85 percent of whom are Greek Orthodox, they must make do with celebrating at home after failing to obtain the small slip of paper issued by Israel which would have allowed them to leave the enclave and travel the 70 kilometres (43 miles) to Bethlehem.

Abdullah Jakhan is one of them.

He and his fiancee Janet applied to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem, but they were both turned down. Now they will have to make do in Gaza.

Just four months after the end of the war, it would be inappropriate to engage in too much celebration, Jakhan says.

"We want a joyful celebration, but the blood of the martyrs which flowed during the war is still fresh. Because of this we can't be completely happy," he tells AFP.
Somehow, the memory of the "blood of the martyrs" didn't stop Hamas from holding a huge anniversary celebration.

This is the tenor for most of the article. Then, at the very end:
But other concerns also feature at the top of their prayer list.

George, 38, who prefers not to give his family name, is praying for an end to Islamic extremism and attacks on Christians.

"Even if there aren't many of them, like those in the Islamic State movement, they don't want us to celebrate our Christian feasts," he says.

"And they wouldn't hesitate to attack us, as they have already done," he adds, referring to an incident in February when unidentified attackers left an explosive device inside the compound of the Church of the Latin Convent in Gaza City.
AFP wrote an anti-Israel piece where they threw in some information about how Hamas isn't very Christian-friendly as a lame attempt at "balance."

But note that the people who blame Israel are quite proud to use their names, while those who want to talk about how Hamas and Muslim extremists are singling out Christians for persecution refuse to bw identified.

Which means that when Gazans speak to reporters, they will overwhelmingly say only things that Hamas wants them to say. And the coverage will reflect that, as it does in this story.

Any journalist who doesn't try to compensate for this simple fact when reporting from Gaza, and instead allows Hamas intimidation to drive the focus of his or her stories, is not a journalist.

(h/t Gidon Shaviv)



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