Media Watchdog Slams Evangelical Publishers for Promulgating Anti-Israel Propaganda and Conspiracy Theories
Dexter Van Zile, the Christian media analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), posted an open letter on September 25 to InterVarsity Press in the United States and Inter-Varsity Press in the United Kingdom criticizing their portrayal of Israel and the conflict with the Palestinians.
The letter was prefaced by the following statement:
These publishing houses have published and promoted a number of texts over the past two decades that portray Jewish self-defense as a greater problem than attempts to deprive Jews of their lives and rights. CAMERA has produced a number of articles about these texts.
This open letter is an attempt to put the issue onto the agenda of editorial staffers (and other leaders) at the two publishing houses, which produce and distribute texts in tandem in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Van Zile called the negative portrayal of Israel by the publishing houses “misinformation.”
“When media outlets and civil society institutions falsely portray the Jewish state as a murderous, marauding, and genocidal nation singularly responsible for the suffering in the Middle East, they implicitly portray Jews throughout the world as enemies of human rights and democracy,” the letter read. “Misinformation about Israel incites violence toward Israel’s Jewish citizens and diaspora Jews throughout the world.”
“On one hand, writers and commentators will regularly lament the murder of defenseless Jews during the Holocaust and condemn the failure of Christians to stand up to the lies and violence directed at the Jewish people. But on the other hand, these same commentators will do everything in their authorial power to hinder the ability of Jews living in the Holy Land in the 21st century to defend themselves from the very same hostility directed at Jews in Europe during the 20th century. In the writings of these authors, it is Israel’s efforts to defend Jewish life — not efforts to deprive Jews of their lives and sovereignty — that is the problem.”
“CAMERA is not condemning IVP authors for ‘criticizing’ Israel, but for ignoring or downplaying the threats it faces and attempting to promote ‘peace’ without acknowledging or detailing the obstacles to peace in Palestinian society. We are also condemning IVP authors for working to hinder the legitimate efforts of Israel to defend the lives of its citizens in the face of terrorism.
“IVP publishing houses have been retailing anti-Israel propaganda for some time,” Van Zile said in a statement posted in J-Post. “This is immensely problematic because of their influence in the Evangelical world.”
“Leaders who engage in dishonest anti-Israel activism in the name of ‘peace’ set the stage for divisive fights within the churches they purport to serve,” Van Zile warns. “You can’t promote dishonest propaganda about Israel and then be taken seriously when professing the truths of the Christian faith.”
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