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“Dying Slowly While the World Is Watching”: Bethlehem Reverend on Israel’s War on Palestinian Christians

As Christians around the world celebrated Easter Sunday, Palestinian Christians from the occupied West Bank were prevented from reaching Jerusalem for Good Friday to walk the Via Dolorosa, the path Jesus is said to have followed on the way to his crucifixion more than 2,000 years ago. Meanwhile, Jesus’s birthplace of Bethlehem is uncharacteristically empty of tourists this year as Israel’s assault on Gaza and crackdown on the West Bank escalate. “Nothing can wash the blood from your hands,” said the Reverend Munther Isaac at an Easter vigil for Gaza on Saturday, about Western complicity in Israel’s genocide of Palestinians. Isaac is a Palestinian Christian theologian and the pastor at the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. He joins Democracy Now! to discuss the history of Palestinian Christians in Gaza, Israel’s occupation of Bethlehem and its strangling of freedoms in the West Bank, U.S. Christians’ support of Israel and more.

Science magazine’s editorial bias against Palestinians

After reading Science’s absurdly one-sided story (February 28, 2024) on the effect of the genocide in Gaza on Israeli academics, I wrote an email to the news editor to intervene. He responded by offering to publish parts of the email as a “letter” in response to the story. I then reworked the text of the email to prepare it for publication and submitted a draft. The editor sent it back with substantial deletions, notably removing the paragraph describing the deliberate nature of the Israeli military’s destruction of academic life in Gaza. The sentence in which I explained the principles of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) was also removed, on the grounds that “[w]e often don’t know the motivations of those calling for or practicing a boycott.” I pointed out to the editor that the initial story had speculated freely about the supposed antisemitic motivations of alleged boycotts of Israeli academics and insisted on retaining the deleted passages. The editor declined to withdraw the deletions and I decided not to allow the text to be published in amputated form. Below is the text, including the passages Science refused to publish.

In a week, Israeli army executes 13 children in and near Al-Shifa Hospital

Palestinian Territory – In blatant violation of international law, particularly international humanitarian law, the Israeli army has executed 13 children by direct shooting in Al-Shifa Medical Complex and its Gaza City environs. This is a war crime and a crime against humanity, and is part of the genocide that the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip having been experiencing for the past six months.