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The Arsonist

Tucker Carlson whitewashed murderers to set fire to evangelical-Jewish relations

Dumisani Washington
Karys Rhea
April 11, 2024

“I’m an American. Our country is being invaded right now. Over 100,000 Americans die every year of fentanyl. Those are real tragedies. I’ve never seen anything like the emotion from any commentator around those tragedies as I’m watching about a foreign tragedy.”

This was Tucker Carlson responding to the Oct. 7 attack in Israel, in which 1,200 innocent people were slaughtered in the most abominable manner possible by the genocidal death cult of Hamas, which filmed the entire massacre on GoPros and broadcast it for the world to see.

Tucker Carlson, a self-described “America First” commentator, has made it clear, on several occasions, that given the dire issues this country is facing, particularly on our southern border, anyone in America “overly” concerned with what is happening in Israel—or anywhere else for that matter—is insufficiently patriotic.

Pastor Munther Isaac publicly lauded the Oct. 7 massacre one day after it occurred, waxing poetic about ‘the strength of the Palestinian man who challenged his besiegement.’

But now, Tucker himself has decided to ignore his own advice and dedicate a 40-minute episode of his show to expressing outrage at the actions of a foreign nation. “How does the government of Israel treat Christians? In the West, Christian leaders don’t seem interested in knowing the answer. They should be. Here’s the view of a pastor from Bethlehem,” read Tucker’s tweet introducing the segment. He then lamented with his guest about Israel’s alleged mistreatment of Christians, peddling sheer falsities in what can only be characterized as a reckless and deliberate disregard for truth.

For one, this Lutheran pastor doesn’t even live in Israel. That’s right. Instead of speaking to one of the 180,000 Christian Israelis, Tucker chose to interview someone who lives under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority in Area A of the West Bank, a place where priests live in fear and toe the party line about Israel’s “occupation” in order to protect their churches. By way of example, in 2002, Palestinian militants holed up in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and forced civilians and clergymen to remain in the church with them at gunpoint, setting off a 39-day siege of the church that featured firefights with the IDF. Greek Orthodox priests later relayed how the terrorists seized church stockpiles of food and “ate like greedy monsters” until the food ran out while the civilians survived on a meager diet. Catholic priests meanwhile said that the Palestinian gunmen tore up Bibles for toilet paper and stole valuable sacramental objects. Civilians were threatened that they would be “dealt with later” if they attempted to leave.

Pastor Munther Isaac is a fan of these bestial thugs, and not some good faith interlocutor interested in raising awareness about the plight of Christians. He is a malicious agitator who publicly lauded the Oct. 7 massacre one day after it occurred, waxing poetic about “the strength of the Palestinian man who challenged his besiegement.” He is also a critic of Western democracies that don’t place social justice and racially centered values as their most cherished articles of faith, and a supporter of the politicized theology of the Kairos Palestine document, which asserts that occupation is a “sin against God” and that true lovers of Christ would stand in solidarity with Palestinians. With Tucker’s disdain of the pastor’s fellow travelers on the woke American-left, Pastor Isaac seems a strange bedfellow to represent the views of Christians in Israel. Is this unrepresentative choice a personal reflection of Tucker’s affinities? Is he expressing his own antisemitic sympathies by taking cover beneath the morally depraved views of the pastor?

The real story to be told here is the demographics. Christians in Bethlehem, the town where Jesus was born, represented more than 80% of the population when the territory was controlled by Israel. Since the Palestine Liberation Organization took over in late 1995, it is now over 80% Muslim. The Christian population of the West Bank and Gaza has plummeted to roughly 1%. This is in keeping with the larger trend in the region, where Christian communities have largely been driven out and disappeared after two millennia of faithful presence.

Many of those who remain in Muslim countries live as “dhimmis,” second-class citizens under the mercy, and whims, of Muslim rule. Every year, thousands are murdered, abducted, tortured, enslaved, or displaced. Jihadists routinely raid Christian villages in places such as Iraq, Syria, Eritrea, Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Sudan, kidnapping their children, raping and enslaving their woman, and burning them and their homes and churches. Such horrific persecution has been documented extensively.

Alternately, Palestinian Christians flee to Israel seeking safety. Those from the West Bank reveal a hostile environment where churches and monasteries are attacked, graffitied with Islamic slogans, vandalized and looted, and PLO flags draped over crosses. By contrast, Israel is the only place in the Middle East where the Christian population has been steadily increasing. They are not only free of persecution, but among the most successful and accomplished in Israeli society, with several Arab Christians having been appointed Supreme Court justices. Just last year, a former slave from South Sudan, a country in which up to 1.5 million citizens were massacred by Muslim terrorists and many enslaved, visited Israel to show his support of the “one nation [who] helped us with arms, tactical, and military support.”

A simple Google search by Tucker or his team could have easily found all of this. But Tucker chose to mislead his viewers. By his own “America First” standard, shouldn’t he be reporting on the “Death to America” chants that poured out of a Muslim protest in Michigan this week? If he actually cared about Christians, shouldn’t he be informing his audience about the Idaho teen who just planned to execute an attack on a local church in loyalty to ISIS, or draw attention to Nigeria, the world’s most dangerous place to be a Christian, where 90% of all the killings of Christians for their faith occurred last year? And if he were truly an honest journalist, why did he omit critical biographic facts that reflect the pastor’s political worldview?

But that wasn’t the point of the interview. Instead, Tucker set fire to a delicate relationship between two faith communities—fraught with a long history of Jewish forced conversions, pogroms, inquisitions, and a Holocaust—who managed, only in recent decades, to finally come together in mutual trust, coexist, and support one another.

For someone who talks with such revulsion about the horrors of war, Tucker sure seems interested in starting one.

Pastor Dumisani Washington is founder & CEO of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel.

Karys Rhea is a producer at Epoch Times and a fellow with The Jewish Leadership Project.