With 70+ journalists packing the Reuters Jerusalem Bureau, each desperate for a story on a daily basis, Christmas has come early this year as correspondent and serial liar Tom Perry blames -- who else? -- Israel for the declining Christian population in the territories:
Today, Christians make up just 1 percent of the mainly Muslim population of the Palestinian territories, said Hanna Eissa, who is in charge of Christian affairs in the Palestinian Authority's religious affairs ministry.
In 1920, they were a tenth of the population of Palestine -- land where today Israel exists alongside the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians remain stateless.
Decades of conflict, shifting borders and occupation are the root causes of the poor economic situation that is forcing Christians to seek better lives abroad, Eissa said.
Perry of course, does not cite a single survey or study to support his assertion that "most" (presumably Arab Christians) blame Israel for the shrinking community, so readers are expected to accept this notion sans evidence save a single interview with one Abu al-Zulaf:Rising Muslim fundamentalism, a trend across the Middle East, concerns some. But most cite Israeli occupation as the prime cause of emigration and the decline of their community.
In reality however, al-Zulaf is an agnostic with respect to who is to blame for the status quo:He holds Israel responsible for the departure of Christians. "The occupation is menacing everyone's existence," he said.
And as we have previously noted, there is another side to this story which Perry dares not tell."I am not optimistic because I don't think things are going to change. I don't trust the leadership on either side."