In February, a group of Palestinian Christians asked Pope Benedict XVI to call off his planned visit to Israel and the West Bank, concerned that his visit would "help boost Israel's image and inadvertently minimize Palestinian suffering under Israeli occupation." (Haaretz).The above-linked article shows Hudson's analysis to be a monological tapestry of distortions based on consistently biased sources, questionable statistics and half-truths. For example, one aspect of the plight of Palestianian Christians altogether missing from Hudson's latest article is the fact persecution of Arab Christians by Muslim extremists. Hudson relays the fears of a Christian resident of Bethlehem over the election of "right winger" Benjamin Netanyahu; but he is entirely silent about the virtual evacuation of Christian Arabs from areas like Bethlehem due to murders, beatings and land grabs by extremist Muslim groups. What is especially perplexing is that Hudson blogged about this very issue in 2007, noting international human rights lawyer Justus Reid Weiner's observation that: "The systematic persecution of Christian Arabs living in Palestinian areas is being met with nearly total silence by the international community, human rights activists, the media and NGOs."
Adopting a different approach, Ma'an News Agency reports that a petition raised by the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, the University of San Francisco, and several other U.S. peace organizations asking Pope Benedict XVI to make a stop in the Gaza Strip has received over 2000 signatures.
In a recent post to InsideCatholic.com, Deal Hudson raises the question: Should Benedict XVI Include Gaza in his Holy Land Visit? -- answering in the affirmative.
[Hat tip to C.B.]