Roger L. Simon

Duranty Prize Update: Will 60 Minutes Apologize for Defamation of Israel?

The second annual Walter Duranty Prize for mendacious journalism will be awarded May 5 and,  just in time for this year’s prizes, an email alert from the estimable CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting) validates how the Duranty committee’s first runner up for last year was indeed well chosen.  


That runner up was Bob Simon for his 2012 report on 60 Minutes — “Christians of the Holy Land” — that blamed Israel for the plight of the dwindling Palestinian Christian community in Bethlehem.

Now one of those Palestinian Christians whose family actually appeared in the 60 Minutes segment — a young woman named Christy Anastas currently living in the UK where she was granted political asylum in only three days — has made a video of her own that contradicts virtually everything Simon said. Christy — who has received death threats from her own family members if she continued to defend Israel (they were that afraid) — tells her story in a compelling speech she gave at Upsala University.

She describes how one uncle was blinded by a gunshot to the head for refusing to pay jizya (the tax demanded of non-Muslims by their Muslim rulers).  This man’s life was saved by treatment in an Israeli hospital.  Anastas also recounts how Palestinian judges from Hebron colluded in the theft of land from Palestinian Christians.  It goes on, of course. The longer you listen, the more blaming Israel for the flight of Palestinian Christians becomes not only absurd, but a disgusting smear with violent implications.


Christy’s talk was so incendiary — the threats to her so severe — that the video was pulled down from YouTube.   It is now up again thanks to Jerusalem Institute for Justice with some additional material regarding the prevarications of Saeb Erakat.   See it while you can. But most of all Bob Simon and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager should see it, especially now with the true colors of the Palestinian Authority have been revealed (to those who did not allow themselves to see) by its recent alliance with Hamas.

It’s hard to say if we should hold Simon and Fager accountable if something bad happens to Ms. Anasatas, but I know they won’t be far from my mind.  It will be interesting to see if they issue an apology.  PJ Media has contacted Mr. Fager’s office.

Here’s the video:

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