Home / Reports / Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek of Sabeel defamed in Boston Globe – by two op-ed’s

Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek of Sabeel defamed in Boston Globe – by two op-ed’s

The combination of opeds: one from Jeff Jacoby and the other from CAMERA says more about the Globe than either of the slanderous pieces written.

Tactics are the usual:
Criticism of Israel or it’s brutal and illegal and immoral policies is anti-Semitic….. But both of these opeds are particularly disgusting.

Please write and call the Globe to demand some balance and scrutiny in their editorial section. An apology or a full oped by Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek is also in order.

Letters to Editor: letter@globe.com
Ombudsman: ombud@globe.com
Phone to leave a message, 617.929.3022.
Marjorie Pritchard, Oped Editor, 617.929.3041

Sabeel Purpose Statement

Sabeel is an ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians. Inspired by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, this liberation theology seeks to deepen the faith of Palestinian Christians, to promote unity among them toward social action. Sabeel strives to develop a spirituality based on love, justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities. The word “Sabeel” is Arabic for ‘the way‘ and also a ‘channel‘ or ‘spring‘ of life-giving water.

Sabeel also works to promote a more accurate international awareness regarding the identity, presence and witness of Palestinian Christians as well as their contemporary concerns. It encourages individuals and groups from around the world to work for a just, comprehensive and enduring peace informed by truth and empowered by prayer and action.

The op-eds can be read here:

Hate at the altar
By Dexter Van Zile | October 25, 2007

Criticism gone too far
By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | October 21, 2007


CAMERA, Jacoby, and the ADL, apologists for Israel ’s brutal policies towards the Palestinians, viciously attack Sabeel, the international peace group initiated by Palestinian Christians that opposes the Israeli occupation of Palestine , and its founder, Rev. Naim Ateek. As usual, they designate critics of the Israeli government’s 60-year oppression of the Palestinians as anti-Semitic. End of discussion.

What makes them particularly apoplectic this week is that Sabeel is holding a weekend conference at the Old South Church , titled “The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel” . Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who knows something about apartheid, is delivering the keynote address.

Rather than dealing directly with the issues raised by the Occupation and Israel ’s abuses of international law and human rights, these defenders of Israel ’s military government obfuscate Israel ’s crimes by focusing on Ateek’s use of religious metaphors, likening them to racist symbols and blaming Jews for killing Christ.

Sabeel says that Israel dominates the Palestinians by taking their land and pushing the owners into enclaves where they have no power or self-determination over their lives. Nelson Mandela and other leaders have made the analogy with apartheid in South Africa , and some say the conditions are even worse in Occupied Palestine today. This is not anti-Semitism; it is reality.

To the Editors:
I understand that under the principles of freedom of the press a newspaper has the right to print and offer opinion as it wishes. But I would hope that a paper that is often referred to as Boston’s “paper of record” would attempt to offer balance in reporting the major issues of our times. However, in reporting on the issue of Israel/Palestine that has hardly been the case. It is not enough that you have a regular columnist, Jeff Jacoby constantly pressing Israel’s positions (there is no comparable columnist arguing the Palestinian side or criticizing Israel), but now you offer an op-ed article to an organization with the Orwellian name of Committee for Accuracy in the Media , an organization which systematically cherry picks quotes taken out of context to attack people and organizations as they have done with the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theolgy Center, rather than simply challenging positions and ideologies. I suggest that the Globe review the investigative report that Columbia University published repudiating the CAMERA/David Project’s smear campaign against Professor Joseph Massoud before it offers them another chance to carry on such similar attacks against others.

Why will the Globe not print op-ed articles or letters presenting an opposing position instead of just reiterating one side of the issue. A balanced approach to reporting would have dictated that Sabeel or Old South Church would have been offered an op-ed piece since they were attacked by Jacoby, rather than offering an echo from CAMERA.

To the Editor

In reading “Hate at the Altar” Globe 10/25/07 I don’t get any indication that Israel is actually occupying land – in addition to it’s own state – that doesn’t belong to itself. I also don’t learn anything about the nature of that occupation – or for how long it’s been going on.

I agree with the writer that “…Jews as Christ killers has contributed to untold violence and hostility toward Jewish people.” and, I say, can never be tolerated or justified, and Israel is occupying land not it’s own, and that cannot be tolerated or justified.

We need to be as clear as possible about what the issues are, and work together to create a world of fairness and justice – where we stop killing each other!

Dear Editor

I want to address the vile piece in the Globe today “Hate at the Altar” by Dexter Van Zile. This is not an oped, this is slander. Combined with the usual slander from Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby on Oct. 21, I can only assume that this represents the point of view of the Boston Globe. You have chosen to attack not just the Rev. Dr Ateek and Sabeel but you are attacking all Christians suffering under Israeli occupation. You have also chosen to offend Christians everywhere who disagree with the horrendous policies of the state of Israel and you have chosen to offend Black Americans.

To misuse of the image of the noose by Mr. Zile was particularly disgusting and offensive to anyone who understand its meaning and symbolism. Blacks who suffered the noose were oppressed as slaves by white landowners, overlords and later by racist organizations such as the KKK.

Palestinians are the oppressed in this case.; oppressed by the state of Israel with the full support of the US. Maybe the Globe or Mr. Zile could explain how exactly Israelis are oppressed by Palestinians. If anything, the noose is much more symbolic of Israeli tanks, roadblocks, checkpoints and settlements which strangle the life out of Palestinians.

The Globe continues to disappoint on this issue.