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CAMERA’s “Dexter Dilemma”

by on April 4, 2014


CAMERA’s “Dexter Dilemma”

By: Burkhardt


Well, it sure seems that after I highlighted Dexter Van Zile’s habitual lack of context in his “reporting” he has doubled down on dumb. Since my piece “The Echo Chamber of Dexter Van Zile”, he has been on an online rampage lashing out in all directions in an attempt to be heard as per the “Echo Chamber” in which he lives and writes. It is very hard to know who is listening to him, other than his own choir.

There has been a lot of attention recently, on the fact that Evangelicals, a demographic that is historically pro-Israel and where the Israeli narrative has had a monopoly, is shifting. The younger Evangelicals are listening more to the Palestinian story and beginning to get a broader perspective. Over the past 5 years there has been a shift, in part, thanks to conferences like ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ in Bethlehem, films like ‘With God On Our Side’ and more leaders coming out with less fear of any backlash. People are doing what CAMERA doesn’t like, asking questions and educating themselves.

This raises an interesting question. Is Van Zile the right person at CAMERA as the ‘Christian Media Analyst’ in this new era of shifting dynamics? It seems he is having to go to extreme lengths to come up with a “gotcha” by taking comments out of context, hashing up old articles and retweeting them. Van Zile, in a public lecture on February 15, 2012 in New Hampshire personally admits that dealing with Evangelicals is “difficult” for him because he is an ‘outsider to that community’. (11:12 – This becomes more evident every time Van Zile writes…he is playing catch up and doesn’t understand the issues he is talking about.

In his latest attempt at smear reporting, Van Zile questions whether Munther Isaac, who has become a favorite target of Van Zile’s, told the truth in 2012 when he said:

we [Palestinian Christians] worship with freedom and exercise rights like all Palestinians.”

At Christ at the Checkpoint 2014, Munir Kakish, head of the Council of Evangelical Churches says:

As a religious group, we are still unable to practice our basic civil rights to issue marriage certificates, register our church properties in the name of the church, or even open bank accounts to manage our churches’ financial affairs”.

Van Zile sees this as a contradiction and that someone must be lying. What Van Zile does not take into account, is that Isaac is talking about personal freedom of worship, which Palestinians do have, and the continuing fight for full official recognition of the Evangelical church by the Palestinian Authority, which Kakish is addressing. There’s a big difference. This is a fight that Evangelicals in Israel also are fighting and which Geoff Tunnicliffe, Director of the World Evangelical Alliance called for at CATC 2014, and brought to a meeting with Israeli officials that same week for churches in Israel. Do Palestinian and Israeli Christians have freedom of worship? Yes. Do Evangelical Churches have full recognition? No. So rather on diving deeper into these details and the full picture, Van Zile tries a lame attempt at alleging ‘conflicting stories’. Is the Palestinian Authority so repressive against Palestinian Christians that an International Christian Conference where Palestinian Christians, Jews and Internationals come together publicaly and online, in which Palestinian officials attend and the Prime Minister has spoken at in the past, is allowed and supported? What Van Zile is attempting by making accusations of anti-Semitism, conflicting stories, etc., is to cast Palestinian Christians as people you can’t trust, that their narrative is tainted by fear of the Palestinian Authority. We expect, in the coming days, more from Van Zile on these ‘issues’. He is struggling to come up with something, but so far, can’t climb out of the cesspool of tabloid reporting, which is what he has become infamous for.

CAMERA has a dilemma in Dexter Van Zile. The new surge in the Evangelical church, especially amongst young people, has them desperately searching for relevancy. Van Zile, their “Christian Media Analyst” has admitted to being an outsider here, and this is glaringly obvious. At a time when many pro-Israeli hasbara organizations are adjusting, and trying to find and highlight young voices of their own, CAMERA is stuck with Van Zile. And as I have said, it’s hard to know who is listening to him.


Editor’s comment: As Burkhardt has pointed out, a current favorite target is Munther Isaac on account of the talk that he gave at CATC2014. Anyone familiar with this talk will immediately recognise the ludicrous and desperate dissembling by Van Zile:

Munther chastises all faiths equally for their violence against each other.

Munther acknowledges that being Palestinian isn’t easy, given the reputation for violence Palestinian extremists have acquired.

Munther chastises all faiths equally for their exclusivity instead of their inclusivity.

In the telling of the alleged anti-Semitic joke that Van Zile is staking his reputation on, Munther makes no reference to Jews whatsoever. In fact, his punchline was clearly a further chastisment of Christians for their lack of attention to their Christian duty. How Dexter came away from that thinking he could sell this as  anti-Semitism  tells you as much about Dexter Van Zile as you will ever need to know. It’s make your mind up time, folks. See here.



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One Comment
  1. richardarmbach permalink

    Looks like Dexxy doesn’t merely have egg on his face its a six egg frittata

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