Writing to TIME

Posted: May 14, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Israel, Middle East, Own Articles, Palestinians, Press and Media
Tags: ,

andrew ON MAY 11, TIME magazine’s columnist, Andrew Lee Butters, wrote a totally out-of-perspective article on Middle Eastern Christian population. While doing nothing new or original, Butters blamed Israel for decline in Christian population in the Middle East:

…while support for the modern revival of the ancient biblical nation runs deep among many Christians in America and Europe, the creation of Israel has been a disaster for Christians in the Middle East. Many of the Palestinian refugees who fled or were forced from their homes in 1948 — never to be allowed back — were Christians. The flood of Palestinian refugees into Lebanon helped spark a civil war between Muslims and Christians there. And the ongoing occupation of the West Bank is strangling the life out of those Christian communities that are left. A U.N. report released a week ago said that the Palestinian West Bank town of Bethlehem — Christ’s birthplace and a major stop on the Pope’s visit — is now almost totally controlled by Israel.

Butters easily omits the persecution of Christians by Palestinian Muslims, or the fact that Palestinian refugees were created by Arab states’ unwillingness to allow a Jewish state of ‘their land’ (with HonestReporting pointing out more abuse of Palestinian Christians).

It is important not to allow such distortions to go unanswered. Butters knows he can write anything, because he will not see consequences. Do the right thing, and send TIME a letter. Here’s mine:


Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to express my opinion Andrew Lee Butters’ recent article published on your website, titled "Why Mideast Christians Are Wary of Pope Benedict’s Visit" (May 11, 2009). In his article, Butters essentially blames my country for demise of Christian population in the Middle East – particularly in and around Israel.

While we could go on and on about gross inaccuracies in Butters’ article (such as Butters calling Israel – a state where Christians are free to practice their religion – a "disaster", omitting the fact that Palestinian Muslims set fire to several churches in past years), I shall set useless arguments aside – you are well aware of the facts.

Dear Sir or Madam, professional journalism bases itself on facts. An opinion is worth nothing if it is not substantiated – which is the case with Andrew Lee Butters.

Please allow me to express my sorrow as a subscriber, that you hire unprofessional journalists to write for your magazine. Your printed edition is one of the most respected in the world – however, over time and because of incidents such as this, it loses much respect in eyes of many.



and Warmest Regards,

Jonathan M. Boyko.

  1. tekhelet says:

    Jonathan, I have actually quit reading TIME magazine. A few months ago I dropped them an email because they compared Israel to the Nazis.

  2. Well, I wouldn’t expect an answer from TIME: after all, they’re all above us, there, in a liberal stratosphere.

    Yet, if we send enough of those letters, we can reach something, and that’s the goal.

  3. politinfo says:

    Here is a letter I’ve sent to that address a few months ago. Never got any answer.

    Dear Editor:

    Today I felt dismayed and offended when I saw the cover of the latest issue of TIME magazine. The image of the Star of David behind a wall and barbed wire draws a parallel between Israel’s defensive operation in Gaza and the Nazi Holocaust. Such false associations are typically employed by those who seek to demonize Jews and delegitimize Israel. I would appreciate an explanation why you have allowed such a distasteful image on the cover.

    As you may know, Hamas is widely designated as a terrorist organization and its Charter (http://mideastweb.org/hamas.htm) calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and for genocide of Jews. Hamas uses human shields and fires from civilian population centers, mosques and schools. While Israel does its utmost to avoid harming the innocent, Hamas continues to fire rockets – even during the humanitarian cease-fire that the IDF observes daily in order to alleviate the hardship of the civilian population of Gaza. Can I expect a rethinking of your editorial policy in your coverage?


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