‘Impacts Us Severely’: Tucker Highlights Devastation Brought On Christians In Gaza By Israel-Hamas War

Screenshot/YouTube/Tucker Carlson

Robert McGreevy Contributor
Font Size:

Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson highlighted the toll the war in Gaza is having on Palestinian Christians during an interview with Reverend Munther Isaac, the pastor at the Evangelical Lutheran Christian Church in Bethlehem, which Carlson published Tuesday. 

“A consistent but almost never noted theme of American foreign policy is that it is always the Christians who suffer,” Carlson stated in his opening monologue. 

“There is virtually never a word about the Christians who live there, the ancient Christian community in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel proper.” 

Carlson highlighted the October airstrike that he says left a Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza in ruins. 

“The church is in ruins. At least 17 people were killed that day,” Carlson outlined. He also recalled the 2002 siege of the Church of Nativity where Israeli soldiers shot and killed a mentally disabled clergyman in Bethlehem.

“These are very difficult times, and it’s been difficult for quite some time now. When I say difficult times, I’m not just only referring to October 7th,” Reverend Isaac opened. 

Isaac explained how the fragmentation of Christian communities spread throughout Gaza, Israel, the West Bank and East Jerusalem is impacting the faith group. 

“In my church I have family members with relatives in Gaza, and they cannot even visit, [even] before the war they could not visit and be with them,” he said.  

“People keep leaving because of the political reality. Life under a very harsh Israeli military occupation is difficult to bear and as a result, many young Palestinian Christians continue to leave, for example Bethlehem, choosing to find a better and easier life elsewhere,” Isaac continued. 

“Have any members of Congress sent you aid of any kind? Word of support? [To] A fellow Christian?” Carlson asked.

“No, I mean, in the opposite,” Isaac answered. “We continue to be horrified by what we hear from Congress, with of course some exceptions. There are some on the Democratic side, of course Rashida Talib comes from a Palestinian heritage. But when you look at the so-called religious right, we receive no sympathy whatsoever. Sometimes we’re just pleased to be heard and have our perspective taken seriously,” Isaac said.

“One of the things I’m often struck with, whether when I speak to diplomats, politicians, Congress staff. Or even pastors and influential pastors, is how little they know about the reality on the ground. Their knowledge of the situation here seems to be very very shallow, yet they hold very strong opinions,” Isaac said.

Carlson’s excoriated figures of the American Christian right who refuse to stand up for Christians in the Middle East

“You may be asking yourself, ‘well wait a second, if Christian leaders won’t stand up for the lives of Christians, why have them in the first place?’ And that’s probably a good question,” Carlson noted. “You would think that in Congress, where there are many self-professed Christians, somebody might be piping up on behalf of their brethren in the holy land, but no. Just the opposite in fact.”

Carlson then played a clip of Republican Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg, a former evangelical pastor, advocating to eliminate U.S. aid to Gaza “like Nagasaki and Hiroshima.” 

“To be clear, as a theological matter, Christianity is not the religion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it’s the religion, among all world religions, that uniquely abhors mass killing,” Carlson said. “In fact, it is the religion that abhors mass killing. There’s no excuse for this from a Christian perspective. And here we have a former pastor calling for it.” 

Isaac juxtaposed Walberg’s statements with the teachings of Christ, saying “This obsession with war and violence … it’s the antithesis of everything Jesus taught.” (RELATED: Editor Daily Rundown: Biden Warns Israel Civilian Casualties In Gaza Threaten Future Support)

“It, again, makes us wonder. Do you realize how damaging that is for us Christians living not just in Palestine but in the Middle East? Damaging in the sense of real impact on our lives, but also damaging in terms of our credibility in front of our peers here in the Middle East,” Isaac asked.

The most harrowing moment in the interview, perhaps, came when Isaac recounted the Israeli missile strike that killed 18 Palestinians, including nine children.

Since the war broke they all chose to hide and take refuge in the two major churches, the Orthodox and the Catholic,” Isaac claimed. “They chose to be there thinking that we don’t want to become refugees in the South with the unknown facing us.” He explained that many of them are descendants of the 1948 Nakba and come from refugees themselves. “One of them told me ‘if I’m going to die, I’d rather die in the church.’ They thought the church was safe, but the church was not.”

“10 days after the war, or so, the Orthodox church was hit, was impacted by an Israeli missile. 18 people were killed, including nine children. Palestinian Christians. Nine Palestinian Christian children,” Isaac told Carlson.

Isaac also told the story of Israeli snipers killing two elderly Catholic women. “How can this be a mistake, Tucker? That’s our question. Because they were in the middle of the church,” Isaac said.

Isaac also noted that some in his parish died from curable diseases because of a lack of access to medical care.

I’m confused, why wouldn’t Christians in Gaza cowering in their church and dying of curable illnesses be allowed to travel into Israel? Why wouldn’t they be allowed to leave? Why would they be held there? I mean they’re Christians they’re not a threat to anyone,” Tucker questioned. 

“This is the nature of the siege. The siege has been there since 2007. It’s collective punishment against all Palestinians,” Isaac answered. (RELATED: ‘Come On, Peter’: Doocy Spars With Kirby Over Biden’s ‘Unwavering’ Support For Israel)

Toward the end of the 40-minute interview, Isaac shed light on an underreported issue plaguing Christians in the region.

“The biggest problem Christians are facing is in East Jerusalem, where they are constantly targeted by radical groups, radical Jewish groups,” Isaac told Carlson.

“Some churches, they tried, there was an attempt to burn them. Oftentimes, and this, you can look at it on social media all over the place, Christian clergy being spit at by these groups. They write very offensive slogans on the wall. There is strong incitements against Christians, especially in The Old City of Jerusalem.”

“I’m sorry to ask you to pause. What kind of slogans? What kind of graffiti is written against Christians?” Tucker asked.

“We don’t want Christians, get out of here. Some of it is very very offensive actually, that I can’t say. A lot of it is calling for Christians, whether Christians or Armenian Christians … we don’t want you here, you should leave. So there are all these incitements against Christians especially in Jerusalem. 

“One might say that, well we expect to see radical groups in every faith tradition and I say of course, yes that exists. The problem is when they go and check and they’re never held accountable,” Isaac stated.

Isaac used the word genocide to describe the war. “There is a very very brutal war taking place in Gaza, a war that I described using the word genocide because it’s a war that has used even starvation as a mean,” he explained. 

Isaac and Carlson touched upon several other subjects throughout the interview, including House Speaker Mike Johnson’s defense of Israel, antisemitism and Israel’s treatment of its Christian citizens.

What we’re calling for is reasonable, fair-minded Christian leaders who understand the reality on the ground and are able to lobby for a just peace in this land where Palestinians and Israelis live together,” Isaac summarily stated.