Israel Spies on U.S. Muslims; Local Churches Harassed in Jerusalem

Edward Ahmed Mitchell, deputy executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, recounts how CAIR recently discovered that Steven Emerson, an American journalist and anti-Muslim activist, has worked with the Israeli government to spy on CAIR and other U.S. Muslim groups for over a decade. Mitchell says the FBI response to the spying has been weak. Kyle Cristofalo, senior director of advocacy and government relations for Churches for Middle East Peace, a consortium of U.S. churches from Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions, discusses the warning issued by local churches in Jerusalem in December 2021 that Jewish extremists are trying to drive Christians from the Old City of Jerusalem by desecrating churches, attacking Christian clergy, and covertly buying up property in the Christian quarter of Jerusalem. The churches say the harassment of Christians is part of a systematic campaign to drive Christians from the Holy Land. Cristofalo explains the special status of Jerusalem to Middle East peace and why many are concerned that new developments are altering the long-time status quo that has prevailed in a city important to Jewish, Muslims and Christians. Israeli raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque, with injuries to worshippers, and new, stricter restrictions on Muslims praying at the mosque fermented outrage that led to the 11-day war in May, 2021 between Israel and Hamas, as did efforts to drive Palestinian residents out of their homes in the Sheik Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

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