Christian leaders criticize Tucker Carlson's interview with Munther Isaac: 'No mention of Hamas'

Munther Isaac, a Palestinian Christian pastor and theologian, speaks with Tucker Carlson.
Munther Isaac, a Palestinian Christian pastor and theologian, speaks with Tucker Carlson. | Screenshot/YouTube

Faith leaders have pushed back against anti-Israel rhetoric promoted by Munther Isaac, the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, in a recent Tucker Carlson interview and challenged Western Christians to educate themselves on the history of the Israel-Palestinian conflict to avoid falling for “propaganda.”

“I am really confused by Tucker Carlson's recent behavior, honestly,” Israel’s former Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism and Delegitimization, Noa Tishby, told The Christian Post.

“He has made a turn to conspiratorial, not to mention woke, pro-Hamas, antisemite ideology when he gave a platform to Munther Isaac … it’s very easy to blame the Jews, and much of what Isaac's doing right now is blaming the Jews.”

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Carlson sparked debate after publishing a lengthy interview with Isaac — a Palestinian pastor who has been accused of being sympathetic to Hamas and the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in which an estimated 1,163 people were slaughtered, including at least 31 Americans — on the topic of “How does the government of Israel treat Christians?”

"A consistent but almost never noted theme of American foreign policy is that it is always the Christians who suffer," Carlson said. "When there's a war abroad that the United States is funding, it is Christians who tend to die disproportionately."

"But what about Gaza? What about the entire region in the Middle East, where, of course, there's very intense fighting going on? Many Christian churches in the United States, particularly Evangelical churches, support that.

"But there is virtually never a word about the Christians who live there, the ancient Christian community in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel proper. So, because no one has said a word, there has been great suffering among the Christian population in that region."

Weighing in on the issue, Isaac said Palestinian Christians have often been neglected by the global Church and asserted that the conflict in Gaza is an extension of colonialism. He also criticized the international community's lack of response to what he described as ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Asserting that Palestinian Christians "are probably disproportionately affected” by the ongoing Israel-Hamas war “because of our small numbers as a religious community,” Isaac criticized what he dubbed the "so-called religious right," from whom "we receive nothing, no sympathy whatsoever.”

“Sometimes we just plea to be heard and have our perspective taken seriously. And one of the things I'm often stuck with, whether when I speak to diplomats, politicians, congress[ional] staff or even influential pastors, is how little they know about the reality on the ground,” he said.

"Their knowledge of the situation here seems to be very, very shallow," he added. "Yet they hold very strong opinions. And oftentimes, these opinions are shaped by political parties' positions, the United States' position."

Tishby, who served in the Israeli army and authored Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth, hit back at Isaac’s claims that Israel is unfriendly to Christians, emphasizing that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian population is growing.

"Israel allows for freedom of religion," she stressed, noting that no other Middle Eastern country provides similar protections. 

Tishby highlighted that the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel were carried out by a "radical jihadi death cult” designated as a terrorist organization by many countries, including the United States and the European Union, due to its violent actions and targeting of civilians. 

She rejected Isaac’s allegations that Israel bombs Christians in Gaza or represses them in the West Bank, clarifying that Israel's military actions target a jihadi terrorist organization that poses a threat to both Jews and Christians.

“Israel doesn't go into Gaza and bomb Christians; Israel goes into Gaza to chase out Hamas. … There is no other side to radical jihadism," she said, emphasizing that the conflict isn't between religions but between a terrorist group and a democratic state.

“We're dealing right now with a culture that is preaching for Holy War, to the death. That is what it is that we're dealing with here. And when they breached the borders and entered Israel, their intention was to slaughter as many Jews as possible, to genocide the Jews basically, and to die themselves. There is nothing to support about that.”

In a lengthy response to Carlson's interview posted on YouTube, Luke Moon, deputy director of the Philos Project and leader of Philos Action League, said that with the exception of Israel, "nowhere else in the Middle East has seen Christian church growth."

"Not the historic church," he said. "Now, you have places like Iran where, through evangelism, there's a growing church, but it was because it was at zero, right ... there are more Iraqi Christians in the suburbs of Chicago that are left in Iraq."

Moon, who mobilizes Christians to fight antisemitism, also took issue with the fact that throughout the interview, Isaac "never mentions Hamas" and accused Isaac of "taking advantage of Tucker's ignorance."

"That's one of the words you don't use in this whole interview, you don't say 'Hamas' anywhere," he said. "It's like, 'Israel's just out there shooting people.' It's weird. At least acknowledge the evil being done in Gaza. ... All the blame needs to go to Hamas, and Tucker and Munther need to acknowledge that."

Dr. Richard Land, a former member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (2001-2012) and executive editor of The Christian Post, challenged Western Christians to examine the context and background of the Israel-Palestinian conflict when examining the ongoing strife. 

“You would think that someone of Tucker's background and education, you'd think he would be far more skeptical of Munther Isaac,” he said. “Anyone who is even remotely aware of the history of the Holy Land from the beginning of the 20th century until now would know that Isaac’s narrative was skewed, unbalanced and unfair. The only proper word for it is ‘propaganda.’”

Land pointed out that in 1948, after the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, Israel declared its independence. Within 24 hours, it was attacked by five Arab armies, marking the beginning of multiple wars and conflicts. It was this aggression, he said, that led to the Palestinian refugee crisis.

"Arab governments told their people to leave [Jewish-majority areas] so they wouldn't be in the way as the armies came in to eradicate the Jewish state. Unfortunately for them, the Jews won,” he said.

In 1948, Palestinians had a significant Christian population, but this has decreased over time due to various factors, including the Intifada and discrimination against Christians by Palestinian, and not Jewish, authorities, Land said.

"In 1948, the Christian population among the Palestinian Arabs was significant due in large part to persistent and ongoing missionary efforts by American and British Evangelical Christians, including establishing hospitals and children's homes. 

"A large number of Palestinian Christians have left the West Bank and Gaza as a result of having faced severe discrimination from Hamas and the People's Liberation Army, including having to pay a special tax because they would not participate in the terrorist intifada against Israel."

Land, who has visited the Holy Land at least a dozen times, acknowledged Israel's imperfections but stressed Israel's need to defend itself from genocidal terrorist groups like Hamas, citing the organization's commitment to a Jew-free Israel, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.  

"Israel keeps trying to make peace with a population that refuses to make peace," he said. "Israel's dilemma is that they live next door to and in the midst of people who have been seduced by a terrorist death-cult."

He added that over the years, Israel has attempted to make peace with the Palestinians multiple times, offering self-rule in the Gaza Strip and West Bank (in the last agreement, the Israeli government even forcibly removed Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip and turned the land back over to Palestinian control).

However, peace treaties were rejected, leading to ongoing conflict and mistrust. Despite these challenges, Israel continues to seek peaceful solutions while protecting its citizens.

“If the Palestinians wanted peace as much as Israel,” he stressed, "they would be at peace."

Tishby also addressed the broader issue of antisemitism, noting that it often takes different forms over time. She warned that Isaac — and Carlson, by extension — promoted antisemitic narratives by blaming Israel for broader issues in the Middle East and cautioned against simplistic narratives that demonize Israel. 

"Antisemitism is the oldest form of hate and discrimination," she explained. She urged Christians to recognize the historical roots of antisemitism and avoid promoting anti-Zionist rhetoric.

“Tucker Carlson is allowing these conversations to permeate,” she said. “Israel has the right to exist. The Jewish state has the right to exist. It's prophesied and human rights. So whether you're a religious person or a secular person, the Jewish people deserve the right for self-governance and self-determination.”

In an earlier interview with CP, Jack Graham, senior pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, said Christians should love and support Israel because God chose the Jewish people as His special nation.

He clarified that this support does not mean endorsing every political action taken by Israel's government, but it involves recognizing their right to exist and opposing antisemitism.

“What you have now is this movement of genocide and antisemitism that's rising, not only in the Middle East but in Europe and in America,” he said. “We must stand against that hatred. … Wherever you may stand on the political side of Arabs and Jews, everyone can stand against terrorism.”

Graham warned that the threat is not limited to Israel; terrorists could target anyone who opposes them, even the U.S. 

“Terrorists, once they get done with Israel, if they can, they're coming for us next. They're coming for anyone who opposes them. It doesn't end in Israel … the geopolitical system of the world hinges on the Middle East and the little nation of Israel. 

… I believe the hatred [of Israel] is because God loves the Jewish people, and Satan hates everything and everyone that God loves. And so, ultimately, this is spiritual warfare. And we must continue to therefore battle with the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus and love our Jewish neighbors.”

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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