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‘It's a new era of the importance of standing with the Jewish people,’ says CBN's Jerusalem bureau chief at NRB

Joel Rosenberg and Chris Mitchell share their experiences covering the Hamas war as Evangelicals at NRB

ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg and CBN Jerusalem Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell participate in a panel discussion at NRB in Nashville (Photo: ALL ISRAEL NEWS)

While at the annual National Religious Broadcaster’s convention in Nashville, Tennessee last week, ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg and CBN Jerusalem Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell participated in a panel discussion regarding the Hamas war with Billy Hallowell and ICEJ President Jürgen Bühler.

During the discussion, Rosenberg and Mitchell shared their experiences covering the war in Gaza as Evangelicals working for Christian news organizations.

Mitchell described waking up to rocket sirens on Saturday morning, Oct. 7.

“We knew it was something different. There are rockets that come to Jerusalem, but not that often, not like the people in the Gaza Strip,” Mitchell related.

As the day progressed, they began to see news about the massacre in the south.

“We kept getting the reports of what was going on October 7 down near the kibbutzim and the communities down there.”

Mitchell said that for the first 70 days of the war, CBN did a daily show about the war. He shared that, very quickly, it became apparent that this was a dramatically different development.

“We just knew something was happening. It was like a sea change in Israel, change in the world, changing the for the Jewish people,” Mitchell shared. “It's a new era of the importance of standing with the Jewish people.”

Rosenberg told the audience he had prerecorded a show to run on THE ROSENBERG REPORT that weekend, but that it had to be immediately scrapped as they began to cover the developing story of the Hamas invasion and brutal massacre.

Family members who were visiting from the U.S. drove to the studio with him to create a new report about the situation. On the way, they had to stop several times due to air raid sirens.

“We’re just lying in a grassy section of median and we can see the intercepts, you can hear the boom, boom,” Rosenberg said.

Mitchell, who has been covering the Middle East for CBN for over 20 years, said the war was almost like something out of a movie script. He described a media battle in addition to the field battle.

Conflicts often start with Hamas firing rockets into Israel, Mitchell explained, “and the script is the same: Hamas attacks, Israel retaliates, and when Israel retaliates and sadly and tragically, there are Palestinian casualties, Israel gets the blame.”

Hamas uses “their own civilians, their own Palestinians, as human shields, in order to gain the leverage in the propaganda war,” Mitchell added.

“When there's casualties, the media often turns against Israel. When the media turns against Israel, then that affects public opinion. Public opinion affects politicians, and the pressure goes on Israel.”

Rosenberg said the hostage crisis led ALL ISRAEL NEWS to adopt a new social media campaign based on Isaiah 61 called “Set the Captives Free.”

The Israeli hashtag “#bringthemhomenow” is “an appeal to the Israeli government,” while “#setthecaptivesfree” is a petition to the God of Israel, he added.

Rosenberg said one of the most moving experiences during his coverage of the war was a tour inside of the terror tunnels of Gaza's southern city, Khan Younis. While there, he and Mitchell took communion while praying for the release of the hostages, and prayed: “Lord, redeem the Land, save the people, save Israel, and break the stronghold of Satan.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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