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Each year at Christmas, it seems, British journals expose the plight of Christian Arabs in the little town of Bethlehem, suffering under the Zionist yoke. According to one account, "Under the Zionist Yoke," the Arabs of Bethlehem are weary of the contempt with with they are held by the Zionist authorities and the Jews. 7,000 of them emigrated from Bethlehem.

Don't rush off to write protests to the Israeli authorities, however. The article in question appeared in the London Morning Post, out of season, in June of 1921. The British High Commissioner, rather that the Israel Ministry of Foreign affairs replied that between 1910 and 1920, about 4,500 people had left Bethlehem and 393 returned. In 1919/20 245 emigrated and 35 returned. In 1920/21, 185 had emigrated and 65 returned. The total estimated population was 15,000. (Proceedings of the Colonial Office 733/4/File 3832/166). The Morning Post established a tradition that was revived in recent years, and spread throughout the world. It is a modern blood libel tradition of publishing defamatory articles about Zionist treatment of Christians at Christmas time. Last year, the Wall Street Journal was among those bewailing the treatment of Christians in Bethlehem. This year, we are treated to new "revelations."

For example, this gem appeared in the Irish Times:

IN THE LITTLE town of Bethlehem there will be plenty of room at the inn this Christmas. Tourism has plummeted in areas of the Holy Land under the control of the Palestinian Authority...

For the first time in history the Holy Land is physically divided. The Palestinian West Bank of the River Jordan is enclosed by the Israeli "security barrier"...

Irish Times doesn't know it is not the first time the Holy Land is physically divided. The Holy Land was physically divided from 1949 to 1967. Barbed wire and mines separated Christians in Bethlehem from those in Nazareth, and kept Jews from visiting the wailing wall and other Jewish holy sites in East Jerusalem, which had been home to a sizable Jewish community until East Jerusalem was ethnically cleansed by the Jordanian Legion in 1948. Accordingly, East Jerusalem, which used to have dozens of synagogues, is now christened, "Arab East Jerusalem," a place in which Jews have no rights.

After the 1967 Six Day War and until the Palestinian Authority took control of Bethlehem, tourism boomed in Bethlehem. Israel invested in refurbishing Christian holy sites and the Israel Broadcasting Authority broadcast the Midnight Mass from Bethlehem each year at Christmas. When the Palestinians began the violence that they call the Second Intifada tourism died. Wanted PLO terrorists holed up in the Church of the Nativity.

The security fence did not kill the tourism. The terrorism killed the tourism.

The second egregious lie in this article is the statement that hotels are empty. This is the truth about Bethlehem, published in an AP article:

In Jesus' town, Christmas looking cheerful again

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) ó After eight bleak years, Jesus' birthplace finally has a Christmas season to cheer about.

Hotels are booked solid through January, Manger Square is bustling with tourists, and Israeli and Palestinian forces are working to make things go smoothly.

Elias Al-Araj's 200-room hotel is fully booked for the season, and he plans to open a 100-room annex. He says he already has bookings through July.

"This year, business was great," he said...

With calm gradually returning to the West Bank, Bethlehem has again become a magnet for Christmas pilgrims.

Palestinian officials say 1.3 million tourists have visited the West Bank this year, nearly double last year's level. The total for 2008 could rise to 1.6 million. The tourism boom has created 12,000 new jobs, said Palestinian Information Minister Riad Malki...

Hotels are fully booked. "No room at the inn," Irish Times. Not for the likes of your liars, anyhow. There is however, a threat to Palestinian Christians that is almost never reported. Consider this report from 2003:

The body of a Muslim convert to Christianity who went missing in mid-July, has been returned to his family, slaughtered and cut into four pieces by Islamic extremists.

The man left his friends and family almost two weeks ago heading into a mountainous region of the Palestinian Authority area...

Local Christians in this part of the Holy Land have been involved in supporting converts from a Muslim background who suffer persecution from Islamic extremists in the Palestinian Authority areas. Some of them have also been the target of attacks...

There may be little cheer for Christians in the Holy Land, but it is not the fault of "Zionists":

Unremarked upon by the Western media, a systematic campaign of persecution is taking place in the Gaza Strip, and to a lesser extent in the West Bank. The general silence surrounding this campaign aids its perpetrators. The victims are Palestinian Christians...

The perpetrators are a variety of Islamist groups...

The Christian population of the Gaza Strip is small - 2,000-3,000 people...

Since the Hamas coup of July 2007, this position has become increasingly untenable...

The trend became noticeable with a series of attacks on the Palestinian Bible Society's "Teacher's Bookshop" in Gaza City last year. The shop was the subject of a bomb attack in April 2007. Its owner, Rami Khader Ayyad, was abducted in broad daylight, and found dead on October 7, 2007.

Over the following year, a series of bomb attacks on Christian institutions in Gaza took place. Particular attention was paid to places of education. The Rahabat al-Wardia school run by nuns in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City, and the American International School in Beit Lahiya were both bombed, most recently in May 2008. The Zahwa Rosary Sisters School and the El-Manara school, both in Gaza City, were also attacked this summer. The YMCA Library was bombed, as was the Commonwealth War Cemetery...

The persecution of Christians is not emerging from a small Islamist fringe. Rather, it is part of a larger process of Islamization taking place in Palestinian society....

The situation in the West Bank is different, reflecting the larger Christian population and the greater strength of secular forces. Yet here, too, anti-Christian trends are serving to embitter lives.

A recent article in the Palestinian Al-Ayyam newspaper drew attention to the long-simmering issue of "compulsory purchase" of land owned by Christians...Individuals with close links to the Palestinian Authority security forces, or to powerful clans, have adopted a variety of means to lay their hands on Christian-owned land. These have included false registration documents, squatters, and the involvement of senior PA security officers.

The Al-Ayyam columnist who raised this issue, Abd al-Nasser al-Najjar, lamented that no "constructive action" by the authorities to protect the Christians has taken place....

We can hardly blame the Palestinian Authority for not protecting Christians, since the Christians of the western world themselves have abandoned the Christian Arabs of Palestine to Muslim persecution, instead focusing on non-existent Israeli slights. Christian Arabs are afraid to speak out, and Christian churches are afraid to jeopardize their organizations and personnel in the Palestinian controlled areas. If so, governments should do something, but they do not. The Christians of Gaza and the West Bank are left to meet their fate in ghastly silence.

Ami Isseroff


Original content is Copyright by the author 2008. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000640.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 2 Comments

I am a Messianic Jew...it is the same for us...persecution will ever be against those who serve God with true hearts and intentions. Arabs will ever promote their propaganda and the world will ever believe it! Yeshua said it would be so...it is a spiritual warfare that few understand.

Mid Stutsman, Wednesday, December 24th


Alas,Antisemitism has returned to Europe with a vengeance.Unlike the six or so years that it was seemingly abandoned after World War II, it has settled comfortably back in its old nest. It seems too obvious that most Europeans are uncomfortable without it.

Howard Wolf, Monday, December 22nd


Constructive comments, including corrections, are welcome. Do not use this space for spam, publishing articles, self promotion, racism, anti-Zionist propaganda or character defamation. Inappropriate comments will be deleted. See our Comment policy for details. By posting here, you agree to the Comment policy.

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