Tag Archives: Bethlehem

Christmas in Bethlehem

Graffiti on the Palestinian-containment wall. And here’s a story about it at NPR.

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Stuff on Other Peoples’ Blogs

Today and yesterday Juan Cole published a couple good posts over at his blog, Informed Comment.

Today’s is Top Ten Myths about Iraq. From there:

2. Large numbers of Iraqis in exile abroad have returned. In fact, no great number have returned, and more Iraqis may still be leaving to Syria than returning.

3. Iraqis are materially better off because of Bush’s war. In fact, A million Iraqis are “food insecure” and another 6 million need UN food rations to survive. Oxfam estimated in summer, 2007, that 28% of Iraqi children are malnourished.

Yesterday’s post is about the crisis in Bethlehem:

Almost no one in the US knows that the Israeli wall or separation barrier, which has ghettoized many Palestinians and expropriated from them property and farm land, is strangling Bethlehem. The barrier cuts Bethlehem off from Jerusalem and steals private property from its residents. It has created an economic crisis that has caused Palestinian Christians to emigrate from the city. The “Christians of Bethlehem overwhelmingly (78%) blame the exodus of Christians from the town on Israel’s blockade . . .”

The distance from Bethlehem to Jerusalem is some 10km, but Palestinians must take a 26km secondary dirt road passing through Israeli checkpoints which are often closed with no warning or explanation. Palestinians in the West Bank are not permitted to enter Jerusalem without a date- and time-limited pass from the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) – more often than not refused. This has made the operation of the small but very courageous Bethlehem University very difficult.’

Aljazeera English reports on the hardships imposed on Bethlehem’s residents, including its Christians, by the Israeli separation barrier, by nearby illegal settlements by Israeli squatters in the West Bank, and by house demolitions conducted by Israeli security forces.

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