There is something predictable about Christmas time – Fairy lights in the high street, seasonal music in the shops, and the arrival of a small envelope in your letter box, asking for a donation, often to Christian based charities such as War on Want and Christian Aid. Sadly, this appeal for festive generosity is intrinsically linked to a more recent Christmas trend – the blanket condemnation and demonization of Israel.
A similar theme every year describes how Bethlehem, the historical and theological epicentre of Christmas, is a ‘ghetto’ under siege by the brutal Israeli occupation and the ‘apartheid wall’. This one-sided narrative and highly charged rhetoric not only ignores the very real context of terror, internal Palestinian conflict and the persecution of Palestinian Christians, but it also reveals a cynical exploitation of Christian sensibilities for crude political gain. Worryingly, some of the worst offenders are the supposedly apolitical Christian based charities, who de-legitimise Israel, while at the same time raising funds for their ‘Christmas Campaign.’
This year, if you wish to donate to War on Want, you can simply visit their website, where you can purchase highly politicized Christmas cards (10 for £4). The card depicts Joseph and a heavily pregnant Mary, unable to reach Bethlehem, due to “Israel’s Separation Wall and a state-of-the-art military checkpoint.” The suggestion of deicide is only a small step away. Meanwhile, another Christian based charity, the Amos Trust is marketing ‘poignant, ironic’ nativity scenes, manufactured in Bethlehem, in which an unmistakable high wall means that “this year the wise men won’t get to the stable.” Churches are urged to spend £50 on a larger version of the model, to spread this distorted message to the masses…
You can be sure that Palestinians will reward this kind of solidarity in Bethlehem as they’ve done before: by peeing and pooping in the church pews and on the church walls, using the Bible as toilet paper and smashing statues. Keep it up, War on Want, et al! Not surprisingly, at the time of this particular episode in 2002, one of the priests blamed Israel for the standoff.
I’ve written more than a few articles and items titled “Dumb Jews”, but there are apparently a lot of Christians who are so dumb as to not be definable as Christian anymore, given that the Bible says to not foresake Israel, much less concoct lies to be able to do just that.
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