Why Christmas In Bethlehem Is Unique This Year

UPDATE: Daily attacks continue on the residents of Judea and Samaria–the latest a shooting assault by Palestinian terrorists near Ma’ale Shomron.


Manger Square in Bethlehem at Christmas: how much longer will there be local Christians to celebrate?

In yesterday’s blog, your humble servant detailed how the Christian population of Judea and Samaria has plummeted in the areas that came under Palestinian control in the 1990s. Nowhere is the trend more dramatic than in Bethlehem where a majority Christian population in 1997 has become a minority population in 2011 (34,000 Muslims, 16,000 Christians).

As was pointed out yesterday, this trend is the direct result of a Palestinian Muslim boycott of Christian businesses that has economically strangled the Christian community–as well as the outright physical persecution of Christians living in Palestinian controlled areas.

In this context, the mayor of Bethlehem’s comments yesterday are particularly ironic. Victor Batarseh (himself a Christian–the mayor is required to be Christian by law) had this to say: “We are celebrating this Christmas hoping that in the near future we’ll get our right to self-determination our right to establish our own democratic, secular Palestinian state on the Palestinian land. That is why this Christmas is unique.”

Nothing about Christianity, nothing about the birth of Jesus, nothing about the fact that the Palestinians have now controlled Bethlehem for over a decade with disastrous results for Christians.

A democratic secular Palestine? Who is Batarseh kidding? Just as Islamic Palestinian leaders have already announced that not even one Jew will be able to live in a future Palestine, you can see that there is already an effort to cleanse Palestinian areas of Christians as well.

Why is Christmas in Bethlehem unique this year? Because it may be one of the last Christmases when there are any local Christians left to celebrate it.

Addendum: In his annual Christmas message eight days ago, Victor Batarseh had this Christmas present for Israel: “We call for boycotting Israel culturally, educationally, in sports, economics and trade.” The boycotted calling for a boycott. Totally pathetic.


On December 24, 1944–the day before Christmas, the British High Commissioner for Palestine, Lord Gort, asked the Soviet government–whose troops had entered the Balkans–to close the Romanian and Bulgarian frontiers in order to stop Jews from escaping the Holocaust.

His perverted rationale? Too many Jews were making it from southeastern Europe to Palestine.

Gort’s action has long been cited as evidence that the British government cared more about keeping Jews out of the land of Israel than about saving them from the Nazi slaughter.

Addendum: Your humble servant suggests that you read a new book written by a good friend that details what Roosevelt and Churchill knew about the Holocaust–and how they did nothing to stop it.

The book title: Accomplices

Author: Alexander Groth

Available at amazon.com

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