Christmas Cancelled in Bethlehem


A church in Bethlehem, traditionally recognized as the birthplace of Christ, has decided to commemorate Christmas differently this year, in recognition of the suffering of children in Gaza amid Israel’s ongoing indiscriminate war.

As Christmas approaches and Israel’s brutal onslaught on the Palestinian enclave continues, the traditional nativity scene, a baby in a manger surrounded by farm animals attended by the three wise men with a star overhead, instead presents the baby Jesus wrapped in the traditional Palestinian shawl or keffiyeh, placed among the destruction, debris and rubble of war.

Following on from the initiative of the municipalities and churches in Bethlehem and Ramallah to cancel Christmas celebrations in the occupied West Bank, in solidarity with the besieged people of Gaza, Reverend Doctor Munther Isaac came up with the idea.

With the toy baby Jesus representing the thousands of children buried beneath the rubble in Gaza, Reverend Isaac said, when he shared his idea with his congregation, “Church families met last week and built it together. It was a moving experience for our families. During the service on Sunday, some people were in tears,” he said.

“Pilgrims are not coming to Bethlehem this year because of war,” Rev. Isaac said. “But we were surprised and overwhelmed by the attention and response this Manger received through social media and media in general. We are pleased our message has reached the world. This is what Christmas looks like in Palestine this year, the origin of Christmas,” he told The New Arab.

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While Western Christian churches celebrate Christmas on December 25, Orthodox churches and other Christian denominations observe the holiday in January, only a small number of Palestinian Christians remain in Gaza and the West Bank today, most having left due to Israeli occupation, seige and economic hardship.


    • Those who condemn the targeting of children by Israel backed by the US imperialists, but justify or deny or keep their silence over the targeting of children by the Russian imperialists, do harm to the Palestinian cause.

      Russian Journalist Maria Ponomarenko jailed for six years for reporting on the bombing of the Mariupol Theatre

      Speaking out on the targeting of children and civilians by Israel but justifying the targeting of children and civilians by Russia, claiming to be a champion of press freedom but silent on the lack of journalistic freedom in Russia, is the sort of hypocrisy that provides ammunition for the Zionist hasbara propaganda machine and Israeli and US officials at the UN.

      Down with all imperialists the cause of colonialism and war.

  1. All of everything to do with people vying for the right to kill each other while occupying the moral high ground is propaganda, including this “news story”. I wondered why it didn’t make sense. Whether we believe the story of a christian Christmas to be factual, or just a myth, we don’t actuallly need to add to it to find all the killing we need, and more. I will sip my tea and wait for people to click, rather than actively pour the petrol on the fire. Anyone truly interested in people not dying for the sake of enjoying a fight, would accept the image of Christmas as a symbol of hope and possible unification, and bunny rabbits and unicorns and shit like that. The grim reaper knocks soon enough, let’s at least share some cake first.

  2. Malcolm – No, the churches cancelled the services due to the thug veto, those churches were threatened was destruction, and church goers with violence….stop spinning

  3. The settler jewish state hates Christians, especially an arab Christian. The settlers even fuck ova their own jewish neighbours especially if you’re and arab jew. The west especially the US white folks views Israel as an outpost of their formal past (genociding the indigenous native) This nostalgic genocidal behavior is indicative of white supremacy that plagues the apartheid state Israel.

    Free Palestine

    • Is the saintly Reverend Doctor Munther Isaac a white supremacist do you suppose stephen? That baby Jesus looks very pale to me. Perhaps they thought it would pull the Hamas supporting Christians to Bethlehem. I hear tell the PA desperately needs their money, what with EU and US funds being diverted to the Ukraine these days.

  4. I spent Christmas in Bethlehem once. All the Christians have fled because of persecution by muslim Palestinians who are the authority there.

    • lol – settler occupier Gaby going on about authority. I get it but please stop equivocating. Just push them over the Jordan and into the Sinai already. Shame so many have to die in the forced evictions though. Can you tone it down and just put them in trains or at least hide the bodies somewhere other than under the rubble of their own homes.

  5. “Philosophers interpret the world. The point of course, is to change it” Karl Marx, German Jewish philosopher.

    Millions of people have a cartoon world view, where Russia wears a White Hat and the US wears a black hat. If you are one of the millions on the other side of this cartoon world view, it’s the other way around. Russia wears the black hat and the US wears the white hat.
    Thankfully not everyone interprets the world is such simplistic binary terms.
    For condemning the murderous colonialist imperialist policies of her Russian homeland Russian Jewish journalist Masha Gessen is on a wanted list in Russia. For condemning the murderous colonialist imperialist polices of Israel and its US backer Gessen gets blacklisted in Germany.

    The always good Democracy Now the war on peace report.

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