Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Christmas Week Pickings on an Occupied Christmas

An assortment of I-P reading in your virtual Christmas stocking. The Qumsiyeh, Levy, Amayreh and Avnery articles are particularly highlighted:

  • Mazin Qumsiyeh, Christmas 2007: Even as Shepherds got displaced, Santa attacked, Christmas pilgrims denied, Bethlehem land stolen; yet HOPE GROWS (27 Dec): The spirit of Palestine and its native people remain strong despite the intensified effort to erase its history and its culture. Thus, even under brutal occupation, Palestinian Christians and Muslims took to the streets to observe the traditional Christmas match in manger’s square. And the Christmas message from the highest Catholic representative in the Holy Land, a Palestinian Christian, is truly inspiring. And last Saturday, activists took to the streets of Manhattan in front of Leviev Jewelry store where they sung Christmas carols with new lyrics that expose the store for its support of colonization and ethnic cleansing.
  • Maan News Agency, Israel Steals Christmas: Clergy Denied Entry to Occupied Territories, IMEU (27 Dec)
  • Uri Avnery, Help! A Ceasefire, Gush Shalom (22 Dec): If the Qassams were really bothering our political and military leaders, they would have jumped at the cease-fire offer. But the leaders don’t really care about what’s happening to the Sderot population, out on the geographical and political “periphery”, far from the center of the country. It carries no political or economic weight. In the eyes of the leadership, its suffering is, all in all, tolerable. It also has an important positive side: it provides an ideal pretext for the actions of the army. The Israeli strategic aim in Gaza is not to put an end to the Qassams. It would still be the same if not a single Qassam fell on Israel.
  • Oakland Ross, Music Soars in the Land of Sadness, Toronto Star (23 Dec)
  • Right To Enter, Israel makes Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Church of Nativity off limits to Christian Clergy (Bethlehem, Palestine – 24 Dec 2007) As the world celebrates this holiday season, Israel is blocking clergy from reaching their churches and Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem and elsewhere in the Holy Land. These Israeli actions are in blatant violation of international humanitarian law, block the right for religions to practice in the Holy Land, and defy every notion of basic common sense. MORE (.pdf)
  • Mohammed Omer, In Gaza, Santa is Insolvent, IPS (24 Dec)
  • Gideon Levy, Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Haaretz (24 Dec): I have visited quite a few mourners’ homes in the West Bank in recent months. They were all mourning family members who had been killed for no reason. Every week, innocent people are killed in the West Bank, and nobody talks about them. Among the dozens of Palestinians killed recently, not all were Qassam launchers or gang leaders from Gaza. If a new uprising erupts in the West Bank one day, it will originate in these mourners’ homes. The daily routine in the West Bank is also patently inhumane. The night I spent last summer in the Jenin refugee camp brought that home to me: The IDF enters the camp every night, and even when it does not kill, it strikes great terror in the hearts of thousands of families, who are the victims of anxiety. … And we have not said a word about the poverty, the roadblocks and the home demolitions.
  • Khalid Amayreh, Christians, too, suffer the evilness of the occupation, Palestinian Information Centre (26 Dec)


7 comments on “Christmas Week Pickings on an Occupied Christmas

  1. Pingback: Chrimbo Spirit, Bethlehem Style « Complex System Of Pipes

  2. Ben Heine
    28 December, 2007

    So many important articles in one post, Ann.
    Great contribution.
    Thanks for using my cartoon :)
    Happy Holidays to you,
    I hope you get everything you deserve.


    PS : I love your new blog decoration

  3. 99
    29 December, 2007

    I’m so glad you keep plugging at this, even though I’m too flipped to read most of it. I so rarely settle down on the subject, and my mind has been made up about it for so long. There might be some new information that could impact my position, but short of Israel moving to the South Pole, I’m not sure what it would be. I try, but I get too mad. I know if there is something that might make me soften on the subject everybody will be making so much noise about it that I can’t miss it….

  4. George66
    21 December, 2008


    Once in royal David’s city
    Stood a big apartheid wall;
    People entering and leaving
    Had to pass a checkpoint hall.
    Bethlehem was strangulated,
    And her children segregated.

    Though this city is a symbol
    To the world of peace and love,
    Concrete walls have closed around her,
    Settlements expand above.
    And apartheid Israel stands
    All around on stolen lands.

  5. George66
    21 December, 2008
  6. Curtis
    23 December, 2008


    THE ISRAELI strategic aim in Gaza is not to put an end to the Qassams. It would still be the same if not a single Qassam fell on Israel.

    The real aim is to break the Palestinians, which means breaking Hamas.

    The method is simple, even primitive: to tighten the blockade on land, on sea and in the air, until the situation in the Strip becomes absolutely intolerable.

    Ain’t that the truth?

  7. peoplesgeography
    23 December, 2008

    Thanks for highlighting that crucial point, Curt. Its one of Avnery’s most important insights, methinks.

    George66, appreciate the lyrics and links. The lyrics especially have memetic value in raising awareness.

    Sung in the ‘Bethlehem Now: Nine Alternative Lessons and Carols’ event in November in the Wren church of St James in Central London, the hafrada version of the Twelve Days of Christmas:

    “Twelve assassinations/
    Eleven homes demolished/
    Ten wells obstructed/
    Nine sniper towers/
    Eight gunships firing/
    Seven checkpoints blocking/
    Six tanks a-rolling/
    Five settlement rings/
    Four falling bombs/
    Three trench guns/
    Two trampled doves/
    And an uprooted olive tree.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on 27 December, 2007 by in Christmas, Empire, War and Terror, Gaza, Hamas, Human Rights, International Law, Israel, Israel Watch, Justice, Palestine, West Bank.

Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"