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)