Sunday, December 24, 2017

  • Sunday, December 24, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Time, December 29, 1967:

A warning by the Arab guerrilla organization El Fatah that Christmas tourists would not be safe in the Holy Land led the Israeli government to station 950 security police in Jerusalem and Bethlehem and to set up roadblocks in the area.
From the New York Times, December 24, 1968:

Also from the NYT on that same date:

Fatah, the dominant party in the PLO, explicitly warned and threatened Christian tourists in 1967 and 1968. And Christian leaders, under Israeli rule, were confident enough to tell the world to ignore the terrorists and come anyway, even though some were scared off. And Israel took drastic steps to reduce the chance of terror attacks by banning non-Christians from Bethlehem.

This month, virtually the same thing happened. Fatah, led by Mahmoud Abbas, and other Palestinian groups warned of "days of rage" in Israel. However, Christians under Palestinian rule - who have been fleeing their homes in droves since the Palestinian Authority was established, under Muslim threats to them - are too frightened to blame their Muslim-dominated government, so they blame Israel and Trump.

And credulous reporters believe them:

 A week before Christmas, there were only a handful of tourists snapping photos of the huge decorated tree in Manger Square, with its strings of red and white lights. The large plaza in front of the Church of the Nativity was nearly empty except for a handful of visiting clergy.

Chalk the absence of visitors up to President Trump’s Jerusalem speech, which outraged Muslims, scared off tourists, and unnerved Christian clerics.  It also bushwhacked  Vice President Pence’s planned (now postponed) trip to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Cairo, which was meant to express solidarity with Mideast Christians. Church leaders were refusing to meet him.

For starters, the president’s move wrecked a pre-Christmas tourist season that is especially important to Palestinian Christians.

Before the Trump statement, we thought this would be the best year in the past 10 years for tourism,” I was told by Maher Canawati, who, with his father, Nicola, owns the legendary Three Arches gift shops in Bethlehem, specializing in mother of pearl and carved olive wood objects. Living in Bethlehem since the early 17th  century, the family has managed to navigate political challenges over time;  portraits of ancestors look down on Canawati, including one of his father posing with a Bethlehem Boy Scout troop,

“The city has 50 hotels, 20 built in the last four years,” says Canawati. “Everyone thought things would be better. But now there have been many cancellations after the statement.” Bethlehem’s economy is at stake.
Trump's statement didn't scare off tourists.Palestinian threats - from the exact same Fatah that threatened tourists in the 1960s, as well as from a host of other Palestinian terror groups - is what is scaring off tourists.

Palestinian Christians, scared as hell of their tenuous position under Arab rule, have learned that breaking ranks with the Muslim majority can be deadly. So they know exactly what to say to reporters when they are on the record.

Off the record, though, Palestinian Christians admit their fears, they talk about their persecution, and they are voting with their feet by relocating anywhere they can outside the Arab world.

As I quoted an article by Standpoint in 2014:

While Bethlehem remains the most populous Christian city in the West Bank, its Christian population, as in the West Bank generally, is shrinking dramatically. Only 50 years ago, Christians constituted 70 per cent of Bethlehem's population. Today they make up just 15 per cent. Christians number approximately 38,000 people in the West Bank, representing 2 per cent of the population.
"We used to be many. Now there are so few of us left. Everyone is trying to leave," says Samir, another salesman in a neighbouring shop selling Orthodox icons. Worrying about the consequences of complaining about the situation, Samir declined to use his real name. 
"My mother doesn't like to walk in the street at night because her hair is uncovered, and people come up behind her and make rude comments," he tells me. During Christmas celebrations last December, women in their twenties on a visit from London with their parents and siblings complained of being harassed by a gang of male youths as they stood watching a festive performance in Manger Square. The gang did not desist until some local women came to stand nearby and told the boys to stop.
Everyone agrees that economic hardship and the low birthrate of the Christian community are the primary causes for decline. Yet in recent years Christians in Bethlehem also complain of a growing climate of intimidation from Islamic extremists.
It was Muslims who decided to downgrade Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem and Nazareth this year. It was Muslims who decided on violent riots to protest a symbolic declaration by Trump.

And it is the exact same Fatah that threatens Christian tourists, while claiming to represent them.

UPDATE: As of December 20, Israel expected more Christian tourists this year than last. The entire premise of the article seems to be mistaken.

Journalists who don't bother fact checking. Sheesh.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

Support EoZ by shopping!

search eoz



follow me

Follow by Email


Share on Whatsapp


For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!



The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive