Tag: Bethlehem

Bethlehem Arabs ‘Shoe’ Obama posters, American officials

By David Levy

Barack Obama
White House
Arabs in Bethlehem had a “warm welcome” for American officials who came to prepare for President Obama’s visit to the city

White HouseArabs in Bethlehem had a “warm welcome” for American officials who on Monday came to prepare for President Barack H. Obama’s visit to the city Friday, by throwing shoes and garbage at the vehicles in an entourage from the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem. Hundreds of Arabs mobbed the vehicles outside the Church of the Nativity, where Obama is scheduled to visit when he comes to Bethlehem.

Sources in the city told Israel Radio that Arab protesters tore down posters with Obama’s image, throwing them to the ground and spitting and stepping on them. The protesters threw shoes at other posters that were hung too high for them to easily tear down.

The American entourage had entered Bethlehem unannounced, apparently in an effort to avoid such scenes. The entourage was said to be comprised chiefly of security officials who were there to ensure that Obama would be safe during his visit. PA police attempted to stop the crowd from throwing shoes and debris at the American vehicles, and were only partially successful, witnesses said.

New Obama schedule: Bethlehem yes, Iron Dome no

An updated schedule for U.S. President Obama’s visit to Israel indicates that he will visit the PA twice, but not an Iron Dome field unit

By David Lev

Obama warned of the effect steep cuts would have on the economy
AFP photo
An updated schedule for U.S. President Barak H. Obama’s visit to Israel next week indicates that he will visit Palestinian Authority-controlled areas twice – but that he will apparently not visit an Iron Dome installation in the field, as had been planned.

The Iron Dome visit had been set for Friday morning. A schedule released by the White House last week has Obama visiting an Iron Dome installation, where he would receive an in-depth explanation on the technology and how it was used in the recent Pillar of Defense operation to deflect rockets fired at Israeli population centers by Gaza Arab terrorists.

But a new schedule released Monday has Obama visiting Bethlehem during the same period that he was to be visiting the Iron Dome installation. In Bethlehem, Obama is set to visit the Church of the Nativity. Instead of being taken to see an Iron Dome installation, sources in the Prime Minister’s Office said, Obama will be shown one after he lands at Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday.

Obama is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday, March 20, at about noon. After a welcoming ceremony – and, apparently, a tour of the Iron Dome system – Obama will meet with President Shimon Peres. At about 5:30 PM, Obama will meet in private with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The meeting is set to last about two hours, and afterwards the two leaders will dine together.

Tiny 2,700-year-old seal unearthed that bears the name Bethlehem and could prove the birthplace of Jesus was the bustling market town described in the Old Testament

By Leon Watson It’s about the size of a one penny piece, but its significance is huge.

Israeli archaeologists revealed today they have unearthed an incredible 2,700-year-old fragment that could prove the ‘Bethlehem’ as described in the Old Testament really existed. The tiny artifact is part of an ancient seal that’s believed to be the oldest object ever found with the name of Jesus’ traditional birthplace inscribed on it. The clay seal unearthed by Israeli archaeologists is displayed by Eli Shukron, who directed the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority According to experts, its existence provides vivid evidence that Bethlehem was not just the name of a fabled biblical town, but also a bustling place of trade linked to the nearby city of Jerusalem. Eli Shukron, the authority’s director of excavations, said the find was significant because it is the first time the name ‘Bethlehem’ appears outside of a biblical text from that period.

Cross banished from souvenirs in Bethlehem

Rick Moran
When even wearing the cross can get you into trouble with the you know who’s:

This Christmas in Bethlehem, the cross has been banned from souvenirs for tourists and pilgrims in the Holy Land. Some textile workshops in Jerusalem and Hebron have begun to print and sell T-shirts depicting the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem without the cross. Because of the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in the Palestinian territories, the cross was also removed from t-shirts of football teams. Interviewed by AsiaNews, Samir Qumsieh, journalist and director of the Catholic television station Al-Mahed Nativity TV in Bethlehem, said: “I want to launch a campaign to urge people not to buy these products – he says – because the removal of the cross is an intimidation against Christians, it is like saying that Jesus was never crucified. ”

Like every year, thousands including authorities, faithful and tourists from all over the world crowd, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem for midnight mass on the night of 24 December. It will be celebrated by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and will be attended by the highest offices of the Palestinian Authority.

Christians dwindle in Bethlehem, and hope it will get better

Linda Gradstein

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — Adel and Sahar Handel have decorated their Christmas tree and tucked a traditional crèche underneath it.

They have replaced their everyday tablecloths with special Christmas ones, and Sahar serves visitors special Christmas butter cookies.

And yet, they say, their position as Christians and as Palestinians is increasingly difficult in this town where Christianity began.

“Jesus was born here, and we pray in the most beautiful church in the world,” Sahar said. “But the situation is just not good. I really hope things will get better because I really want to stay here.”

Read Entire Story in AOL

Christian communities in the Holy Land are declining

In the land where Jesus lived, Christians say their dwindling numbers are turning churches from places of worship into museums. And when Christian pilgrims come from all over the world to visit the places of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection, they find them divided by a concrete wall.

Members of the Abu al-Zulaf family, Palestinian Christians, have left the hills and olive groves of their village near Bethlehem for Sweden and the United States, seeking a better life than that on offer in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Ayman Abu al-Zulaf, 41, moved to France in 1998. But he returned to Beit Sahour, the village where he was born, a year later. “I needed to be here, not in France,” he said. “Without Christians, the Holy Land, the land of Jesus, has no value.”