Palestinian authorities in control of Bethlehem, the town where Jesus was born, have banned Christmas decorations and displays this year, claiming that the move is in honor of the Gaza “martyrs” (i.e. terrorists) killed by Israel in the ongoing Hamas-Israel war.
A translation of a Facebook post from the municipality of Bethlehem, provided by Breitbart, said, “Bethlehem Municipality crews announced the dismantling of Christmas decorations installed several years ago in the city’s neighborhoods and removing all festive appearances in honor of the martyrs and in solidarity with our people in Gaza.”
The Facebook post showed a crew removing Christmas lights. Imagine the outcry if Jerusalem or Rome had sent crews to Muslim neighborhoods before Ramadan to remove Islamic symbols! But even though Jews and Christians are the most persecuted religious groups and Islam is among the most intolerant of religions, don’t expect global backlash and outrage.
What makes this Christmas cancellation so particularly disturbing is that it is in honor of the “martyrs,” which is Palestinian double-speak for “terrorists killed by Israelis.” The heinous Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack left hundreds of Israelis dead and forced Israeli authorities to come to grips with the reality that Arabs have been refusing peace in favor of trying to destroy Israel for decades, and they’re not going to change their minds now.
The majority of Gazans support jihad against Israel, and the Gaza Strip is controlled by the terrorist group Hamas and the terrorist-funding Palestinian Authority (PA), which use civilians as human shields. But while Israel fights for survival, people around the world empathize with Palestinian terrorists, including the Islamic radicals running Bethlehem!
Bethlehem is in the “West Bank,” which is the misleading Palestinian propaganda term for Judea and Samaria. The name “West Bank” is part of the false narrative that Arabs should own Israeli land, which was actually the dwelling place of Jews over a thousand years before Islam was invented. Bethlehem’s Christian population has declined sizably over the years as Palestinian-controlled areas tend to be poverty-stricken and hostile to non-Muslims. Christians are welcome in Israel, but Palestinians have persecuted them.
The Daily Telegraph reports a [local] spokesman declared, “The reason is the general situation in Palestine; people are not really into any celebration, they are sad, angry and upset; our people in Gaza are being massacred and killed in cold blood.”
“Therefore, it is not appropriate at all to have such festivities while there is a massacre happening in Gaza and attacks in the West Bank.
“This year the situation in Bethlehem is unprecedented and the mood and vibes are extremely sad, and that is exactly what the world should see, and realize that these are not normal circumstances.
“Bethlehem should send out its own message of condolence and mourning.”
Some prayers and religious ceremonies will still be allowed to take place, LBC reported, however the traditional Christmas tree and festive decorations in Manger Square, which has seen Christmas decorations ever since modern celebrations of the season began, have been cleared.
Palestinian terrorists deliberately targeted Israelis (even babies) for horrific decapitating, mutilating, raping, and burning alive. Furthermore, Hamas brutally prevented Gaza civilians from evacuating after Israeli warnings. These bestial terrorists are the “martyrs” Bethlehem authorities are mourning!
When I was in Bethlehem recently, I saw huge signs warning Israeli citizens that they were “forbidden” to enter, cautioning: “Dangerous To Your Lives.” My tour guide explained that the signs apply specifically to Jewish Israelis. And unsurprisingly, the same Muslims who hate Jews also hate Christians.
Since the 7th century, Islam has always opposed and persecuted Christianity and Islam. Muslim scriptures endorse the killing of non-Muslims (particularly Jews). Taking down Bethlehem’s Christmas decorations to honor vicious terrorists is just a symptom of Islam’s eternal feud with Judaism and Christianity.