6 am, UK: Excited children wake up early this morning to the feel of a heavy load on their feet, a sign that the hoped-for night visitor has not forgotten them this Christmas.
Same time (4am), Bethlehem: The first taxis arrive at the main checkpoint out of Bethlehem, and disgorge their load of the town’s inhabitants, forced to find work outside the Wall surrounding the city, and prepared to queue for 4 or more hours in order to do so. Maybe this morning, there are still Christians amongst them, sacrificing their religion’s holy day in order to pay for some sort of festivity for the family this evening.
Take 9 minutes out of your day to watch this video now, and then circulate it to your friends, colleagues, MP, local parish priest:
For a video tour of modern day Bethlehem, depicting well the isolation by the Wall of this “little town” from the world to which it gave its message of “peace on earth and good will to all men”, view this video, accompanied by a protest song by Garth hewitt, an Anglican priest – Bethlehem Christmas cancelled – the Wall must fall – although we can be sure that the shrunken Christian population, supported by many of their Muslim neighbours, will ensure, with that amazing Palestinian resilience and spirit of resistance, that Christmas is NOT cancelled in Bethlehem today, despite the gross failure of the Western Church to put its institutionalised weight behind its beleagured sisters and brothers in the Holy Land, and the wider Middle East, descendants of the oldest Christian communities.