Nativity Scene Reflects Reality in Gaza
The Rev Dr Munther Issac, pastor at the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, says “In Gaza today, God is under the rubble. He is in the operating room. If Christ were to be born today, he would be born under the rubble. We see his image in every child killed and pulled from under the rubble. In every child in incubators.” His thoughts are reflected in the manger scene that is on display at its church.
No Bethlehem Christmas Festivities
All Palestinians are in mourning over what is happening in Gaza therefore the “little town” of Bethlehem, as well as the other churches in the holy land, announced that it cannot celebrate Christmas. Normally the town is flooded with tourists from all over the world, with all hotels full, souvenir shops bustling with buyers and crowded restaurants working to capacity. This year, no tree has been put up in Manger Square; no choirs will perform on the outdoor stage; no lights will be shining over the streets; no gifts exchanged; no joyous festivities. Hotels are empty, shops and restaurants closed and with a quiet, sad atmosphere in the town. Instead this year residents will make their way to church services with their prayers for a just and lasting peace for their beloved holy land.
A Request from Some Palestinian Christians and International Activists
14 December 2023
Dear fellow activists, Palestinians, and sympathizers,
In the last two months, we all have been witnessing a genocide in Gaza, as has the rest of the world. With tens of thousands of people martyred and wounded (70% of which are women and children) and with all of Gaza being on the brink of starvation: we don't think this is a time for celebrating. This is why we say: let’s #CancelChristmas. Let’s make it a consumer-less holiday, in mourning for so many people’s deaths and in solidarity with the suffering of Gazans. We call for this action to call for a permanent ceasefire for Gaza.
Christmas is coming soon--this is why we need to move fast. In Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Christian Palestinians have decided to forego Christmas celebrations in solidarity with Gazans. We would like to follow this example, and we invite everybody to join us in this. #NoTime2Celebrate. This doesn't mean to cancel the holiday totally but to cut back on our Christmas spending in protest to the horrible violence visited on Gaza. It’s no time to celebrate.
So here is our plea: Please join us, starting today until January the 7th (Eastern Christmas Day). The idea is to have no celebrations, no big fancy dinners and no gifts. The Christian Patriarchs in Jerusalem have similarly called for a scaled back Christmas season, in respect for so many lives lost in Gaza and the deteriorated situation in the West Bank. Let’s have just a simple Christmas, without the conspicuous consumption. We can, as the Christian Palestinians in Jerusalem and Bethlehem have demonstrated, have a modest Christmas and like Jesus, show our solidarity with the poor and the needy, and show our grief for so many lives lost, and people injured. Let’s focus our celebration on humanity, our families, our meetings, our places of worship.
Note, for example, that Starbucks has lost billions of dollars, because activists have begun to boycott them in large numbers since the bombing began on October 8th. Also, on Monday, the 11th of December, we saw that people around the world answered a call for a global strike for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. So many people didn't go to work and didn't spend any money. In Amman, as well as in the Palestinian cities, streets looked completely abandoned. Can you imagine the impact we can have if millions of people decided to say today: #NoChristmas4Palestine_NoChristmas4Us? Stop the Christmas spending and send the important message that we want a permanent ceasefire now.
Will you help us? We would like you to spread our message to all of your friends, co-workers, neighbours and family, so they can likewise scale back on what they spend for Christmas. You can use the link of this website, you can copy this text, you can use the meme, you can find on our Facebook (link) with a caption. You can also make your own memes and captions. Please also post your own ideas on FB about making a simpler Christmas. Use also #GiveYourChristmas4Palestine
You can use the texts below to send to all your contacts on Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, X, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and the like.
This is an initiative of international activists who are tired of standing by helplessly. TOGETHER we can make an economic impact! NOW is the time, because if not now, then WHEN? It’s time for a permanent ceasefire NOW. So please join us, because what we really need is a Free Palestine, equality and justice.
!! Don't share too fast to many people at once, because that will get you blocked, so take some breaks!
You can use all the hashtags, preferably together: