For the Palestinian Information Center and other haters, ’tis the season to
be jolly co-opt Christmas for your nefarious political goals
The implication is we are so cruel, that we even prevent Santa from entering Bethlehem!
But here’s the thing. That photo is 11 years old. And it is not Santa – just a palestinian protester c-opting him for propaganda points.
Yeah yeah, I understand you all know it was not really Santa. But it wasn’t even someone trying to enter Bethlehem and being stopped.
Here’s another (more critical point) – the Palestinian Information Center article on this supposed Bethlehem ban states:
An international organization concerned with defending the rights of Christians in the Middle East and Northern Africa on Saturday said that Israel has not issued permits to Christians in Gaza to visit the West Bank, especially Bethlehem, during the Christmas holiday.
The organization issued a statement saying that Gaza Christians have not been given the necessary permits to enter the West Bank to participate in the Christmas celebrations or visit their relatives.
It affirmed that all the Christians who had applied for permits this year were rejected except those over the age of 55.
The statement strongly denounced the Israeli measures preventing Gaza Christians from practicing their religious freedom.
But as blogger Elder of Ziyon notes, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem issued a press release contradicting this:
On November 27, and for the Christmas celebrations, the Israeli military authorities approved 500 permits for Palestinian Christians of Gaza to have access to East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
“Last year, 300 permits were given to the Christians in Gaza to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem, but only to people over the age of 55,” said Fr. Mario da Silva, Parish priest of Gaza. “This year, 500 permits were approved by Israel. But until this moment, we have only received around 250 permits for people over the age of 55 and between the ages of 16 and 35. However, children under the age of 16 were not included.”
In other words, the news is as fake as that Santa.