Israel’s war on Christmas –Updated

Israel/Palestine
on 55 Comments
rosentweet
Nir Rosen ponders the implications (h/t Max Fisher)

From Ma’an News, 2010:

The mayor of a Jewish suburb of Nazareth sparked outrage on Wednesday after refusing to allow Christmas trees to be placed in town squares, calling them provocative.

Predominantly Jewish Nazareth Illit, or Upper Nazareth, is adjacent to Nazareth, where Christians believe Jesus spent much of his life. It has a sizable Arab Christian minority, as does mostly Muslim Nazareth itself.

“The request of the Arabs to put Christmas trees in the squares in the Arab quarter of Nazareth Illit is provocative,” Mayor Shimon Gapso told AFP.

“Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city and it will not happen — not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor,” he said of the northern Israeli town.

“Nazareth is right next door and they can do what they want there,” he said.

His decision angered the town’s Arab and Christian minority, who accused him of racism.

“The racism of not putting a tree up is nothing compared to the real racism that we experience here,” said Aziz Dahdal, a 35-year-old Christian resident of Nazareth Illit.

“When we asked the mayor to put up a Christmas tree in the Arab neighbourhoods of Nazareth Illit he said this is a Jewish town, not a mixed town,” said Shukri Awawdeh, a Muslim Arab member of the town council.

Awawdeh said there were 10,000 Arabs, most of them Christian in the town and there was also a large community of Christian Russian immigrants.
 

Update:

Turns out the Ma’an News item is a year old, which we failed to state originally. Apologies! The story has lately been recirculated on the net, which is how we grabbed it.

And: have you ever seen a more jolly Christmas greeting? Benjamin Netanyahu uses the holiday to thank Christians for their support of Israel and to make a tourism pitch:

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55 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    December 15, 2011, 9:47 am

    Thanks for this and reminding us about Nir Rosen. One honest and brave individual.

    Christmas trees provocative…hmm

    • Charon
      December 15, 2011, 2:10 pm

      When I was in high school in the late 90s, they re-named the Christmas tree ‘Giving Tree’ because of Kwanzaa. I think it was Kwanzaa. The staff would tell the students not to call it a Christmas tree (and then roll their eyes). Not the same thing as banning them as provocative though.

      • RoHa
        December 15, 2011, 11:08 pm

        “they re-named the Christmas tree ‘Giving Tree’ because of Kwanzaa.’

        Because, of course, African-Americans (for whom Kwanzaa* was invented) are not Christians and don’t want anything to do with Christianity.

        *Is Kwanzaa still going, by the way?

  2. dumvitaestspesest
    December 15, 2011, 10:05 am

    It looks like Christmas trees, innocent, lovely , beautifully decorated, enjoyed by all kids, and many adults symbols of joy, hope and peace on earth ,are becoming very dangerous , provocative ideas that must be removed , destroyed.
    ” NO Christmas tree in my town. I’m a mayor, this is MY town. I own it. I built it .
    I pay everybody to live there, and I make ALL decisions.
    My town, my castle. Don’t like it?? Move somewhere else. ”

    I’ve just read about the Christmas tree placed on the border between South and North Korea. North Korea has the same reactions like a mayor of Nazareth Illit
    They are not happy that people from their country may look at a huge, lit up with thousands lights tower that resembles Christmas tree.
    link to bbc.co.uk

  3. dumvitaestspesest
    December 15, 2011, 10:23 am

    Somebody should ask Michelle Buchman , a christian zionist, what’s her opinion about it??
    “I mean, hmm, hmm, I guess , this should be resolved by people living in that community. What can I say?”
    – But Mrs Buchman ,you are a Christian, (at least you claim that you are) ,don’t you find mayor’s decision offensive and racists?
    “Hmm, Hmm, uuu, aahhh. Again this problem should be resolved by people who are living in that community? ”
    –So Mrs Buchman, do you agree with mayor’s decision or not??
    I mean, hm, hm, I’m not a mayor of that town, and I don’t know the situation,
    I don’t feel like I have the right to say anything in that matter.”
    –So, do yo agree or not??
    “I said , the problem should be resolved by people who are living in that community.”
    –What would YOU do if YOU were a mayor of Nazareth Illit??
    “I ‘m not a mayor of Nazarteh Illit, so I can not tell….
    And stop asking me those dumb questions, I’m done with that. They know how to spoil my mood……I don’t know what to think. I was not told what to think.
    Happy now??..Next…….”

  4. Dan Crowther
    December 15, 2011, 10:24 am

    But this isn’t the first year christmas trees have been banned right? I thought I remembered this from last year as well…..

    • American
      December 15, 2011, 11:45 am

      No, it’s always been that way or for at least the 10 years I’ve been watching Israel. This is one the astounding hypocrisies. Several years ago some Jewish group “sued an airport” if you can believe that, somewhere on the west coast I believe, can’t remember, for decorating the entrance to the terminals with Christmas stuff. I think it was finally settled by the airport adding a menorah to the decorations. Then a year or so ago in Greensboro NC a Jewish woman tried to sue
      McDonalds for putting something about Christmas or Jesus’s birthday up on one of those signs they have at those drive-ins.
      You really have to have a deep seated hostility to others to give a damn about how they celebrate whatever they celebrate.
      If Christmas trees are banned because they are offensive to Jews shouldn’t Jewish menorahs be banned as offensive to Christians since they deny Jesus?
      So tell me again how Israel has the same values as the US and is just like us…LOL

      Houston Chronicle News Service

      FRI 11/26/1999 Houston Chronicle, Section A, Page 29,

      JERUSALEM – Crucifixes and Christmas trees have been banned from Israeli hotel lobbies during the millennium holiday season because they are offensive to Jews, Israel’s chief rabbi said this week.
      With a flood of Christian pilgrims expected during the holidays, Israel’s rabbis earlier this month said Christmas celebrations had to be held out of sight in closed-off rooms.

      Crosses are “against the Jewish religion,” and the sight of a cross or a Christmas tree “is forbidden for a Jew,” Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau told the Foreign Press Association.

      Hotels face further restrictions because Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on Friday night – the Jewish Sabbath.

      There can be no music in the hotels on Friday night, because “music, using microphones . . . is a desecration of the Sabbath,” Lau said.

      The decision to keep Christmas celebrations hidden in closed rooms was a compromise reached between hotels and tour operators, eager to draw Christian visitors, and the rabbis who issue the valuable certificates ensuring that the hotels are kosher.

      Israeli Mayor Forbids Christmas Trees in part of Nazareth; Christian …www.juancole.com/…/israeli-mayor-forbids-christmas-trees-in-part-Dec 24, 2010 – Local Christians asked to be able to put up a Christmas tree in the Arab … there are no hotel rooms this Christmas season in Jesus’ birthplace.

      • split
        December 15, 2011, 4:43 pm

        ‘Several years ago some Jewish group “sued an airport” if you can believe that, somewhere on the west coast I believe, can’t remember, for decorating the entrance to the terminals with Christmas stuff. – That was a single orthodox rebbe ,…

        link to seattlepi.com

      • pineywoodslim
        December 15, 2011, 4:45 pm

        In fairness, I recall that in Seattle much of the jewish community thought the lawsuit against the airport was pigheaded as well. That woman was an indiot to sue McDonald’s–it’s a private outfit and can put up anything it wants–satanist symbols, santamaria relics, you name it.

  5. eljay
    December 15, 2011, 10:46 am

    Not sure what all the fuss is about: Christmas trees having nothing to do with Nazareth, Jesus or Christianity.

    That being said…
    >> “When we asked the mayor to put up a Christmas tree in the Arab neighbourhoods of Nazareth Illit he said this is a Jewish town, not a mixed town,” said Shukri Awawdeh, a Muslim Arab member of the town council.

    Now this is something to get upset about. Towns in Israel are – or should be – Israeli towns. Shame on the mayor of Nazareth Illit for failing to “humanize ‘the Other’” and “make ‘better wheels’”.

    And lucky for the non-Jewish Israeli citizens of Nazareth Illit that they’re too far from the ’67 border to be bureaucratically cleansed from their country of Israel.

  6. Woody Tanaka
    December 15, 2011, 10:57 am

    Hey, my town, here in America is a predominantly Christian town. Time to tell all the Jews in town to get rid of their menorahs. Oh, wait, we actually (sorta) respect the separation of religion and government in the US and have religious freedom.

    Never mind.

    • Charon
      December 15, 2011, 2:17 pm

      On my daily commute few years back, I recall driving past a huge Hanukkah menorah in front of a synagogue. It got knocked down a couple times. The area is a melting pot with no extremists or intolerance so I thought it was strange. Maybe it was the wind, I dunno.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 15, 2011, 2:54 pm

        If someone did that, that’s awful. But winter winds can be pretty stiff and if you don’t secure the decorations properly, they will blow over.

  7. FreddyV
    December 15, 2011, 11:01 am

    @dumvitaestspesest:

    If Bachmann had to tell the truth, it’d go something like this:

    Michelle Bachmann: ‘Obviously my theology forbids me from criticising Israel, lest a Divine curse be placed upon me, but I can say this. At present, God’s Chosen People are returning to the land in unbelief, but someday soon, Jesus is going to return and collect up all the good Christian Zionist people like me and whisk us off to heaven. Then, we’ll sit and watch the war of Armageddon and millions of those Jews we love will be slaughtered. The ones that are left will convert to Christianity and they’ll be no more Jews. Yay!

    So in short: Eventually, they’ll come around to the idea of Christmas trees……’

  8. Cliff
    December 15, 2011, 11:23 am

    Two-faced Zionists.

    Bibi Yahoo will say one thing to the idiot American masses and take support from the Christian Right fundies and another to his own constituency.

    • dumvitaestspesest
      December 15, 2011, 12:05 pm

      You are right.”The idiot American massess” are being raped in a broad daylight by its “representatives” and public officials, and many they don’t even seem to notice or acknowledge it.
      “Dancing with stars” , “Real housewifes” or Oprah type shows are more important that the fact that the country is sinking to the bottom, laws are becoming stricter and a major disaster is about to happen. Millions of useful idiots are very easy to control , entice and maneuver.
      Give them ANYTHING that doesn’t require deep thinking , and they are happy.
      Freedom , justice, peace and liberty should never be taken for granted as the are always people, who are trying to overpower it. The fight between Good and Evil is as old as our civilisation ,and it will end with the demise of it.
      For many years we just sat on the laurel wreath of prosperity and freedom , happy as little bugs thinking that it will last forever.
      The laurel wreath is turning into a thorn bush of poverty, misery and confinment.

    • Chu
      December 15, 2011, 1:48 pm

      Whatever Christian Zionists believe in Israel are like lemming jumping off a cliff.
      This guy is the king of schlock.

  9. dumvitaestspesest
    December 15, 2011, 11:31 am

    “Not sure what all the fuss is about: Christmas trees having nothing to do with Nazareth, Jesus or Christianity.”
    In a way you are correct. Christmas tree does not have a lot to do with Nazareth, Jesus, Christianity. But, over the years it became a widely recognised , accepted and loved all over the world, symbol of Christmas.
    It’s message of peace and love on Earth brings joy and hope for many people.
    Symbols may become very powerful “means of combat” as the quote below states:
    “Jurgen Stroop, an SS commander in Warsaw during WWII , said:
    “Flags and national colors are a means of combat exactly like a rapid-fire weapon, like thousands of such weapons.”

    Symbols are reflections, summaries, abbreviations of people’s hopes , dreams, expectations, desires, wants. That’s why, sometimes, in certain times and places are considered very dangerous.

  10. Shmuel
    December 15, 2011, 12:06 pm

    A couple of past quotes from Mayor Gafsou (I think that’s the way he spells it):

    “I always told my soldiers in the army that it is easier for me to explain why I shot an innocent person than to explain to one of your wives why I did not protect you enough.”

    “Upper Nazareth is a Jewish town … There will never be a mosque … No school for Arabs … I will not allow Christians to light Christmas trees … Upper Nazareth will be 95% Jewish by 2020.”

    I wonder how his corruption trial is going link to haaretz.com

    • James North
      December 15, 2011, 12:17 pm

      Richard Witty said, ‘Wow, Shmuel. If I wanted to establish some credibility around here, I would condemn Mayor Gafsou. But even thinking about him gives me the willies, suggesting that my dream castle view of Israel is a mirage. I’ll stay safely over on other threads, nitpicking, to protect my conscience from being disturbed.’

      • Richard Witty
        December 15, 2011, 12:21 pm

        Silly to see my name associated, North.

        I assume that you are a moderator, or else your personal intentionally misrepresentative attacks wouldn’t be so carelessly allowed through.

      • James North
        December 15, 2011, 12:30 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘I could have learned from Shmuel’s comment, and condemned Mayor Gafsou. Instead I attacked James North. Gafsou is a lesser danger to human rights in Israel/Palestine than James North is, so I’ve clearly got my commenting priorties right.’

      • Chu
        December 15, 2011, 1:45 pm

        Aw Witty, you’re soo annoying, your comments are just the punchline of a joke.
        You had your chance to be straight with the crowd too many
        times and always blow it.
        You’re incapable.

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2011, 2:36 pm

        “Silly to see my name associated, North.”

        Witty, look up “associated”. You don’t know how to use the word.

        Don’t you understand that your unwillingness or inability to use words correctly, or construct sentences correctly, reduces your credibility?
        Remember, we can’t see the expressive hand gestures, eye-rolling, and facial expressions which ordinarily validate your reasoning, provide unassailable citations, and establish your bona fides.
        Words is all we got.

      • Memphis
        December 15, 2011, 7:13 pm

        Maybe Witty’s first language is not english. It is kinda insulting to criticize someone on their grammar and spelling if english is not their fist language.

        I made a post yesterday criticizing him for his incoherent statements, but then I got to thinking that maybe english is not his first language, and I felt kinda bad.

        I disagree with everything the man has to say cause he’s wrong. lol. But I don’t think we should disparage his command of the english language, especially if it is not his first.

    • dumvitaestspesest
      December 15, 2011, 12:18 pm

      Obviously by “innocent person” he meant a Palestinian.
      So let’s try again.
      “it is easier for me to explain why I shot an innocent Palestinian than to explain to one of your wives, why I did not protect you enough “.
      So obviously a life of an Israeli soldier ,who is an occupant and agressor, is worth much more than a life of a completely innocent Palestinian.
      Goebbles, Himmler, Hitler used THE SAME lines, when they were talking about exceptional Nazi soldiers and the exceptional value of their exceptional lives.

  11. Chu
    December 15, 2011, 1:42 pm

    The only democracy in the middle east? I’m shocked. :D

  12. justicewillprevail
    December 15, 2011, 1:54 pm

    What a bunch of small-minded bigots these Israelis are. Oh, I forgot, they insist they are a liberal democracy which is multicultural and respects other faiths. Liars.

    • Chu
      December 15, 2011, 2:18 pm

      seriously. Any propaganda machine can only bring people to a certain level of comprehension. But when the reality is as ugly as Israel, it’s hard to buy the hasbara -and likely even harder to sell this snake oil to Joe Six Pack.

      • ErsatzYisrael
        December 15, 2011, 7:04 pm

        Chu, Joe Six Pack needs to give a shit first, or he’ll just change channels. People don’t, people won’t, achieve a high level of comprehension in something they’re not emotionally invested in. Ever.

        Propaganda works like a charm when it’s used against people who have no emotional need to question it, or to verify its truthfulness, assumming (and this is the crux) said people are tuned into the propaganda in the first place; propaganda provides little more than background noise for many in the West – it becomes little more than TV advertising, which can easily be tuned out (to variable degrees, depending on the circumstances).

        So, cutting to the chase, if there’s going to be any significant traction on the I/P issue, then the average American on the street (or wherever!) will need to start actually caring about the I/P situation. To the average American, I/P is perceived as being like something akin to a boring and ancient TV drama – a boring and too often repeated TV drama, which seems to be in perpetual syndication, and is only ever broadcast in black & white. I/P. Boring. Change the channel.

        For those of you who’ve yet to tune me out, and are instead choosing to keep reading this drivel, I have some questions I’d like to ask you:

        When Seth MacFarlane, of Family Guy fame, sanctioned this brutally hilarious moment in a former episode of the show: link to youtube.com, was it Zionist fervor that motivated him, or boring old ignorance?: link to youtube.com

        Should it be a particular point of concern that too many American creative types working in the msm today, rather than simply having any kind of agenda regarding I/P, simply don’t know very much about I/P, and don’t particularly care about educating themselves about I/P, and should American creative types like (Sexy) Seth MacFarlane be targeted in a focused campaign of some kind?: link to youtube.com

        How much more of a better job could you do, to make key people care enough so that they’ll want to better educate themselves on the whole I/P thing, than this?: link to youtube.com

        Finally, for any physicists reading this: if Israel is simply left to self-implode, how long will it take for the self-implosion process to complete, and (roughly) what percentage of the observable Universe can we expect to be written off as “collateral damage”?

    • split
      December 15, 2011, 5:12 pm

      ‘and respects other faiths’ – Obviously , no kiddin’ ,…

      link to articles.cnn.com

      link to youtube.com

      link to haaretz.com

      link to library.flawlesslogic.com

  13. ErsatzYisrael
    December 15, 2011, 2:25 pm

    If Saudi Arabia was run by psychologically damaged white people, and had better PR, it would be virtually indistinguishable from that shining beacon of (white) light we now term Israel.

  14. Mooser
    December 15, 2011, 2:29 pm

    You commenters have very little empathy. Don’t you remember that Zionists, both American and English, have told us how much Christmas trees and decorations scare them?
    As I recall when Zionists from democratic, Western countries with no recent history of active anti-Semitism were asked why they felt it necessary to move to Israel, Christmas trees, Christmas lights, and the traunatic consequences of seeing them, or worse, having their children exposed to them, came first on the list.
    The only deleterious effect of Christmas in my Jewish life (such as it is) was this: Christmas, with its one day of exchanging presents, became an excuse for my parents to forego giving me ever-more-expensive Hannukah gifts for eight days.

    • Philip Weiss
      December 15, 2011, 2:48 pm

      only an 87 on the mooser scale, this comment. but i hung in there through the long setup and gained great pleasure with the punchline

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2011, 5:22 pm

        “only an 87 on the mooser scale, this comment. but i hung in there through the long setup and gained great pleasure with the punchline”

        Oy Gotteniu already, everybody is a critic!

      • Philip Weiss
        December 15, 2011, 5:32 pm

        connoisseur actually

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2011, 5:36 pm

        “connoisseur actually”

        “Connoisseur”? Isn’t that Yiddish for ‘really close to hitting the “ban” button’?

        C’mon Phil, have a heart! It’s Christmas, already!

    • dumvitaestspesest
      December 15, 2011, 2:57 pm

      I heard that you suppose to get only nominal Hannukah gifts for 8 days.
      Like a chocolate coin, or some tiny , worth-nothing , made in China, presents from a dollar store.
      Since when it became the all-you-can-buy-in- a-toy-store 8 days celebration??

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2011, 5:26 pm

        I once asked my Dad for a Porsche for Hannukah. He smiled and said: “Boychik, when your…..”
        Nah, maybe I don’t want to tell this story. You’ve probably heard it before or something.

      • dumvitaestspesest
        December 15, 2011, 6:24 pm

        I’ve never heard it before, so you are welcome to say it, if you don’t mind.
        Porsche for Hannukah??
        I was happy if I got a pair of new shoes, or a handbag for Christmas. Which is fine with me since I don’t have too many attachments to “things”.
        Things are supposed to serve its purpose . That’s all.
        Car for driving, chair for sitting , closet to store some clothes that are needed to cover our bodies. I hate when people value things above everything else.
        I once asked asked my parents if, maybe, I was a Gypsy child, who was secretly adopted by them. They didn’t think it was funny.

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2011, 6:58 pm

        “Porsche for Hannukah??”

        Needless to say, I didn’t get it. And if I asked for presents after the first night, the traditional answer was, “A present you want? Okay, I won’t beat you tonight.” When I was young, what did I know about the cost or value of anything? Now that I’m grown up and married, I thank God for every day I’m not beaten.

    • RoHa
      December 15, 2011, 11:19 pm

      “Don’t you remember that Zionists, both American and English, have told us how much Christmas trees and decorations scare them?”

      And that’s how we can defeat them!

      “O.K., Netanyahu, I’ve got some tinsel here, and I’m not afraid to use it. Give up now. Don’t make me start singing Jingle Bells.”

    • LeaNder
      December 16, 2011, 12:14 pm

      Christmas trees, Christmas lights, and the traumatic consequences of seeing them, or worse, having their children exposed to them, came first on the list.

      Xmas tress reminded me of Richard Silverstein seemingly a decade back web-wise. For a moment I was close to turning into an activist to destroy pure Xmas traditions in Köln by bringing in other cultural symbols. But how can you if you consider it all a nice to have, but not necessarily a must be?

      I hear you.

  15. Kathleen
    December 15, 2011, 2:46 pm

    Although it sure drives me crazy that on so many of our court house lawns across the country are nativity scenes. if you are going to allow this, the Star of David, Crescent moon and star.

    • Mooser
      December 15, 2011, 5:30 pm

      I am mixing up some paper-mache this afternoon, cause you gave me a great idea for a creche: Mary and Joseph, with Jesus in the cradle, lighting a Menorah, with a crescent-moon-and-star overhead.

  16. kalithea
    December 15, 2011, 4:27 pm

    Oh, I dunno, Christmas trees, lights, pretty packages is all very nice to get people in the spirit of joy and the season’s goodwill, but every now and then we need a reminder of the real meaning of Christmas: a poor family hunted down, without shelter and turned away by everyone, forced to bring a child into the world in a barn, and a child born to embody and deliver a message of LOVE; a message that’s been twisted and misinterpreted by many when it was meant to save us from ourselves. Sometimes when I see a Nativity Scene in someone’s yard, my first thought is: oh, it’s a little much, but for some strange reason, I always end up feeling somewhat humbled by that scene.

    • Mooser
      December 15, 2011, 5:33 pm

      I don’t celebrate Christmas, of course, but I try to enjoy it whenever possible. I also enjoy playing Christmas tunes.
      But for me, the magic of Christmas is all tied up with the Immaculate Conception. If only people took that part of Christmas to heart, thousands upon thousands of divorces could have been avoided.

      • Philip Weiss
        December 15, 2011, 5:35 pm

        Mooser I want you to do a Christmas album, sort of like Myron Cohen and Buddy Hackett used to do. Mooser’s Christmas. We’d have some gravatar for you on the album jacket, and you’d hear people’s glasses and knives and forks, like it was at Grossinger’s.

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2011, 5:48 pm

        That is funny, I am waiting, as we speak, for a call from a double-necked pedal steel player (the guitar, not him) who wants to get together when his vocalist arrives and play Christmas tunes, country swing-jazz style.
        A guy’s gotta make a living. And I have a flair for Christmas tunes. I sure as heck picked up on this arrangement of “O Holy Night”

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2011, 6:48 pm

        “We’d have some gravatar for you on the album jacket”

        I’d be tied to a spit, and roasting over a Yule Log. Mary and the Kid looking hungry holding plates, Joseph wiggling a fork stuck in my side , saying “I think he’s done, let’s eat”

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 15, 2011, 5:45 pm

        “But for me, the magic of Christmas is all tied up with the Immaculate Conception. If only people took that part of Christmas to heart, thousands upon thousands of divorces could have been avoided.”

        The reminds me of the story told by Shelby Foote about the girl in the Civil War who was supposedly shot in the womb by a bullet that had previously supposedly hit a soldier in the testicle. She subsequently became with child.

        When a doctor was asked if he thought such a thing was possible, the doctor replied that the real question was whether the girl’s father thought that such a thing was possible.

      • Kathleen
        December 15, 2011, 9:02 pm

        immaculate deception

      • W.Jones
        December 15, 2011, 11:18 pm

        The “Immaculate Conception” actually does not refer to the Virgin Birth, which is Christ’s “Incarnation.”

        “Immaculate” means sinless, and the Immaculate Conception is a Roman Catholic doctrine that the Virgin Mary was herself borne without sin, in order for Jesus to have been born without sin.
        It was made official in the RC Church within the last 1000 years since the split with the Eastern Orthodox, I think. I think it was likely one thing that led to the Reformation.

        Incidentally, most Palestinian Christians are Eastern Orthodox, a Church which did not develop this later teaching. One of the goals of Protestantism was to get back to the early teachings of the Church, yet most of the Palestinian Christians are therefore actually following the teachings of the first few centuries of Christianity.

        The importance that the Eastern Orthodox give to the “Tradition” of the early Church, and to keeping the “Apostolic” line are actually two of the main differences they have with Protestantism. Now perhaps you may disagree with this and say an “Enlightenment” view says we shouldn’t be stuck to such very old traditions. But in any case, my point is that they are following the ways of the first few centuries of Christianity.

  17. RoHa
    December 15, 2011, 11:14 pm

    In Britain the press regularly prints stories about towns not being permitted toput up Christmas decorations because “it will offend the Muslims”*.

    But no-one has been able to find a single Muslim who objects to the town taking part in Christian celebrations of the birth of the Prophet ‘Isa.

    This leads me to wonder just who is behind this. It looks like an attempt to demonize Muslims.

  18. W.Jones
    December 15, 2011, 11:25 pm

    On another note, as for the topic of Christmas, I found more significant than Netanyahu’s message the fact that, as Mondoweiss reported recently, Gaza’s Christians are only allowed to leave for Christmas to visit the rest of the Holy Land if they are _between 35 and 40 years old_?!

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