Terror lurking in a Christmas tree? Israel tries to ban non-Jewish celebrations

Bilin pere Noel 269f8
Santa Claus in Bilin, 2011.
(Photo: Popular Committee Against the Wall and settlement of Bil’in via europalestine.com)

Israel’s large Palestinian minority is often spoken of in terms of the threat it poses to the Jewish majority. Palestinian citizens’ reproductive rate constitutes a “demographic timebomb”, while their main political program – Israel’s reform into “a state of all its citizens” – is proof for most Israeli Jews that their compatriots are really a “fifth column”.

But who would imagine that Israeli Jews could be so intimidated by the innocuous Christmas tree?

This issue first came to public attention two years ago when it was revealed that Shimon Gapso, the mayor of Upper Nazareth, had banned Christmas trees from all public buildings in his northern Israeli city.

“Upper Nazareth is a Jewish town and all its symbols are Jewish,” Gapso said. “As long as I hold office, no non-Jewish symbol will be presented in the city.”

The decision reflected in part his concern that Upper Nazareth, built in the 1950s as the centrepiece of the Israeli government’s “Judaisation of the Galilee” programme, was failing dismally in its mission.

Far from “swallowing up” the historic Palestinian city of Nazareth next door, as officials had intended, Upper Nazareth became over time a magnet for wealthier Nazarenes who could no longer find a place to build a home in their own city. That was because almost all Nazareth’s available green space had been confiscated for the benefit of Upper Nazareth.

Instead Nazarenes, many of them Palestinian Christians, have been buying homes in Upper Nazareth from Jews – often immigrants from the former Soviet Union – desperate to leave the Arab-dominated Galilee and head to the country’s centre, to be nearer Tel Aviv.

The exodus of Jews and influx of Palestinians have led the government to secretly designate Upper Nazareth as a “mixed city”, much to the embarrassment of Gapso. The mayor is a stalwart ally of far-right politician Avigdor Lieberman and regularly expresses virulently anti-Arab views, including recently calling Nazarenes “Israel-hating residents whose place is in Gaza” and their city “a nest of terror in the heart of the Galilee”.

Although neither Gapso nor the government has published census figures to clarify the city’s current demographic balance, most estimates suggest that at least a fifth of Upper Nazareth’s residents are Palestinian. The city’s council chamber also now includes Palestinian representatives.

But Gapso is not alone in his trenchant opposition to making even the most cursory nod towards multiculturalism. The city’s chief rabbi, Isaiah Herzl, has refused to countenance a single Christmas tree in Upper Nazareth, arguing that it would be “offensive to Jewish eyes”.

That view, it seems, reflects the official position of the country’s rabbinate. In so far as they are able, the rabbis have sought to ban Christmas celebrations in public buildings, including in the hundreds of hotels across the country.

A recent report in the Haaretz newspaper, on an Israeli Jew who grows Christmas trees commercially, noted in passing: “hotels – under threat of losing kashrut certificates – are prohibited by the rabbinate from decking their halls in boughs of holly or, heaven forbid, putting up even the smallest of small sparkly Christmas tree in the corner of the lobby.”

In other words, the rabbinate has been quietly terrorising Israeli hotel owners into ignoring Christmas by threatening to use its powers to put them out of business. Denying a hotel its kashrut (kosher) certificate would lose it most of its Israeli and foreign Jewish clientele.

Few mayors or rabbis find themselves in the uncomfortable position of needing to go public with their views on the dangers of Christmas decorations. In Israel, segregation between Jews and Palestinians is almost complete. Even most of the handful of mixed cities are really Jewish cities with slum-like ghettoes of Palestinians living on the periphery.

Apart from Upper Nazareth, the only other “mixed” place where Palestinian Christians are to be found in significant numbers is Haifa, Israel’s third largest city. Haifa is often referred to as Israel’s most multicultural and tolerant city, a title for which it faces very little competition.

But the image hides a dirtier reality. A recent letter from Haifa’s rabbinate came to light in which the city’s hotels and events halls were reminded that they must not host New Year’s parties at the end of this month (the Jewish New Year happens at a different time of year). The hotels and halls were warned that they would be denied their kashrut licences if they did so.

“It is a seriously forbidden to hold any event at the end of the calendar year that is connected with or displays anything from the non-Jewish festivals,” the letter states.

After the letter was publicised on Facebook, Haifa’s mayor, Yona Yahav, moved into damage limitation mode, overruling the city’s rabbinical council on Sunday and insisting that parties would be allowed to go ahead. Whether Yahav has the power to enforce his decision on the notoriously independent-minded rabbinical authorities is still uncertain.

But what is clear is that there is plenty of religious intolerance verging on hatred being quietly exercised against non-Jews, mostly behind the scenes so as not to disturb Israel’s “Jewish and democratic” image or outrage the millions of Christian tourists and pilgrims who visit Israel each year.

About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, On the ground reports | Tagged

{ 63 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Nevada Ned says:

    The right-wingers in the US have been running around for years claiming that there is a “war against Christmas”. I haven’t found any evidence of this so-called “war”, at least not in the US. Christmas is by now mostly a commercial holiday. For many retailers, the Christmas sales effort makes the difference between profit and loss for the entire calendar year.

    Meanwhile, for devout Christians, Easter is a much more important holiday.

    But now, at last, proof of a real war against Christmas! This time, it’s waged by Israeli rabbis. And as a bonus, a war against celebrating New Year’s Eve!

    Wait until the evangelical Christian Zionists hear about this! It could throw a monkey wrench into the alliance between the Christian Zionists and the Israelis.

    Mondoweiss readers, arrange for your Arab Christian friends to bring Jonathan Cook’s article to the attention of local evangelical Christians. (A lot of Arab-Americans are Christians by background, perhaps even a majority.)

  2. Shmuel says:

    Oh dear. Someone should tell Mr. Netanyahu, who said the following in this year’s Christmas message:

    Today, Christian communities throughout the Middle East are shrinking, and many of them are endangered. This is, of course, not true in Israel. Here there is a strong and growing Christian community that participates fully in the life of our country. Israel is proud of its record of religious tolerance and pluralism, and Israel will continue to protect freedom of religion for all. And we will continue to safeguard places of Christian worship throughout our country. We will not tolerate any acts of violence or discrimination against any place of worship. This is not our way, and this is something we cannot accept.

    link to pmo.gov.il

    • chinese box says:

      Who exactly is he referring to, Christian Zionists? 60 Minutes did a piece about how embattled the Palestinian Christians are.

      • Shmuel says:

        Who exactly is he referring to, Christian Zionists?

        He certainly isn’t referring to Palestinian Christians, when he says “come see our ancient land with your own eyes” (either because they’re already there, or because they aren’t allowed in). It’s just run-of-the-mill hasbara hype of the “they suck – we rock” variety. He uses the Christian communities in Israel, but wouldn’t dream of actually wishing them a merry Christmas (even in the Hebrew version of the press release – no Arabic version available, of course), as full participants “in the life of our country”, where “religious tolerance and pluralism” are supposed to be the rule.

        60 Minutes did a piece about how embattled the Palestinian Christians are.

        Not to mention the so-called “price tag” hate crimes committed against Christians in Israel this past year – for which there have been no arrests and no indictments (according to Barak Ravid, Haaretz).

        • Nevada Ned says:

          Smuel asked: “Who exactly is he referring to, Christian Zionists?”

          When I refer to Christian Zionists, I mean Christians United for Israel (CUFI), headed by Rev. John Hagee, and similar groups (Pat Robertson, the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, etc.). For them, the 1948 (re)establishment of the state of Israel is “a sign of the times”, (further) proof that Jesus is about to return and the end of the world is near.
          Christian Zionists in the US vastly outnumber the number of Jews (of all political persuasions). But of course for Christian Zionists, middle-east politics is only one issue, and they have a lot of hot-button issues: prayer in schools, evolution, gay rights, gun rights, pornography, abortion, divorce, secular humanism, etc.

    • Mooser says:

      “Today, Christian communities… strong and growing Christian community
      Israel…tolerance and pluralism, and Israel…places of Christian worship…”

      Gosh, with only two religions in the Middle East, Chritianity and Judaism, I don’t see why they can’t get along. I mean, it’s not as if there is anybody else there.

  3. It is a glaring inconsistency to ban New Year’s Eve celebrations while permitting use of the associated calendar. After all, the dating system according to which we are now approaching the end of Year 2012 is a Christian one (even if one uses CE – current era instead of AD – anno domini and BCE – before the current era instead of BC – before Christ). True, the months are not Christian — they are named after gods and goddesses of ancient Rome. In any case, the whole thing is non-Jewish. Why not make everyone use the Jewish calendar?

    • Shmuel says:

      Why not make everyone use the Jewish calendar?

      Damn straight, Stephen. What a bunch of Hellenists. Why not make use of the authentic, original one-of-a-kind Babylonian Jewish calendar compulsory? Begone Janus and Mars. Welcome back Tammuz and Marduk, lords of earth and heaven!

      Written on 11 Tevet (month of Papsukkal, messenger and protector), 5773.

      • Bumblebye says:

        “month of Papsukkal”
        Why Shmuel, that sounds almost rude! The perfect month for celebrating the generosity and bounty of the US taxpayer, even…

    • seafoid says:

      It is a glaring inconsistency to ban Christmas treees while being very happy to fire $467 million of munitions at Gaza in 8 days when the material is made by Christians .

      Most countries are organised hypocrisies. Israel is to the power of infinity.

    • seafoid says:

      The important stuff like ethnic cleansing works on the christian calendar…

      link to mondoweiss.net

  4. Scott says:

    What about the Russians–many of whom surely celebrate Christmas?

    • mikeo says:

      Russian Orthodox Christmas is Jan 7th ;)

      • W.Jones says:

        Mikeo,

        Actually about half of Palestinians celebrate Christmas on Jan 7 because they belong to the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem. There is a special Orthodox Christmas ceremony that the P.A. president and Orthodox patriarch take part in, where they go to the cave of the Nativity. In 2002, to fulfill the ceremony they used Arafat’s turban because he was “occupied.” :/

  5. piotr says:

    Christmass tree is not particularly Christian, at least it is a German tradition from XIX century. Russians have “ded Moroz”, “grandfather Frost”, a secular figure giving gifts at New Year. St. Nicholas should do it on St. Nicholas Day, December 6, and in Poland it was a day when schoolchildren were bringing gifts to school for a colleague selected by lottery (with a strict limit on price to keep it symbolic, think about a gift from a dollar store, in his biography St. Nicholas of Smyrna (Myra?) has several acts of anonymous generosity). So the idea was to be inspired by the life of a Saint to be generous to strangers. Contemporary commercial adaptation makes little sense.

    As someone grumbled: “First, they took Saturn out of Saturnalia”.

    • Antidote says:

      “Christmas tree is not particularly Christian”

      true enough, it’s all rooted in pagan fertility/winter solstice rites.

      “at least it is a German tradition from XIX century”

      It becomes a British tradition during the 19th century, imported from Germany (Prince Albert). In Germany Christmas trees were sold in the Alsace (then part of Germany/the Holy Roman Empire) in the early 16th c., then spread to other regions

  6. OlegR says:

    Wanna comment on this articles about Nazrat Jonathan

    link to nrg.co.il

    link to ynetnews.com

    link to community.beliefnet.com

    Last weekend G’ovril Nadaf priest tried to break the ban imposed on him and enter the Orthodox Church in Nazareth, a short prayer and light a candle. Entry was made possible only thanks to the fact that some Border Police and IDF officers of the Christian community, accompanied him to the temple.

    Since the priest’s face by members of the Orthodox Christian community council, run with an iron fist by Dr. Azmi Hakim, from Nazareth member of the Communist Party, protect Nadaf guards accompanying him wherever he goes.

    Cause of excommunication: Nadaf G’ovril believe that young Christian community integrate into Israeli society. Is in favor of raising Christian Arabs army or security forces, it supports national service, and he believes that Israel is the anchor and security to the Christian minority living within its borders.

    But since the young priest Nadaf and surround him “out of the closet” and announced that they support Israel and are committed to it, opened a Pandora’s box Nazareth. Nationalist Breast, always absent – present, from dance beautiful and ancient alleys. Now there is a struggle of a strange coalition, made up of the Communist Movement in Nazareth and Islamist opponents of integration, against the camp of Nadaf. They said of the Nadaf, monistic Line Coalition – Islamic left aggressive smear campaign in the Arab press local and international, social networks and YouTube.

    • OlegR says:

      Sorry for the google translate part but it conveys the general idea…

      • Mooser says:

        “Sorry for the google translate part but it conveys the general idea…”

        It sure does, and I’m sure most people here have it. They got the “general idea” (my apologies to thoughts and ideas everywhere.) about you long time ago.

      • Inanna says:

        General idea about what? A gay priest with breast fetish, dancing in ancient alleys who is a communist and can’t get into a church?

        For some languages, google translate is not your friend.

      • piotr says:

        Good that you explained. I thought that you were highly inebriated when typing the post.

        From ynet link you have graciously posted:

        Reverend Nadaf said, “I am not responsible for what was said at the conference. Anyone who says otherwise is inciting against me as a religious figure and will pay for it in court.” Nadaf filed a police complaint against the council citing defamation.

        So Rev. Nadaf denies that he was advocating enlistment in IDF or National Service, he was merely present in a spot where other people did so. But Border police escorted him into a church even so. This really reminds me Grandpa of Bart Simpson with his penchant for long boring stories that were not going anywhere.

    • W.Jones says:

      The YNet article you linked to says:

      “The head of the Council of Arab Orthodox Community Dr. Azmi Hakim on Tuesday filed a police complaint claiming he received death threats after voicing opposition to the recruitment of Christians following a conference in Nazareth Illit.”

      Secondly, from a normal Orthodox perspective, this Haaretz article is pretty persuasive to the opposite viewpoint:

      Greek Orthodox leader slams clergy for encouraging IDF service
      The Church calls on its young people to be peacemakers, so serving in the army goes against its values, says Patriarch Theophilus.

      The patriarch also took the unusual step of granting the request of the Orthodox Council in Nazareth, a secular body, to not allow Nadaf into Nazareth’s Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation. Theophilus said the step wasn’t a ban but was meant to prevent friction until the matter was resolved.

      link to haaretz.com

      In conclusion, the leader of the biggest Christian group in the Holy Land restricts a priest from entering the cathedral to avoid friction, but the priest does it anyway according to the quote you translated.

  7. just says:

    So, Nazareth, a very important pilgrimage site for Christians has a threatening ban on all evidence of Christmas celebration.

    Such a democracy! This is pitiful, and should be front page news in every newspaper in the world.

    “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    • OlegR says:

      And it would have if the article were talking about Nazareth which it’s not.
      Do read more carefully next time.

      • just says:

        Sorry. I read quite carefully; was not aware of the difference.

        • OlegR says:

          Nazareth Elit as a predominantly Jewish populated city near the historical Nazareth.
          BTW all those Arab families mentioned in the article moving to it a Christians
          that are leaving the Nazareth which is becoming a more and more a Muslim
          city.

        • tree says:

          Nazaret Ilit is a city created from land confiscated from the Israeli citizens of Nazareth , who happen to be of the wrong ethnicity and religion, so that Israel could “Judaize the Galilee” according to Israeli government’s own plan. Because Nazareth had land taken away from it the city suffers from overcrowding and the value of the land that is left has skyrocketed. Houses in Nazaret Ilit are leased from the government and the JNF, which has placed covenants restricting any resale of the lease to non-Jews. However, since Nazaret Ilit has not been an attractive city for Israeli Jews–too far from the good jobs near Tel Aviv, too close to Arabs (which are related causes, since Israel does little to nothing to create jobs for non-Jewish Israeli citizens) –the restrictive covenants have for the most part not been enforced in order that Jewish Israelis who wish to leave are not stuck with a white elephant that they can not sell. Isreali Jews are allowed to sub-lease to non-Jews who want to live there to help out Jews, not Christians. Nazareth inhabitants want to live in Nazaret Ilit because there is little buildable space left in Nazareth, and , per usual Israeli policy favoring Jewish cities, the amenities are better in NI. Christians are more prevalent in Nazaret Ilit because they are more likely to come from families who own land in Nazareth, which was traditionally a majority Christian city and so they have the money to buy in NI. Muslim refugees from the surrounding area found shelter in Nazareth in 1948, which was saved from the ethnic cleansing because Ben Gurion decided he didn’t want to risk upsetting Western Christian sentiment. He didn’t give a damn about the actual people who lived there.

          Dan Rabinowitz wrote a book about it in 1997, “Overlooking Nazareth: The Ethnography of Exclusion in Galilee” which appears to now be out of print and way overpriced, but its an informative read if you can find it in a library near you.

    • Rusty Pipes says:

      Well, who knows how long it will be a tourist destination for Christians, despite its religious and historical significance, when word gets out that the Likud-leaning mayor of Upper Nazareth has dubbed it “a nest of terror in the heart of the Galilee” and all of its apparently friendly souvenir-shop owners “Israel-hating residents whose place is in Gaza.”

  8. Mooser says:

    “But who would imagine that Israeli Jews could be so intimidated by the innocuous Christmas tree?”

    Innocuous? Innocuous, you say? Hundreds of fires are caused by Christmas trees and Christmas ornaments. What about the number of people blinded in pine-needle accidents? What about those icky U-cut places we have up here? People wander off into the woods to ‘cut their own’ and never come back! ‘Noble’ fir my foot!
    Please dipose of used Christmas trees safely. After they dry out, they’re explosive.

  9. talknic says:

    Someone has lost the plot…completely

  10. yourstruly says:

    christmas, god-blessed?

    for one thing thoughts turn toward a better world

    any real movement towards such?

    to date, not that were up to the task

    palestine, just & free?

    the task

    doomsday, meanwhile closing in on us

  11. the mayor and rabbis must be very dismayed if they end up in tel aviv on the “christian” new year….. i think it turns into a street party. no hotels needed, and “jews” are the ones celebrating.

    i think it’s time for a kristallnacht on russian orthodox shops all over tel aviv. and a curfew. this christian impurity must be suppressed and stopped.

    i’m glad they already do not allow christians to marry jews…. gotta go to cyprus or some sh*t for those marriages. and proselytizing is banned. so i guess israel is already proactive on this serious “demographic threat”….

  12. Obsidian says:

    Don’t you guys get tired of the rock throwing Santa?

    Yawn.

  13. American says:

    BTW

    Merry Christmas, Happy Rosh Hashanah and whatever all the other politically correct celebration best wishes are that I can’t keep up with……..to all the MW’s…LOL

  14. yourstruly says:

    if it’s racist for non-jews to discriminate against jews, why isn’t it racist for jews to discriminate against non-jews?

    it is so racist

    based on?

    the golden rule

  15. Mayhem says:

    Muslims in Australia were issued with a fatwa against Christmas, warning followers it is a ”sin” to even wish people a Merry Christmas.
    The religious ruling, which followed a similar lecture during Friday prayers at Australia’s biggest mosque, was posted on its Facebook site last Saturday morning.

    The head imam at Lakemba, Sheikh Yahya Safi, had told the congregation during prayers that they should not take part in anything to do with Christmas.

    After outrage from some Muslims in the community the fatwa was withdrawn. Read at link to smh.com.au
    Just the tip of the iceberg …

    • seafoid says:

      The Zimbabwe defense. Look- Israel is no worse than Zimbabwe

      Buber used to think Zionism was a sacred project. What a loser he must have been.

      • Mayhem says:

        @seafoid, you dish up the proverbial fob off, avoiding any acknowledgement of the facts.
        I am making no defence here, just bringing something to people’s attention that has REAL foreboding.
        The issue of the fatwa was in the main stream media – this cocked up story about Christmas trees appears just in Mondoland.

        • Cliff says:

          Mayhem

          How many Muslims in Australia are enough for you to say ‘Muslims in Australia’?

          Is that their primary identifier?

          If it’s simply Muslims, then why can’t we (anti-Zionists) conflate all Jews with your nationalistic/colonialist cult?

          I think it’s only fair. All Jews must be Zionists since Israel is the Jewish State, right?

          So what is the difference between ‘Muslims in Australia’ issuing a fatwa against Christmas and ‘Muslims in Australia’ who aren’t.

          Both are Muslims. But one group isn’t issuing the fatwa.

          Why did the former do so. Why isn’t the latter?

          You extremists do not delineate but we, anti-Zionists AND non-Jews especially, are expected to delineate.

          So tell me why you didn’t do so. Why do you get to make blanket generalizations.

          In fact, you are doing so without addressing the topic at hand.

          You are pro-Israel. Israel matters to you. Why do you bring up Australia?

          All threads on Mondoweiss exist within one context and one context alone – the Israel / Palestine conflict.

          The related conflicts such as that in Syria and Iraq and elsewhere are peripheral issues (but just as important or more so depending on one’s priorities and passions).

          They are related but this is an Israel / Palestine blog.

          I have never seen extremist Jewish nationalists criticize Israel in any meaningful way. It’s always an intellectual variation of the non-apology apology meme. Or a vomit-inducing ‘Israel is too humane’ as a form of criticism.

          How about this – Israel is a colonial-settler State. This is a colonial conflict between the occupied Palestinian people and the apartheid Jewish State/colony.

          The violence and racism and all the rest exist in that context.

          What is the context of ‘Muslims in Australia’ doing whatever it is you think they are doing?

          And again, explain yourself. Why do you get to paint all Muslims (1 billion of them) with the same brush but we anti-Zionists cannot do so to the fractional Jewish population?

          Oh and while it’s somewhat a rhetorical question (answer being: we have morals and intellectual integrity while you have Nazi-like propaganda).

        • seafoid says:

          Mayhem

          I would do a mitzvah for your soul if I believed in mitzvot.
          Anyone who parrots hasbara is a walking intellectual tragedy.

        • Mayhem says:

          @Cliff, throw reason and logic to the wind. Tar the bringer of information with the anti-Zionist brush, put words in his mouth.
          @seafoid, take the easy road and just accuse opponents of spreading ‘hasbara’.
          @moderators, ensure that the Mondoweiss message is not despoiled.

    • AhVee says:

      One which immediately comes to mind is, as it almost always is, that of spin. Given America’s tight involvement with Israel, and the fact a Christian country is funding it with 3bn a year and a heap of weapons, the story that this country, which is of such close interest to an overwhelmingly Christian America, is in fact, too, waging a war against Christmas is – and you can trust me on this – a whopper of a news story. It’s guaranteed to create emotional heat. Anyone looking for a large readership would put this on page 1 with a dramatic headline (you know, the same dramatic headlines they give Arabs / Arab countries. “Religious leaders all over Israel wage a war against Christmas!” Put that on Fox news.) And that’s exactly why you don’t see it published in any mainstream news outlet. People might *gasp* re-examine Israel! The Zio lobby can’t let that happen now, can it. The fact that whatever story they may be running doesn’t exactly flatter Muslims / Arabs however, is a factor that is seldom to never considered. Hence, the “war on Christmas” crowd in America (composed almost exclusively of Christian Republicans) will highly likely not add the Israeli Christmas affair to their doubtless extensive list of the “many occasions of war against Christmas”, while they should in reality do just that, being the ‘unfatiguable’ trackers of opposition against Christmas that they are.
      It’s really just the spin I have a problem with, as I always do. Judging by the sheer amount of negative press Arabs have been getting, you’d think that every single piece of dirt on offer has not only been back swept out from whatever carpet it may or may not have been lurking beneath, but that every last bit of it meticulously collected from the floor, and presented in a lime light with dramatic headlines, over a stretch of years and years, in every mainstream publication imaginable. Not so with the misdoings of Jews.
      I have no problems whatsoever with that crackpot of an Imam receiving flak for his stupid fatwa, I have a problem with the ‘two measures’ system, and don’t see why the general public, obviously in possession of such impeccably high morality, should not also be served the sober truth in all its rancid glory what concerns Israel. The simple fact that people still believe it to be a democracy, despite the fact that its laws and actions clearly violate this definition shows the amount of catch-up which still needs to be done. The fact that the vast majority of Americans aren’t aware of Israel’s recent history enough to know just what the hell the Nakba is, but know the names of the topAfghani muhajjedin by heart shows this, too. I mean, sure, many Arab countries aren’t democracies either, but last I checked, the west wasn’t pretending that they are. In fact, they themselves don’t even pretend that they are. And I like to think we are now sufficiently informed of the sins of the middle-east. Minus those of that small country in the Levant, of course.
      Spin, boy. That’s the difference.

  16. The war on Christmas, how dare you question this: Jon Stewart edition…

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-december-3-2012/the-war-on-christmas–friendly-fire-edition—bill-o-reilly-s-philosophy
    The best line… ‘Christmas is now so big it is eating other holidays’

    This supposed war is now taking up more time and anguish on Fox news than real wars. Who knew that it was real in your best ally?

  17. Talkback says:

    “offensive to Jewish eyes”

    Imagine someone would say that the Menorah is offensive to Nonjewish eyes. You would call him an antisemite. But failed souls like Rabbi Isaiah Herzl are not even aware of their blatant racism.

  18. A couple of years ago I was waiting for my brother outside the Catholic church in my neighborhood, were a Mozart concert was scheduled after the evening mass. Also waiting was an elderly Jewish couple.

    “It’s getting cold,” the wife said. “Do we get in?” “But — they’re saying Mass in there!,” the husband objected. “So what’s the problem?,” was the wife’s reasonable answer, and she dragged the man inside the temple.

    Many Jews are raised in deep contempt of Christianity, whose ceremonies are portrayed as some sort of pagan rituals to be avoided like the pest. The spitting on Armenian priests in Jerusalem and this ban on Christmas trees in Upper Nazareth seem to reflect this hateful upbringing.

    • Mooser says:

      “Many Jews are raised in deep contempt of Christianity, whose ceremonies are portrayed as some sort of pagan rituals to be avoided like the pest.”

      That’s why I never go swimming, or take a bath. You never know.

  19. Boston says:

    The protectors of the Zionist narrative are everywhere.

    I visit a website about runing that has a message board that allows people to expound on any topic.

    Quite often, there are blatantly racist comments made primarily against black men but also against Muslims and brown immigrants.

    These post generally stay up indefinitely. I found that the best way to get them removed is to post something that contradicts the MSM official Zionist narrative. I often use items taken from Mondoweiss. Generally works like a charm.

    Today I posted this article. Apparently, any mention of Zionist hostility towards Christianity was just too much. I am now banned from posting

  20. Mooser says:

    To make sure that our personal Christmas tree would not turn on us, my wife salvaged a small (18″) artificial tree from the dumpster after her work-place disposed of it, several years ago. Let’s just say that if you’re facing the land-fill, being taken home to a half-Jewish household doesn’t look so bad.
    I never thought it was such a bad little tree. Maybe it just needed a little love.

  21. amigo says:

    “Israel is proud of its record of religious tolerance and pluralism, and Israel will continue to protect freedom of religion for all. “Nietandyahu

    The sad thing is this wacko believes all this stuff.

    • Mooser says:

      And people say there’s no War on Christmas? Christmas sure as hell made a sneak attack on me this year. Thought I had impregnable defenses, but they melted like the Meringue Line in France. And there I was in the check-out line, along with the other prisoners of war.
      Thought I would get rich selling “I survived Christmas” T-shirts this year, but then Newtown happened, and sales dove into the cellar.

  22. Obsidian says:

    Terror lurking in a Bethlehem nativity scene.

  23. talknic says:

    Care for a xmas laugh? Check this out : link to talknic.wordpress.com