Another Christmas image

December 26, 2006

… as a counterpoint. It lacks something of the splendour of Gentile da Fabriano’s sublime Adoration of the Magi, but it makes its point in a crude but effective enough fashion.

This jolly Yuletide picture is sourced from the humanitarian NGO War on Want, whose other pix for the festive season can be found here.


The gloss accompanying the card reads:

The town of Bethlehem is effectively sealed off from the outside world by Israel’s Separation Wall. An end to violence in the Middle East means constructing bridges, not walls. This design by Polyp shows Mary and Joseph being frisked on their way to find an inn for the night.

According to this report, however, the main dangers faced by the dwindling number of Christians in Bethlehem come not from Israeli checkpoints, but rather from Islamic fundamentalists.

George Rabie, a 22-year-old taxi driver from the Bethlehem suburb of Beit Jala, is proud of his Christianity, even though it puts him in daily danger.

Two months ago, he was beaten up by a gang of Muslims who were visiting Bethlehem from nearby Hebron and who had spotted the crucifix hanging on his windscreen.

“Every day, I experience discrimination,” he says.

“It is a type of racism. We are a minority so we are an easier target. Many extremists from the villages are coming into Bethlehem.”


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