There will be no Christmas celebration in Bethlehem’s Manger Square this year. The annual festivities have been canceled because the organizers have deemed it inappropriate to celebrate in the midst of the conflicts and violence.
As anyone following the news knows, Palestinians and Israelis offer two entirely different accounts of the violence (and two different accounts of what has happened in the region since the emergence of the state of Israel in 1948). The siege at the Church of the Nativity is one more example.
It may have been just a coincidence that the Israeli army invaded the grounds of a Christian-run school in Bethlehem while the American media were focusing their attention on the six-month anniversary of September 11. Or maybe it wasn’t a coincidence.