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Don't rush off to write protests to the Israeli authorities, however. The article in question appeared in the London Morning Post, out of season, in June of 1921. The British High Commissioner, rather that the Israel Ministry of Foreign affairs replied that between 1910 and 1920, about 4,500 people had left Bethlehem and 393 returned. In 1919/20 245 emigrated and 35 returned. In 1920/21, 185 had emigrated and 65 returned. The total estimated population was 15,000. (Proceedings of the Colonial Office 733/4/File 3832/166). The Morning Post established a tradition that was revived in recent years, and spread throughout the world. It is a modern blood libel tradition of publishing defamatory articles about Zionist treatment of Christians at Christmas time. Last year, the Wall Street Journal was among those bewailing the treatment of Christians in Bethlehem. This year, we are treated to new "revelations.
For example, this gem appeared in the Irish Times:
IN THE LITTLE town of Bethlehem there will be plenty of room at the inn this Christmas. Tourism has plummeted in areas of the Holy Land under the control of the Palestinian Authority...
For the first time in history the Holy Land is physically divided. The Palestinian West Bank of the River Jordan is enclosed by the Israeli "security barrier"...
Irish Times doesn't know it is not the first time the Holy Land is physically divided. The Holy Land was physically divided from 1949 to 1967. Barbed wire and mines separated Christians in Bethlehem from those in Nazareth, and kept Jews from visiting the wailing wall and other Jewish holy sites in East Jerusalem, which had been home to a sizable Jewish community until East Jerusalem was ethnically cleansed by the Jordanian Legion in 1948. Accordingly, East Jerusalem, which used to have dozens of synagogues, is now christened, "Arab East Jerusalem," a place in which Jews have no rights.
After the 1967 Six Day War and until the Palestinian Authority took control of Bethlehem, tourism boomed in Bethlehem. Israel invested in refurbishing Christian holy sites and the Israel Broadcasting Authority broadcast the Midnight Mass from Bethlehem each year at Christmas. When the Palestinians began the violence that they call the Second Intifada tourism died. Wanted PLO terrorists holed up in the Church of the Nativity.
The security fence did not kill the tourism. The terrorism killed the tourism.
Read the rest of Ami Isseroff 's article here.
Original content is Copyright by the author 2008. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-