Monday 23 December 2002

Embittered Bethlehem Prepares For Bleak Christmas

What makes me most sad is that if you put Bethlehem in Google Images and do a search, the first two fookin' piccies that come up are of poxy Israeli troops on the streets! I think that just about says it all so I've replicated the picture below :-( I'm not a Christian but it still sucks.

Saint Catherine's church is filled with worshippers on a wet Sunday morning, but exiting the edifice they confessed this Christmas will the "bleakest" of their lives.

"This will be the bleakest Christmas ever because we've been robbed of our freedom," says Johnny Babun, in his 40s, whose garage and car wash business was razed by the Israeli army two years ago.

"We will find solace at the midnight mass, beyond that there won't be any Christmas celebrations," he says, adding that "ironically we'll commemorate the birth of Christ, the man who embodies peace."

Father Gianni, from the church adjoining the Basilica of Nativity, which is revered as Jesus Christ's birthplace, is confident Christmas celebrations will proceed uninterrupted.

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