Monday, December 24, 2012

O little town of Bethlehem

“O little town of Bethlehem/How still we see thee lie…”

A massive 25 foot high concrete separation Wall enchains the city and confines and chokes its Palestinian Christian and Muslim inhabitants. The Israeli government continues building thousands of housing units in existing and ever-increasing Jewish-only settlements. “Above thy deep and dreamless sleep/ The silent stars go by.” Many cannot see the stars anymore. Bethlehem’s land is controlled by a ring of settlements, military zones, highways for settlers and Israelis only. Bethlehem’s agricultural lands have been confiscated, sacred olive trees uprooted and water resources stolen. “Yet in thy dark streets shineth/ The everlasting Light…” Families are separated from each other, their jobs, hospitals, schools, churches, mosques. The biblical and literal path from Nazareth to Bethlehem is blocked by checkpoints and 25 foot high slabs of concrete. “And praises sing to God the King/ And Peace to men on earth.” Let us raise our voices to ending racism, occupation, and apartheid. Let us dedicate the NewYear to rebuilding a Holy Land for people of all faiths.

Jane Toby

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