Skip to comments.Walled Nativity Scene Borders On Anti-Semitism, Jewish Leaders Say
Posted on 12/14/2007 7:25:59 AM PST by Between the Lines
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - The sale of Nativity scenes with a wall running through the middle to symbolize Israel's security barrier borders on anti-Semitism, Jewish groups are saying.
The Amos Trust, a British Christian charity that works with needy communities around the world, is selling the traditional Nativity sets with a political twist, noting that the wise men won't reach the stable because of the wall. The Amos Trust says its Nativity sets are made by Palestinian carpenters from olive wood from Bethlehem.
Israel started building its security barrier -- a series of walls and fences -- in response to an upsurge in Palestinian terrorism that began in 2000. When it is complete, the barrier will stretch nearly 500 miles, dividing Israel from Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in the West Bank.
Near Bethlehem, the barrier separates the town where Jesus was born from Jerusalem.
"The security barrier has been deemed a necessary response to terrorism and indeed has saved many lives, both Jewish and Arab," said Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
"The irony is that Mary and Joseph would have been a Jewish couple, and if they were travelling through the West Bank today, [their lives would have been at risk] from the same terrorists that have targeted so many Israelis," Benjamin told Cybercast News Service.
Other Jewish leaders were dismayed as well by the politically motivated Nativity sets.
"It's a shameful, cheap gimmick and it's destroying the spirit of Christmas by politicizing it," Arieh O'Sullivan, an ADL spokesman in Jerusalem, told Cybercast News Service. "It's amazing how low people will go to make a sale."
O'Sullivan said the sets "come close to resurrecting the old anti-Semitic canard that says Jews killed Christ."
"The British have a very long history of anti-Semitism," said Morton Klein, head of the Zionist Organization of America. That, coupled with the fact that the most popular name for a newborn in England is now Mohammed, tells what is happening to England and Europe, he said.
"I'm not surprised by this type of racism against Jews and Israel," said Klein in a telephone interview.
"It's not a good idea at all to use any religious symbols or events for anti-Israel propaganda," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Aryeh Mekel told Cybercast News Service.
Many Palestinian Christians blame the security barrier for their financial troubles, which have prompted many Christians to leave Bethlehem and other Palestinian Authority areas.
Bethlehem Pastor Naim Khoury said Nativity scenes are supposed to depict a real-life event that did not include a security barrier. "It's a real story. It's not a fake story," Khoury told Cybercast News Service. "The wise men, shepherds, sheep should all be included."
David Parsons, spokesman for the pro-Israel International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, called the Nativity sets a "disgraceful political exploitation of the Bible's message.
"The message of the incarnation is too precious for any Christians to be abusing it in this way."
Palestinian Christians think Israel is more of an enemy than Islam?
Christian Arabs from Israel sell their olivewood Christmas decorations at my parish every year around this time.
I'll keep an eye out for this one.
There are no wise men left in Bethlehem.
No, I didn't think so.
I would never have thought that a Nativity scene protesting the Bethlehem security wall would indict the Palestinians, Christians, Christmas, and the British in general as “anti-Semitic”. Because it isn’t.
Obviously no ‘BARF ALERT’ warning is required on this one.
If they were traveling through the West Bank today the mussies would kill them. End of story!
I’m Christian and I find this walled nativity highly offensive.
But it’s also curious and nearly amusing that Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, talks about Mary and Joseph as being Jews, but omits Jesus’s Jewish identity.
They’re made in Jerusalem. We had them Sunday at our K of C’s Breakfast with Santa.
A nativity set with a difference - this year the wise men won't get to the stable.
Well that would just be accurate because the wise men didn't go to the stable in the first place:
7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.
There you go, ruining everyone's hissy fit over this by using biblical facts.
I guess that means the wise men are bringing coal to my house this year.
Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.
Mary and Joseph were Jews.
If you want to know what they thought, read their words :
(see the Songs of Zechariah and Mary; i.e.,)
“He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David. . .
to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath he swore to our father Abraham;
to rescue us from the hand of our enemies . . .”
(Luke chapter 1.46-79)
Today they would be depicted as fundamentalist settlers
and loathed by the MSM and the State Dept.
Where have you been? "Palestinian" chr*stians are the most anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, pro-PLO, and pro-moslem chr*stians on earth. Always have been.
They hate American Biblical Fundamentalists, btw.
Shouldn't the ADL be concentrating on protecting the "rights" of homosexuals in Texas or something?
One it's not anti-semitic. It makes a political point, and I think an even deeper religious one about Christ. Two, what does this guy care about a nativity scene? His faith doesn't believe in Christ so why should he care what's in it or not? Are we now to take the depiction of any wall as anti-semitic?
“Palestinian Christians think Israel is more of an enemy than Islam?
Where have you been? “Palestinian” chr*stians are the most anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, pro-PLO, and pro-moslem chr*stians on earth. Always have been.
They hate American Biblical Fundamentalists, btw.”
You obviously know different “Palestinian” Christians than I do.
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