Dagbladet is back in good old form and also takes advantage of the Christmas spirit to heap anti-Semitic myth upon anti-Semitic myth on the bonfire of hatred which has been kindled in Norway. Mr. Smilden’s rant is also fairly lacking in balance and even facts, but I am sure he does not care about that, all he wanted for Christmas was to bash da Joooos:
For Palestinians this Christmas only means that they will lose even more land.
The Christmas gospel still has great significance for many, writes Jan-Erik Smilden.
Sunday 23 December 2012 kl.21: 33
Had Joseph and the heavily pregnant Virgin Mary come to Bethlehem today, as jews they would not have encountered any
difficulties in finding a place to stay, at least not in the immediate surrounding area. Had they waited a few years, they could have chosen freely – in light of the increased rate of development of new Jewish settlements Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now begun.
Had they been Palestinians however,, they would have encountered problems and as a result, birth complications would have occurred and they would have had to go to Jerusalem, to the Palestinian hospital, but they would in all probability have been stopped at an Israeli checkpoint and been refused entry.
Therefore the Jesus child could have died, like so many Palestinian children are dying because ambulances, private cars or taxis with seriously ill Palestinian women in labor are refused entry. Or Mary would have had to – like many Palestinian mothers – had to give birth at the checkpoint or in the ditch. Then, Christmas carols would have told other stories than the one about a manger and a stable.
“Clip, clip, clip” said the woman in a famous Norwegian folktale.
“Build, build, build,” Netanyahu says, and a large majority of the politicians support him. If there had been a tradition to cut a ribbon each time a new settlement, or when further development of an established settlement would have been completed, then the eager scissor of the woman in the folktale would have amounted to nothing more than a modest pruning.
The worst thing is that this settlement activity takes place on occupied land, contrary to international law, and it deprives the Palestinians of square meters of land for houses and olive trees – day by day. After the UN General Assembly gave Palestine’s status as an observer state in the UN 29 November it has been especially bad. Now the Israelis retaliate against the Palestinians for demanding their rights.
It began early in December when Netanyahu announced that an area called E1, after several years on hold, should be incorporated into the Israeli development plans. E1 is a desert area of about 12 square kilometers and is mostly inhabited by some Bedouins. But
it is located between Jerusalem and the illegal Israeli settlement Ma’ale Adumim which now houses around 40,000 Jews in occupied range.
To be sure, the E1 is within the municipal borders of Ma’ale Adumim, so the Israelis are sure to not have to give the site away – if in some miraculous way would be peace between Israelis and Palestinians. However, The west Bank has now effectively been divided into two. When someone talks about a possible three state solution with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as a single part, Israel as another and the West Bank as a third, one might introduce the concept of four state solution.
Up to 3400 units have been planned in the E1 area. In addition, the Israeli government last week authorized the construction of another 1,500 new housing units in Palestinian East Jerusalem, an area annexed by Israel, but still occupied by international law. As if that were not enough: The other day Prime Minister Netanyahu gave the final go-ahead to build 2612 housing units in Givat Hamatos area, located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, but outside the Israeli border of 1967.
When the expansion is complete, Bethlehem, in reality, will be completely cut off from Jerusalem. So now the Israelis wont have to deal with yet another problem of the bothersome Palestinians.
Earlier this week the UN General Assembly denounced the new development decisions by 196 votes to six, which is the full show how isolated the Israelis are now international. After the Hamatos decision, European diplomats expressed that this would change the game on a peace and be the final nail in the coffin for those who still hope that East Jerusalem sometime in the future could be Palestine’s capital.
AND IT IS NOT SO well in Bethlehem area either. The so-called security wall that the Israelis have set up in the West Bank,
has taken ten percent of the area. The little town of Beit Sahur where angels reportedly announced the birth of Jesus, has shrunk by 17 percent since the Israeli occupation in 1967.
On Christmas Eve, we can thus conclude that the two biblical sites Jerusalem and Bethlehem are about to be completely separate. But that is not what the Israelis authorities try to convey to you. At the checkpoint to Bethlehem the Israeli Ministry of Tourism has put up a sign that reads, “Peace be with you.”
Peace for whom?
At least not for the Palestinians. And even if the U.S. and other governments now harden wording know Netanyahu and his ilk know that they just can continue as before.
Next Christmas, the Palestinian territories will certainly shrunk further, and the Christmas story
have lost even more of its meaning – at least if we are to see it as a conciliatory element in a turbulent world.