No mention of course, of the reason for that checkpoint or "towering concrete wall"; talk of over a thousand people blown to pieces in Palestinian terror attacks would clearly spoil the Christmas cheer."We ask the baby of Bethlehem to give us the peace we really need, peace in all the countries of the Middle East. We demand peace in the Holy Land," said Latin Patriarch Fuad al-Tuwal.
The church leader, whose entourage included a man dressed as Santa Claus riding in a jeep, had arrived from Jerusalem earlier after crossing into Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, via an Israeli checkpoint through a towering concrete wall.
But it is when Reuters correspondents cherry-pick their interviewees, that the shiny wrap truly comes off the agency's gift for deception:
"Obviously it's very special to be at this place where Jesus was born, as part of a tradition of the Christian church," said Ted Settle, an American pilgrim.
So, who is Ted Settle, an "American pilgrim" who finds it very special to be in Bethlehem with "the people of Palestine"?"It's very meaningful to be here with the people of Palestine who have endured so much hardship, to be here where Jesus was raised and taught about justice and peace."
Well, Reuters won't tell you this but Ted is a sanctimonious and rabid Israel-hating activist who supports the destruction of the country via terrorism, boycotts, sanctions and divestment:
During the days of Monday and Tuesday, conference attendees participated in excursions that gave a fuller exposure to the oppressive and illegal “facts on the ground” of the occupation: visits to areas of Bethlehem (one of the facts on the ground constantly imposing its stark presence on the people of Bethlehem and Beit Sahour is the illegal settlement of Har Homa, with its fortress-like high rise condominiums sitting on the top of and extending down the once forested hilltop the Palestinians call Jabal Abu Ghmein) and Hebron on Monday (where a population of less than 500 illegal settlers and close to 2,000 Israeli Occupation Forces control the lives of over 160,000 Palestinians living in and around Hebron); and on Tuesday, to Jerusalem, including East Jerusalem where the Palestinians and their homes in the Silwan valley are under siege by settlers and the Israeli government [...]
And lest you believe it a coincidence that Reuters features remarks from someone with this type of background under the guise of a random interview, it's not the first time we've caught them doing so.The next day, after a full description of the current Palestinian political scene by Hind Khoury, former Palestinian ambassador to France, we broke out into small groups to discuss and come up with recommendations on six topics:1. Theological Justification for our encounter and its concerns.2. Pilgrimages – Come, See and Be with the people of Palestine3. Prophetic Anger/ God of Now4. Church – more than words5. Resistance and Solidarity6. Creative Resistance – BDS