Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ahem. Bethlehem. In chains

Thanksgiving is here, so now it's officially the season to flog Christmas gear. One farsighted activist suggests that the traditional olive wood nativity scenes carved in Bethlehem would sell faster if they were postmodern hyper-realistic models, with the creche surrounded by checkpoints and a nasty concrete wall that replicates the real one, daubed with miniature graffiti. The slogan, without a trace of irony, reads "Bethlehem. Go in Peace."

She has a point. The celebrated birthplace of Jesus suffers from the wall's intrusion, and a row of gnarled ancient olive trunks, which were uprooted during its construction, now are padlocked in the city centre to stop thieves from hauling away the valuable wood. This seems sadly emblematic of what the little town has come to represent. Growth is nearly impossible and the future seems locked away.

To read Chris Hedges sound off again about this political monstrosity click here.

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