My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The truth about Bethlehem....

You might have seen many stories in the press about how the Israeli security fence is harming tourism in Bethlehem. Well, here is the Boston Globe's take on the situation.
A resurgent crowd of pilgrims and foreign tourists flocked to the traditional birthplace of Jesus to celebrate Christmas this weekend, braving whipping rain and near-freezing temperatures.

The thousands of visitors brought a boost to Bethlehem's fragile tourist economy, still barely recovered after more than four years of fighting, and at least partly assuaged Palestinian worries that a new Israeli barrier of concrete blast walls and wire fences around Bethlehem would chill the tourist trade.

"I have to be honest. There are many tourists," said Adnan al-Korna, the proprietor of King Solomon Bazaar, a shop packed floor to ceiling with carved olivewood Nativity scenes, pottery, and religious souvenirs.

It was 1:30 a.m. yesterday, after the Christmas Eve midnight Mass, and Korna was trying but failing to sound upset about the condition of the tourist trade in Bethlehem as a result of the security barrier and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A busload of American tourists was bargaining over icons and carved camels.

''Please, if you'll excuse me, this is my time to make some business," Korna said, reluctantly ending an interview to serve wine and mint tea to the shopping pilgrims.

The estimated 30,000 pilgrims and tourists who came to Bethlehem this Christmas weekend was the highest number since 2000, reflecting an increase in tourism during a period of relative quiet this year.


Anonymous cary said...

Well said; any time the world press can put down Israel seems to be the norm; thanks for pointing out the truth

12:26 AM  

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