Guardian contributor David Wearing’s Twitter pic: The Israeli Grinch who steals Christmas

In a post on Dec. 23 titled “How the Jews steal Christmas: Ugly Guardian story evokes Jesus as an oppressed Palestinian“, I commented on Phoebe Greenwood’s story titled “If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed“, which included this quote:

If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed,” says the priest of Bethlehem’s Beit Jala parish. “He would either have to be born at a checkpoint or at the separation wall. Mary and Joseph would have needed Israeli permission – or to have been tourists.

Greenwood’s story on the Jewish Grinch which stole Christmas ended thusly:

“The little town of Bethlehem? It will soon be the little ghetto surrounded in all directions by Israeli settlements,” he predicts. “We’ve already passed the stage where Bethlehem can be saved. Frankly, that’s why I don’t celebrate Christmas any more.”

The following cartoon – certainly in the spirit of Greenwood’s report – was posted on the Twitter page of  ‘Comment is Free’ commentator David Wearing on Christmas day:

As NGO Monitor (NGOM) noted about the cartoon Wearing posted (which illustrated a Christmas card distributed by the NGO War on Want):

This Christmas card shows Joseph and a heavily pregnant Mary encountering a Bethlehem that is “effectively sealed off from the outside world by Israel’s Separation Wall” and “Mary and Joseph being frisked on their way to find an Inn for the night.” Linking the suffering of Palestinians with that of Jesus and Bethlehem is a common strategy for emphasizing accusations of Israeli brutality.

NGOM president Gerald Steinberg added:

Linking the suffering of Palestinians to Christian themes revives traditional and deep-seated antisemitic theology…

As I observed in my previous post, the broader narrative advanced by Greenwood (and implied by Wearing’s Twitter pic) that Israel is inhospitable to Christians is belied by the fact that the only place in the Middle East where the Christian population has grown since the end of WWII is Israel.

But, of course, for Guardian contributors such as Wearing – who previously complained of a “huge propaganda campaign whitewashing Israeli crimes” – such dry, empirical data demonstrating Israel’s regional advantage in the rights afforded to religious minorities is never a barrier to advancing malign narratives about the Jewish state. 

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