Christmas in Israel: A Timeless Landscape Marred by Modern Strife

Unveiling the Paradox: Over 2000 Years Later, War and Peace Coexist in Bethlehem’s Shadows

A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames

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In Jerusalem, Santa rides a camel instead of a sled pulled by reindeer. (Photo: Middle East Eye/Twitter)

In the timeless landscapes of Palestine, where echoes of ancient history reverberate through the millennia, the poignant reality persists — the specter of war and violence continues to cast a long shadow, even during the sacred season of Christmas. More than 2,000 years have passed since the echoes of angelic hymns supposedly graced the skies over Bethlehem, yet the region remains ensnared in a seemingly unending cycle of conflict.

Christmas in Israel, particularly in the historically significant areas such as Bethlehem, should be a time of peace, reflection, and celebration. The harsh truth of reality is that the echoes of joyous tidings often compete with the dissonance of geopolitical strife. The nativity scenes, adorned with symbolism of hope and renewal, stand juxtaposed against the stark backdrop of barriers, checkpoints, and the ever-present tension that characterizes the region.

In the tumultuous narrative of the Gaza Strip, there exists a somber chapter often shrouded in secrecy — the plight of Christians residing in this embattled region. Amidst the echoes of geopolitical conflicts and humanitarian crises, the dwindling community of Christians in the Gaza Strip bears witness to a quiet exodus that the media, for reasons not easily discerned, has frequently sidestepped.

In the shadows of the relentless coverage on political unrest, the struggles of the Christian minority have become a silent casualty. Once a vibrant and integral part of the social fabric, their numbers have markedly diminished over the years. The diminishing presence of Christians in the Gaza Strip is a poignant tale, often overlooked by a media landscape fixated on more conspicuous narratives.

Historically, the Christian community in the Gaza Strip has roots tracing back centuries. The number of Christians in Gaza though, has dwindled in recent years. Today there are only approximately 1,000 left, a sharp drop from the 3,000 registered in 2007, when Hamas assumed complete control over the enclave.

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A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames

ElbyJames is an American disabled combat vet exiled in the UK & a free speech absolutist. He’s an occasional Top Writer