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Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity
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British NGOs use Christmas for anti-Israel attacks
Religious symbols used by several UK groups to criticize security barrier, malign Israel, NGO watchdog says

Several British NGOs are manipulating Christmas and its religious symbols, in order to promote an anti-Israel political agenda, Jerusalem-based watchdog NGO Monitor revealed in a new report.

 

Prominent groups, such as War on Want and Christian Aid have exploited holiday sentiment through highly politicized Christmas cards, carols and charity fundraising, to condemn Israeli responses to terror in a distinctly unbalanced manner, the group noted. 

  

In November, an 'alternative carol service' was held at the prominent Anglican St James church in Piccadilly, London. The event was strongly condemned by Christian and Jewish community leaders, as traditional lyrics were crudely altered to bluntly make a political statement.

 

Alternative lyrics for the "Twelve Days of Christmas" included: "Twelve assassinations, Eleven homes demolished, Ten wells obstructed, Nine sniper towers…And an uprooted olive tree." Numerous NGOs participated in the event, at which War on Want was an official supporter.

 

Both War on Want and a group called the Amos Trust are marketing Christmas cards highly critical of the security barrier, which promote a dangerous association between Jesus and Palestinian suffering, NGO monitor wrote.

 

A War on Want card shows Mary and Joseph 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."

 

Amos Trust advertised similar cards, NGO monitor reported, and encouraged the public to use their "Wall Nativity" scene which comes with a prayer guide and "complete with separation wall (that) depicts the current situation in Bethlehem."

 

Earlier in December, major British NGO Christian Aid, hosted a fundraiser called "From Bethlehem to Bristol." The keynote speaker was Nader Abu Amsha, director of the YMCA in Shepherd's Field (Beit Sahour) near Bethlehem.

 

In an interview given on the day of the event, Abu Amsha accused Israel of "committing crimes...against humanity" and dismissed Israel's security concerns. Christian Aid's regional partners include some of the most radical NGOs involved in the conflict - Sabeel, ICAHD, and the Alternative Information Center.

 

These highly politicized NGO activities have failed to address the complexity of Israel's security situation while totally ignoring the targeting of Christians by Muslim extremists and Palestinian terror, NGO monitor said.

 

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