Guardian contributor Rachel Shabi HEARTS Israel Shamir

H/T Harry’s Place

Guardian contributor Rachel Shabi, frequent and vociferous critic of the Jewish state (See CW posts here, here and here) also just happens to be Facebook friends with notorious anti-Semite, Israel Shamir. (Shamir, its worth noting, is also FB friends with Norman Finkelstein, Lauren Booth, Philip Weiss, and Ken O’Keefe.)

Just to be clear about what a prolific anti-Semite Shamir is, here are a few highlights.

  • He’s said: “It’s every Muslim and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust.”
  • He’s described Jews as “virus in human form.”
  • He’s endorsed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
  • He’s Stated: Palestine is not the ultimate goal of the Jews; The world is. Palestine is just the place for the world state headquarters.”

It kind of puts everything she’s written about Israel in perspective doesn’t it?

The surrender of Joseph Harker

It would be tempting to accuse the Guardian’s assistant comments editor, Joseph Harker, of lacking the fortitude necessary to resist a radical ideology which openly seeks the West’s destruction, but the facts don’t really support such an attack.

The reason I couldn’t, in good faith, make such an accusation against Mr. Harker, based on his CiF column “Beware of the bearded white man“, is because to accuse him of surrendering to such reactionary forces would imply that he comprehended the threats posed by radical Islam and simply didn’t possess the strength to resist.

However, you can’t accuse someone of giving in to an enemy he or she doesn’t believe exists in the first place.

Harker’s piece, brimming with ugly racial undertones, mocks the efforts by British law enforcement to combat the myriad of active terrorist threats by Islamist cells operating within their borders, and vilifies those who expect moderate Muslims to denounce and distance themselves from such extremism practiced in their name.

Harker says:

Since I heard the news last week I’ve been terrified. Could it be him? Could it be her? Every time I get on the train or bus. Every time I go into a shop. There they are. Looking so ordinary – but are they about to blow themselves up, taking all us innocent passersby with them?

Yes, since the news emerged that two white British al-Qaida members had been killed in a US drone attack, I can’t help wondering if all white people are potential terrorists. I’m sure only a small minority are actively signed up to the jihadists; but what about the others? Are they sympathisers?…That young white man opposite me with the rucksack: what’s in there? Please, don’t make any sudden movements….Some look blatantly sinister, especially those with beards. The others: well, you just don’t know if they’re simply trying to blend in.

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John Whitbeck, CiF columnist and 9/11 truther, reveals his vision for mankind: A world without Zionism

H/T Armaros

In our previous post, CiF legitimizes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, again, Israelinurse adeptly exposed CiF columnist John Whitbeck’s crude rhetorical assault on Israel and his thinly veiled attack on the organized Jewish community.

However, Whitbeck was actually quite restrained in his CiF piece, compared to his previous commentary.  For starters, Whitbeck is a confirmed 9/11 truther, who has stated:

After reading David Ray Griffin’s previous books on the subject, I was over 90% convinced that 9/11 was an inside job. Now, after reading Debunking 9/11 Debunking, I am, I regret to say, 100% convinced.

It’s his thoughts on Israel, however, per his recent column at Comment is Free, where his past essays are of especial relevance.

In “Zionism: An anti-Semites Dream (A tragically bad and unsustainable idea)(Counterpunch, Oct. 19, 2009), Whitbeck, in a slightly more refined version of Helen Thomas’s screed that “Jews should get the hell out of Palestine and go back to Poland and Germany,” launches into an utterly vicious assault on Israel.

In a chilling passage – 0ne which would be more fitting in an Islamist or right-wing extremist propaganda organ, (but which hauntingly mirrors his Dec 29 CiF piece) – Whitbeck says the following:

Western governments…rather than feeding justice, human decency and international law into a shredder through blind subservience to a racial-supremicist, settler-colonial experiment (and thereby earning themselves the hatred of much of mankind), be opening their doors wide to any and all Israeli Jews who might be tempted to build a new and better life for themselves and their children, with less injustice and less insecurity, by returning to their countries of origin…”

Whitbeck’s wish that Jews should leave the “racial-supremacist, settler-colonial experiment” of Israel is followed by this:

[Such an exodus would provide] recognition that Zionism, like certain other prominent 20th century “isms” which once captured the imaginations of millions, was a tragically bad idea — not simply for those innocents caught and trampled in its path but also for those who embraced it — which is unsustainable, which does not deserve to be sustained and which has already caused (and, if perpetuated, will continue to cause) profound problems for the Western world…

Whitbeck lays out the obstacles to such a scenario.  He says that, in order for such a utopia to occur:

[Western politicians will have to resist] a few wealthy and powerful Zionists, most of whom live comfortably and safely far from the Middle East.

But, don’t fret. Whitbeck ends his utopian fantasy, of world free of Zionism, by laying out how to overcome such powerful and wealthy Jews:

civil society will have to take the lead in delegitimizing Zionism and pointing the way toward a better future for all concerned — and, like it or not, everyone on this planet is concerned.

Better yet, John, who needs civil society to morally delegitimize Israel when you (and so many other of your fellow travelers) are continually provided a platform to advance this urgent cause by the Guardian?

(Updated) UK comedian’s observations in the Guardian reveal more than his style of humor

H/T Pretzelberg

Imagine you’re a comedian, and you want to tell a political joke.  But, as politics is such a sensitive topic, you want to take care not to alienate your fans.  What do you do? Well, you’ll likely decide to use, as the object of your mockery, a safe target – someone beyond the pale, like a totalitarian dictator or egotistical tyrant. Kim Jong-il,  Omar al-Bashir, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad come to mind.

The Guardian’s Culture Guide, on Dec. 18, which contained celebrity end-of-year lists, included this one, on “Reasons to be cheerful” by British comedian Mark Steel, who wrote his as a poem.  The last zinger included this gem:

A single malt’s aroma,
An ‘Mmm donuts’ from Homer,
Ariel Sharon still in a coma

It’s quite interesting that, of all the despots, dictators, and madmen he could have employed in the service of his humorous observations, he chose to mock the comatose former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon.

The joke is more than tasteless.  It speaks volumes about the prejudices of Guardian readers – about which, Mark Steel was clearly very much aware.


My thanks to a reader who linked to an article Steel wrote on his website, in which he referred to Israel as, “a nation which acts with such contempt for humanity.”  Steele’s humor at Ariel Sharon’s expense was clearly not a fluke.

CiF legitimizes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, again

Take a look at the article entitled “On Palestine, the US is a rogue state” by John Whitbeck which was published on CiF on December 29th.

Now see this article entitled “Palestinian Statehood: Quality as Well as Quantity” by house contributor John Whitbeck from the Palestine Chronicle of December 22nd.

Spot the difference? No, neither can I. The Guardian has merely recycled Whitbeck’s article from a website known for its virulent anti-Zionism. Although the Palestine Chronicle claims that its writers do not “champion any specific political agenda”, according to Honest Reporting:

“It’s honorary editorial board includes Hanan Ashrawi and Noam Chomsky and writers and contributors include a number of known anti-Israel activists such as Neve Gordon and the anti-Semitic Gilad Atzmon.”

So despite the well-known and documented insistence that it is “fair and balanced”, CiF has now resorted to simply regurgitating propaganda from a virulently anti-Israel Palestinian-run website.

As for Mr. Whitbeck himself, well his years spent in Jeddah appear to have infected him with that peculiar local ability to perceive Zionist tentacles round every corner.

“The US, subservient to Israel, stands out”

“Western politicians and the western media customarily apply the term “international community” to the United States and whatever countries are willing to publicly support it on a given issue, and apply the term “rogue state” to any country that actively resists Israeli-American global domination.”

By its slavish subservience to Israel – as reflected yet again, both in the absence of a single brave voice raised against this new House resolution and in the Obama administration’s recently rejected offer of a huge military and diplomatic bribe to Israel in reward for a mere 90-day suspension of its illegal colonisation programme – the United States has effectively excluded itself from the true international community (redefined to refer to the great majority of mankind) and become a true rogue state, acting in consistent and flagrant contempt of both international law and fundamental human rights.”

(My emphasis)

The fact that Whitbeck, suspended from practicing law for four years in 2001 – due to his involvement in money laundering for a boss who was named in a French parliamentary report from 2002 as connected to the financial networks of Al Qaida – is lecturing readers of “the world’s leading liberal voice” on issues of right and wrong is mind-boggling in itself.

That CiF continues to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories (Jewish power controlling American foreign policy) is simply reprehensible.

Times must be very hard if the Guardian has to stoop so low.

The Cesspool’s Avatars: Guardian commenter profile contains explicit anti-Semitism

H/T Pretzelberg

Someone who goes by the name of “M U Haq”, who comments under “myshout,” commented in today’s hateful anti-Zionst (and anti-American) piece by John Whitbeck, On Palestine, the US is a rogue state.”  Though his comment was deleted, apparently “myshout” has been commenting since at least 2008.

“myshout” describes himself on his Guardian profile page:

“I am an active and healthy pensioner reving [sic] to reach out to expose the colonial occupations through the international interventions by the world powers and Jews world order...and supporting any resistance to get back what was theirs.”

So, on the pages of the Guardian sits a reader profile which calls for “resistance” against “Jews world order.”

It is important to note that other commenters have been banned from the Guardian for engaging in rhetoric that wasn’t hateful or bigoted.

The profile has been reported as abuse but to no avail.

However, whether it’s deleted or not, it’s no small matter to note the company the Guardian keeps.  Our blog continues to expose this dangerous dynamic whereby the Guardian, a “liberal” mainstream widely read publication, gives license to those whose views would normally have been on the fringes of society.   But, no longer. To paraphrase Lee Smith, in his revealing look at anti-Semitic comments tolerated by mainstream blogs in the U.S., the Guardian has become “the cesspool’s avatars.”

The historical inventions of CiF Belief columnist Scott Atran

The following is a guest post by By Elliott A. Green

(Green’s post is a response to an essay in the Belief section of CiF, 0n Nov. 29, by Scott Atran, titled: The Taliban’s Expat Jihadists. Among the many extraordinary claims made by Atran – in an essay which attempts to downplay and rationalize Taliban Islamic extremism – was was his allegation that “[ancient] Jewish partisans carried out suicide attacks to incite Roman retaliation against the civilian population and so increase popular support for the rebels’ cause.”)

The name “partisan”, which probably stems from the resistance of the Parthian people to Roman occupation 2,100 years ago, was first systematically applied to Jewish zealots and other “terrorists” just after the time of Jesus. Jewish partisans carried out suicide attacks to incite Roman retaliation against the civilian population and so increase popular support for the rebels’ cause. – Scott Atran

They say that paper is the most tolerant thing in the world; it will bear anything, including Scott Atran’s inventions. If Atran’s references to ancient history have no grounds and no weight, then what he writes about contemporary events concerning Israel should be seen as having similar unreliability. And the publication where he writes such fanciful tales ought to be likewise seen as unreliable.

To start with the word “partisan.” He claims that it comes from alleged ancient Parthian “resistance.” The respected Random House American College Dictionary tells us that the word means “an adherent or supporter of a person, party or cause,” or “a member of a party of light or irregular troops…,” and that it came into English from French and into French from the Italian partigiano. The  French Dictionnaire Pratique du Francais (Hachette 1987) agrees on the origin, while the French Le Petit Larousse does not indicate an origin but adds the meaning: “A voluntary combatant. . . fighting for a national, political or religious ideal.” Finally, Il Grande Italiano 2008 (Hoepli) basically concurs on the meanings, while telling us that partigiano comes from the word “parte” (= side, faction or party, as in a soccer match or lawsuit, among other meanings). No mention of Parthians.

Be that as it may, were the Parthians an oppressed people fighting colonial occupiers? Hardly. They were a dynasty of rulers emerging from what is now northern Iran. Most importantly, they were imperial rivals of Rome with which they fought several wars.

There was a competition between empires, not a struggle for self-determination or liberty on the part of Parthians.

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Update: Pro-Iran Ad by HSBC removed

H/T Ysrael Medad

Here’s a follow-up to our recent post regarding this reprehensible HSBC Ad – inferring that women have greater opportunities in Iran than in the United States:

Per Ysrael Medad, HSBC recently stated:

“Given the clear level of offense that this advertisement has caused the decision has been taken to remove it from our global campaign.”

No word yet on other HSBC ad campaigns in the works: Perhaps a campaign focusing on the remarkable job opportunities available to Iran’s Bahais and Jews at the Islamic Revolutionary Court?

“Octomom” and the Palestinian Right of Return

A guest post by AKUS

On Dec. 26, the Washington Post reported: ‘Octomom’ faces eviction from Southern Calif. home.

For those not familiar with the “Octomom”, the reference is to Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman, a woman who already had six children when, unmarried, she underwent artificial insemination and eventually gave birth to eight new children. She has faded off the celebrity circuit of late, but the thought of a woman with fourteen children losing her home, apparently in the US housing melt-down, piqued my interest.

Briefly, the story is a little different than one might initially imagine. It turns out that, according to the WP article, “Her father [Ed Doud] purchased the home for $565,000, including a $130,000 down payment.” However, according to the WP, the man who sold her father the house, Amer Haddadin, “said he’ll evict Suleman if she and her lawyer Jeff Czech don’t pay the balance on the house by Friday. A balloon payment was due Oct. 9”.

Here is a picture of the house:

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245 Guardian readers tell Jews to “shut up” about Iranian anti-Semitism

The response to Meir Javedanfar’s CiF piece, “Iranian government stirs up antisemitism with invented mass” demonstrates that hostility towards Israel by Guardian readers – so accustomed to having their prejudices about Jews and Israel affirmed – is so ingrained that even the most uncontroversial commentary condemning state-sponsored anti-Semitic incitement in Iran is met with hostility.

The contempt and mockery in the comment simply oozes out of the text.

Moreover, this  intellectual tick – whereby merely condemning the virulent anti-Semitism of the Holocaust denying regime in Tehran makes one a Neocon, “Likudnick”, and/or war-monger – is as predictable as it is insidious, and has become one of the defining features of the Guardian hard left.

UPDATE: Sometime after this was posted, the comment by sidster was removed by a moderator.

Thanks to everyone who reported it as abuse.

How many governments on your national border openly seek your country’s annihilation?

If your answer is “None”, then:

  • You’re not a citizen of Israel
  • You’re more likely to view the Israel section of the Guardian as serious reading

Muhammad Deif, the commander of Hamas’ military wing, said, on Christmas Day, that the Palestinians will not give up their struggle until Israel ceases to exist.

Meanwhile, a collective yawn was heard emanating from the offices of the Guardian.

The Guardian’s Simon Tisdall feels Omar al-Bashir’s pain

Omar al-Bashir

Simon Tisdall, assistant editor of the Guardian, in his apologia for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (“Omar al-Bashir is no bogeyman”, The Guardian, Dec. 27 ), reached new depths of moral equivalence; showed himself, and the paper he represents, to be deeply, and irretrievably, embedded in the ideological abyss of post-Colonialism, Western guilt, and anti-Americanism.


The following passage by Tisdall should be used in textbooks as an example of how even the most ludicrous charges of racism against the United States hold weight among the hard left intelligentsia.

Bashing Omar al-Bashir is a popular pastime in progressive circles, not least in the conscience-flaunting milieus favoured by actor George Clooney and other celebrity campaigners. Sudan’s president, demonised by the UN over Darfur, pre-judged by the international criminal court’s chief prosecutor and ostracised by western governments, makes an easy target. America always needs bogeymen and Bashir fits the bill: big, bothersome, bad-tempered, black, Arab and Muslim.

Later, summing up al-Bashir’s actions, Tisdall drops this jaw dropping line:

Bashir, so far, is behaving reasonably well.

Al-Bashir, the first sitting head of state ever charged with genocide, was accused of being criminally responsible for:

“intentionally directing attacks [by the government backed Arab Janjaweed milita] against an important part of the [tribal black] civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians and pillaging their property”.

The violence in Darfur, the charges state, was the result of a common plan organized at the highest level of the Sudanese government.

Up to 400,000 people were killed as the result of Bashir’s actions, and millions have become refugees.

It takes a lot of ideological conditioning to truly believe that the U.S. government wakes up in the morning looking for a black man, or Muslim, to demonize, and that American policy in Sudan is indeed driven by such racism.

John Prendergast, director of African Affairs at the National Security Council for the Clinton White House, said:

“…these tribal blacks have been subjected to one of the most brutal campaigns of ethnic cleansing that Africa has ever seen.

The Janjaweed are like a grotesque mixture of the mafia and the Ku Klux Klan…These guys have a racist ideology that sees the Arab population as the supreme population that would like to see the subjugation of non-Arab peoples.”

Though this blog is concerned with anti-Semitism (and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy) at the Guardian, and their blog, Comment is Free, Simon Tisdall’s apologia for the man responsible for the most hideous crime in Africa’s history – under the banner of anti-racism! – should serve to put in perspective his paper’s continuing vitriol against the Jewish state.

The newspaper which aims to become the world’s leading liberal voice shows itself, time and again, to be viscerally hostile to a democracy under siege in a region dominated by despots, yet has a soft spot for genocidal tyrants.

Something is profoundly wrong if the Guardian’s fellow political travelers can’t find the courage to call such moral blindness for what it is – a tragic and dangerous distortion of everything it ever meant to be called a progressive.

This is 85-year-old Abu Hamid Omar. Not only was he burned and branded in an attack by the Janjaweed and Sudanese Government forces, but his village was burned to the ground. Abu Hamid Omar was the ONLY villager to survive the assault.

A Guardian Christmas tale of Christian Pilgrims, Bethlehem, the Church of the Nativity (and exploitative Jews)

Even in the U.S., by any standard the most tolerant country towards Jews in the diaspora, it still isn’t uncommon to hear someone being accused of trying to “Jew someone down” – which means, of course, the unseemly effort to get a merchant to lower his price.   I was once in the company of a woman who casually referred to a building in our city which had just burned down as the result of a “Jewish” fire – referring to speculation that the owner set the fire to collect insurance money.

Indeed, bigoted accusations that Jews are cheap, greedy, and materialistic have proven to have – much like the broader phenomenon of anti-Semitism around the world – remarkable staying power.

The myth of Jewish greed dates back at least to the New Testament story of Jesus forcing the Jewish money changers out of the Temple. Teachings concerning Jews as greedy subsequently took hold throughout the Christian world. In the Middle Ages, some Jews became moneylenders — in part because the Church had forbidden Christians from practicing usury (lending money at interest). Usury was condemned as a sin, but since Jews were not subject to Christian law, both the Church and the State appointed Jews as moneylenders and tax collectors.

More recently, many people believe that wealthy Jews get ahead due to cheapness, greed, materialism, unethical business practices, or their “natural skill with money” rather than through a commitment to education and hard work.

One of the more recent Israel contributors to the Guardian is Ana Carbajosa – who writes for the Spanish Daily, El Pais – the most widely read paper in Spain.

As Akus has demonstrated, as well as Eamonn McDonagh, Carbajosa’s anti-Israel views are quite clear.

However, a closer look at Carbajosa reveals a writer operating in a professional and national culture where outright anti-Semitism thrives.

As ADL reported, the mainstream media in Spain engages in vicious and repeated anti-Semitism.

In 2009, Carbajosa’s paper, El Pais, published a blatantly antisemitic cartoon accusing Jews of using their financial power to enable Israel to “violate…all human and international laws.” (El País published yet another anti-Semitic cartoon the same year by Romeu, this time likening Israel to the Nazis by equating Gaza with the Warsaw Ghetto.)

Further, based on polling data compiled on anti-Semitic attitudes in European countries by the ADL in 2009, Spain had the highest percentage of respondents agree with the statement that “Jews have too much power in international financial markets”, with a staggering 74% agreeing.

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“Bah!” said the Guardian’s Ana Carbajosa, “Humbug!”

“Christmas a humbug, uncle!” said Scrooge’s nephew. “You don’t mean that, I am sure?”

“I do,” said Scrooge. “Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.”

(‘A Christmas Carol’ – Charles Dickens, 1843)

With Harriet Sherwood apparently otherwise engaged, the Guardian’s coverage of Israel during the Christian festive season has been placed in the hands of Ana Carbajosa. Not quite full of the spirit of seasonal goodwill, Carbajosa has so far managed to make flimsy analogies on CiF between biblical shepherds and contemporary sheep farmers and in the Boxing Day edition of the Observer, profile the tourist industry in Bethlehem.

In order for Guardian readers to be able to enjoy their mince pies and brandy butter with a clear conscience, secure in the knowledge that despite their own comforts, they remain befittingly concerned about the lot of others less fortunate than themselves, Carbajosa makes sure that her readers know all about various Palestinian misfortunes, and of course, who is to blame for them. Her answer to the question of culpability is as inevitable as the annual re-runs of sugary Hollywood blockbusters on Christmas afternoon TV.

Of course more than at any other time of the year Christmas is a season of tradition. People crave the known and the familiar – no matter how predictable – and that includes over-cooked Brussel sprouts and Auntie Hilda having a bit too much Irish Cream liqueur and snoring in front of something starring Julia Roberts or Hugh Grant.  Even so, how refreshing it would have been if Carbajosa had forgone the usual stereotypes and clichés and actually tried to inform her readers as to why tourism to Bethlehem took a bit of a nose dive in recent years.

“But not so long ago Bethlehem was a city under curfew, where only Israeli soldiers and armed Palestinian militants dared take to the streets. Where only humanitarian workers and the most committed pilgrims had the courage to venture.”

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Of Sheep, Kibbutz, Xmas and Spies in New Zealand

A Guest Post by AKUS

Many years ago, shortly after I joined my kibbutz, a raging feud broke out over the future of the kibbutz’s sheep “department “or “branch” – the “dir”, as it was known. The manager of the “dir” – let’s call him Yossie – had invested a large part of his life in building up this flock of about 50 or so sheep, and was convinced that he could maintain it as a profitable branch of the kibbutz. The main produce of the “dir” was sheep’s milk, plus the annual wool that was sheared, and, no doubt, some meat from the more superannuated members of the flock.

Yossie’s enthusiasm for his branch was not shared by many other members. Sheep tend to need grazing space, and there were more profitable uses of the kibbutz’s limited land. Milking sheep was hard work, done at miserable hours of the early morning, and it was hard to get kibbutz members to work in the “dir”. The price for sheep’s milk was going down – this was in the days before the PC crowd got going and would pay higher prices for sheep’s milk. The smell was awful – if you are at all familiar with the smell of a dairy farm, add-on that that a sort of sickly smell that seemed to be part and parcel of the “dir”, which would cling relentlessly to the bodies of those who worked there.

There were also dark accusations that the head of the dairy branch was trying to get the sheep milkers to join his group to milk in the growing and more profitable dairy business, and was undermining Yossie’s business.

The reality was, of course, that raising a small flock of sheep in an arid country like Israel is simply not a profitable business. It can be a hobby for those who want to make cheese from sheep (and goat’s) milk, but there is no comparison with the sheer volume of milk and the automation possible when dealing with a well-run dairy herd. The “dir” was closed down. Yossie, to this day, has never forgiven the kibbutz and reconciled himself to the economics of raising sheep.

This week we were treated to the presumably heartrending story of how the Israeli occupation of the West bank has ruined the sheep herding business there. Ana Carbajosa reports that In Bethlehem, shepherds watching their flocks by night are a dying breed. Just as my friend Yossie found out, “Adel Alsir, a 35-year-old Palestinian who herds his flock less than 100 metres from a biblical site known as the shepherds’ fields” has discovered that raising sheep in the Middle East 2,000 years after Jesus is not one of the great and growing businesses in the world economy.  Just as Yossie blamed the manager of the dairy herd for his troubles, the ever eager subeditors rushed to add a typical Guardian sub-header, pointing the finger for Adel’s troubles at Israel: “Jewish settlements, Israeli army checkpoints, closed military zones and the separation wall make them an increasing rarity”.

The story is accompanied with a picture conveniently provided by an Arab photographer that has important elements that are meant to tell a story. There is an Israeli soldier, an unidentified Palestinian shepherd pointing into the distance, a few sheep (we can see about eight), an Israeli military ambulance, and a village in the distance that may or may not be Maasareh, an Arab village, or a Jewish settlement. We are expected to believe that the well-paved road we see leads to a checkpoint, which we cannot see. The emphasis on Bethlehem and the “shepherd’s fields” means that we are, I believe, also expected to understand that this is an Israeli plot to undermine the Christmas story and the traditional ambience of Bethlehem.

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