To President Bush: We Want Bethlehem Back!

Jerusalem Prayer Team

22 December 2003

In 1995, President Clinton turned Bethlehem over to Yasser Arafat and the PA. Christians worldwide, who consider the city of Jesus' birth a sacred and holy site, were given no voice in the matter. Arafat changed the name of the city, and rewrote the Holy Scriptures. He declared Bethlehem to be the place where Jesus, "the first Palestinian Christian" was born.

President Bush met recently with PM Sharon. Said Judea and Samaria are illegal outposts, and have asked them to relinquish them to the PA. That must not happen. Bill Clinton tried that before September 11th, and put our nation in harms' way.

Yasser Arafat is due to play the ghost of Christmas past once again at Midnight Mass in Bethlehem, his empty chair in the Church of the Nativity a symbol of the terrorism he has brought upon the region. For the third Christmas under the violence he has orchestrated, Israel has not lifted its siege of his battered Ramallah headquarters, effectively barring him from playing the role of benevolent ruler in a Palestinian Authority Christmas pageant in Bethlehem, a town he has done everything to rid of its Christian population.

There will be no illuminated giant tree in Manger Square, no carols by visiting choirs - practically no tourists at all. And practically no Christians! About 35,000 Christians live in the West Bank and 3,000 in Gaza, or about 1.3 percent of the Palestinian population. Islam is the official religion of the Palestinian Authority, which has been Islamicizing Bethlehem since Arafat's takeover in 1995. The area of Bethlehem, Beit Jala, and Beit Sahur - predominantly Christian for centuries - has undergone a sinister transformation, as 60 percent of its Christian families have fled and Muslims, now 75 percent of the local population, have taken over.

If the Geneva Initiative is allowed to gain momentum to the point of acceptance, Bethlehem will be only the first of many Christian holy sites to come under Arafat's influence.

"The Fatah and Arafat's intelligence network intimidated and maltreated the Christian population in Bethlehem," David Raab of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs quotes from a 2002 government intelligence report. "They extorted money from them, confiscated land and property, and left them to the mercy of street gangs and other criminal activity, with no protection."

There is probably no clearer illustration of Arafat's Christmas message than the true story of a Palestinian baby who was born in Bethlehem in mid-November and whose birth was widely acclaimed by Palestinians as miraculous. Ala Ayyad was born on the 27th day of Ramadan, known as Lailat al-Kader, the night the Koran was revealed to Muhammad by Allah.

Thousands of Palestinians thronged to Bethlehem's Aida refugee camp to pay him homage, because, in addition to the auspicious date, Ala was born with a large birthmark across his cheek that clearly spells out in Arabic letters the name of his uncle, Ala - a Hamas terrorist killed by the IDF eight months ago.

The family proudly told The Jerusalem Post (12.1.03) they would raise the baby to follow in his uncle's footsteps and lead a new generation of terrorists to fight against Israel. Cradling the infant in her arms, the baby's grandmother, Aisheh, said the birthmark is a clear sign from Allah that her son's death was not in vain.

"We will raise him to be good and pious like his uncle," she said. "Just as Mary received a sign from God that Jesus would be born to her in this holy place, so we have received a sign from God. This miracle shows that the martyrs who fall fighting for God do not die. It shows they live on in Paradise and that God is generous."

The Geneva Initiative ensures an "Arafat State" - repressive, corrupt and committed to the annihilation of the Jewish people, and the Christian people under his control. It will mean history forever rewritten from Arafat's distorted point of view.

Please sign the petition to President Bush today. Israel and the world are at a crossroads - not of peace, but of annihilation - if proven anti-Semitic countries are given the authority to negotiate away Israel's very right to exist!

The people of God MUST stand up and be counted!

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:" (Genesis 12:3)