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Christmas - Starting With the Man in the Mirror

Starting With the Man in the Mirror

Considered by Selwyn Manning – Scoop Deputy Editor

Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie,
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by,
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light,
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

Nativity Church Under Seige - Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity warden Father Ibrahim Faltas concurred: "This will be saddest Christmas ever celebrated in Bethlehem. We shall pray for peace but we won't celebrate beyond the traditional Christmas procession and mass."

For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep the angels keep their watch of wondering love,
Oh morning stars together, proclaim thy holy birth.
And praises sing to God the king, and peace to men on earth.

Israel Bans Arafat From Bethlehem - "It is my job to be at the religious ceremony for Christmas in Bethlehem," said Yasser Arafat angrily about the Israeli government's decision last week not to allow him to take part in the ceremonies, and not to redeploy troops out of the town for the holiday. Palestinian Authority Minister Saeb Erekat and Arafat adviser Nabil Abu Rudeiniyeh warned the Israeli government decision would lead to dangerous deterioration and Palestinian officials called for international pressure on Israel to change the decision. The Palestinian media reports daily on the gloomy atmosphere in the traditional birthplace of Christ.

Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie,
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by,
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light,
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

Christmas 2002 - Bethlehem has nothing - Those Christian families with money have long since left. Nowadays, the powerful are the armed refugees from the nearby camps of Deheisheh, Aida, and El Gaza, and the members of the Ta'amra tribe, who control the local Tanzim. The disconnection from Jerusalem, too, has badly hurt the city.

US President and Wife Wish All Happy Christmas - As families across the nation gather to celebrate Christmas, Laura and I want to extend our best wishes for the holidays. We hope that this Christmas will be a time of happiness in your home, and a time of peace in the world.

December 22 US Readies For War — Preparations for a US war against Iraq continued Sunday, as U.S. forces in Kuwait conducted a second day live-fire military training. Meanwhile, new details emerged about a CIA mission to train anti-Saddam Kurds in northern Iraq to act as scouts and translators.

Silent night holy night, All is calm all is bright,
Round yon virgin mother and child, Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night holy night, Shepherds quake at the sight,
Glories stream from Heaven afar, Heavenly ghosts sing Alleluia, Christ the saviour is born, Christ the saviour is born.

Iraqi News Reports Dec 22 – “The U.S. and British aggressive warplanes committed a new crime on Saturday added to their black record of crimes against Iraqi civilians when they bombed civil facilities aiming at harming our people's jihadic movement.”

December 23 – Gulf Nations Turn Away From Iraq - Six Gulf monarchies turned on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein yesterday, ending a summit in Qatar by condemning his threats against them and making no mention of the US war build-up.

December 23 – Pentagon Works On War Logistics - The Pentagon is drawing up plans to helicopter thousands of American soldiers into Iraq from Turkey in the early days of an invasion, establishing a northern front that war planners increasingly see as a key part of any US military action against Saddam Hussein.

So This Is Christmas – So this is Christmas, And what have you done, Another year over, And a new one just begun, And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun, The near and the dear one, The old and the young.

December 23 – Israel Prepares For US-Iraq War - Israel has stepped up preparations for a possible US war against Iraq, scheduling joint exercises with US forces and gas-mask lessons for schoolchildren. Officials say Israel will go on high alert from January 15, anticipating hostilities will erupt in the Gulf some time between January 27 and February 26.

December 21 – Israeli Soldiers Kill More In Palestinian Territories - Israeli occupation forces killed two civilians as IOF, took positions up in Tal Zuru’b buildings. At dawn they opened fire with a hail of gun fire towards the civilians’ houses, adjacent to the border line with Egypt in Rafah city of Gaza Strip. December 19 - A 15-year-old Palestinian child was killed Wednesday afternoon and three civilians were injured by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, Palestinian medical sources said.

From the UN - Peter Hansen ,The Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency writes: “Today in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, an insidious hunger has the Palestinian people in its grip. Hidden in the anaemic blood of children or lost in the statistics of stunted growth, a dreadful, silent malnutrition is stalking the Palestinians. The populations of Gaza and the West Bank have lived for over two years with checkpoints, closures and curfews that have ravaged their economy. Over 50 per cent are now unemployed and more than 60 percent are living below the poverty line. “The effect of this economic collapse was felt first in the erosion of family savings, followed by increased indebtedness and then the forced sale of household possessions. The Palestinian extended family and community networks have saved the territories from the absolute collapse that might have been found elsewhere in the face of such rapid decline. Every dollar is shared in the occupied territory. Anyone with an income, or a cousin working abroad, supports as many as seven other adults.”

And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun, The near and the dear one, The old and the young, A very merry Christmas, And a happy New Year, Let's hope it's a good one, Without any fear, War is over over, If you want it, War is over, If you want it…

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