What if ….
Joseph and Mary were not allowed to enter Bethlehem?
What would the narrative look like today??
The artist Banksky sees it like this in his annual Christmas card …

Text on Card:

The people of Bethlehem are asking for our help.

Towering walls and militarized fences now encircle Bethlehem, turning the 4,000-year-old city into a virtual prison for its Palestinian Christian and Muslim citizens. Bethlehem has only three gates to the outside world, all tightly controlled by Israeli occupation forces.

Israel has confiscated almost all the agricultural land in the area for illegal settlements, making it impossible for many Palestinian farmers to continue tending their land. Outside the town, the fields where shepherds once watched their flocks are being filled by Israeli housing blocs and roads barred to the descendants of those shepherds.

“It is unconscionable that Bethlehem should be allowed to die slowly from strangulation,” says South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Bethlehem’s residents increasingly are fleeing Israel’s confining walls, and soon the city, home to the oldest Christian community in the world, will have little left of its Christian history but the cold stones of empty churches.

Though most Americans don’t know it, we are directly involved in Israel’s strangulation of Bethlehem. Fortune Magazine and other analysts consistently rank the Israel lobby as one of the most effective special interests in Washington; Americans give Israel over $8 million per day. In its just over 60 years of existence, Israel has received more US tax money than any other nation.

As we seek peace and joy for the world, it is time to reconsider an expenditure that perpetuates injustice, tragic violence, and conflict. Please help.
The card can be ordered FROM


  1. Blake said,

    December 9, 2012 at 12:32

    Heart rending and won’t hold my breath about American church leaders acting.

  2. said,

    December 9, 2012 at 18:34

    Great card. In San Francisco (probably all over the country) we have Holiday Trees and Menorahs. This wall in Palestine will come down when Americans themselves insist on equal treatment. Christmas trees and menorahs or Holiday candelabras. (without religious rituals) and Holiday trees. Oppression must be obscene for the Palestinians. It is tough for Americans, in America, who tolerate this unequal “wall.” This tyranny of the human-will is tough in the US; it must be insufferable in Palestine.

  3. DAR said,

    December 9, 2012 at 19:43

    Just came from a visit to the Berlin Wall exhibit. My note in the visitors’ book reads: “One wall down. One more to go. Free Palestine!” As always Desert-Peace, many thanks for your great work. DAR, Toronto.

  4. Ann said,

    December 9, 2012 at 22:57

    Free Palestine now!

  5. anon said,

    December 10, 2012 at 01:01

    It’s a great drawing and a message that direly needs to get out, but I don’t believe the work is Banksy’s. I found this, dated from 2009, it appears to be the work of a Mishal Al-Johar. –

  6. Ermanno said,

    December 10, 2012 at 07:40

    What a beautiful card !! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that wall was extended to surround all of Israel? Then all the Israelis could be living forever in peace in a world of their own. The rest of the civilized world can then rationalize their existence with a clear conscience by quoting a great English poet who concluded in one of his famous poems
    “Stone walls do not a prison make,
    Nor iron bars a cage.”

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