Christmas in the Gaza Strip

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By FREI BETTO*

Jesus is born in Gaza and now they can no longer kill him, as he will be resurrected in every child, in every young person, in every Palestinian citizen

This Christmas, Jesus is born in Gaza. Not in the manger exposed in a corral, but among the rubble of what remains of its inhabitants' homes. He is not born surrounded by animals, but by detonated bombs, bullets from Tavor Ctar rifles fired at the civilian population (950 shots per minute), grenades and lethal gases. And the killer flights of F-35 fighters.

Jesus is born and ignores that his parents, who intended to take refuge in Egypt, were fatally hit by a rain of bombs “bunker buster” thrown by Israeli troops.

Now it is not King Herod who puts hundreds of children to the sword. It is the Zionist government of Benjamin Netanyahu, eager for revenge and to exterminate those who are considered “human animals”, according to a statement by Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant.

Jesus and his parents did not find shelter in Bethlehem. They had to take shelter in a corral. Likewise, Palestinian families were summarily expelled from their homes to make way for Zionist settlers who do not recognize the right of the Palestinian nation to establish its legitimate state. Driven away, these thousands of families were confined within the narrow limits of Gaza and the West Bank, controlled by Israeli troops as if they were subhuman, surviving in conditions similar to open-air concentration camps.

Jesus is born today without magicians coming to present him with gold, frankincense and myrrh. What he has gained now are 12 thousand tons of bombs since October 7th (33 tons of explosives per square kilometer), equivalent to the power of an atomic bomb.

There is no choir of angels or songs of glory to God, but rather the shrill scream of alarm sirens and the terrifying hiss of projectiles fired by the deadly cannons of Merkava tanks.

Jesus was born under the seal of discrimination: for being Palestinian, for being the bastard son of a Nazarene couple (so much so that Joseph wanted to abandon Mary when he found out she was pregnant), for being homeless, for his family having occupied the land of a farm in Belém, because he was considered blasphemous and usurper of the title of Son of God.

Jesus, once again, is rejected in his own land. If your fellow countrymen are prevented from forming their State, any self-defense action they take will be classified as “terrorist”. An epithet that the mainstream media never used when Menachem Begin, on July 22, 1946, blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem and killed 91 people. Not even when more than 200 people, all innocent, were cruelly murdered in the biggest terrorist attack of all time – the atomic bombs dropped by the US government on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Yes, Hamas broke the “just war” line by kidnapping more than 200 people, most of them civilians. But who reacts to the “administrative detentions” carried out by the Israeli government, which keeps around five thousand people in prison without formal charges?

Jesus is born in Gaza and, now, they can no longer kill him, as he will be resurrected in every child, in every young person, in every Palestinian citizen aware that the land of vineyards and olive trees keeps in its soil the ashes of their loved ones. distant ancestors.

*Frei Betto He is a theologian and writer. Author, among other books, of A man called Jesus (Rocco).


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