December 29, 2012
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Bethlehem, Beautiful, Palestine, as Before 1948, (12-27-12)
Viewing Time: 08:26
Church of the Nativity
The Church of the Nativity is a Basilica located in Bethlehem, Palestine, and is considered to be the oldest continuously operating Christian church in the world. The church was originally commissioned 327 AD by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena over the site that is still traditionally considered to be located over the cave that marks the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth.
The original Basilica of the Nativity's was completed in 339 AD and destroyed by fire during the Samaritan Revolts in the sixth century AD. A new Basilica was built 565 AD by the Byzantine Empire, restoring the architectural tone of the original.
The site of the Basilica of the Nativity has had numerous additions since this second construction, including its prominent bell towers. Due to its cultural and geographical history, the site holds a prominent religious significance to those of the Christian and Muslim Faiths.
The site of the Basilica of the Nativity is a World Heritage Site, and was the first to be listed under Palestine by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The site is also on UNESCO's List of Worlds Heritage Sites in Danger
The Burial of Bethlehem, W.A. Cook, 12-23-12
By William A. Cook on 12/23/2012
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2)
A few days ago I received this plea from Samuel Dowell, a cry from the heart in the season of joy and peace, as he witnesses the slow motion deathknell of the city of Bethlehem, the city of the Prince of Peace. “Dr. Cook, Bethlehem. I don’t know if any of this will be useful to you, but send it anyway.”
Bethlehem is a pretty graphic example of the ghettos the Israeli authorities are currently creating in the occupied Palestinian territories: latter-day bantustans. Now surrounded by an eight-meter-high concrete wall (dwarfing the former Berlin Wall), the victim of regular invasions (usually unreported in the Western media) by the Israeli military, Bethlehem is struggling for its very survival.
The illegal Israeli (read Jewish) 8 metre high apartheid barrier is designed not for security but the theft of 80% of Bethlehem’s land to build a ring of illegal Jewish settlements. Why is the world so silent? (“Samuel Dowell [firstname.lastname@example.org]“)
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How magnificent yet how threatening this pall of black clouds that hangs over the city of peace, a veritable shroud of doom and despair as the threat of peace raises the specter of fear in the hearts of the secular Zionists whose purpose is to destroy the faith of brotherly love by denying the message of the Angels of God, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men.”
About William Cook and Publications
William A. Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. His most recent book is Decade of Deceit: 2002-2012 Reflections on Palestine. His other works include Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy, The Rape Of Palestine: Hope Destroyed, Justice Denied, and The Plight of the Palestinians: A Long History of Destruction all dealing with the crisis in Israel/Palestine. His fiction works include The Chronicles Of Nefaria, a morality tale, The Agony of Colin Powell, a one act play, and a co-authored tragedy written with his wife Darcy, The Unreasoning Mask. He also has a Book of Psalms published by Mellon Poetry Press, Psalms for the 21st Century. He can be reached at email@example.com or through his web site: drwilliamacook.com.
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Enjoy the 3D Tour of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
By Elisha Jacobsen, Jerusalem.com
Catholic on line
Univertsity of St. Thomas, Houston