Bright Stars
  Open Bethlehem
  Leila Message
stv logo
Home  divider  Sitemap  divider  Help  divider  Media Library  divider  Find a Partner  
story of the modern Bethlehem

Bethlehem tries to become Sydney's sister but ...

The powers that be in Australia are hindering moves to formalise a sister-city relationship between Bethlehem and Sydney.
A gala dinner on 25th August was to be attended by the Mayor of Bethlehem but supposed links with members of his delegation to 'terror' group Fatah are blocking plans. One wonders how easy it has become to use the 'terror' label to block developments and activities with which one is not wholly in sympathy.
  20/8/2007            more    


The news is mixed. In April Israeli settlers occupied a large, almost completed, Palestinian building close to the entrance of the large Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba. They claimed to have bought it, but Palestinians deny this. Whatever the truth about ownership, Israeli law prohibits the establishment or extension of a settlement without prior permission from their Ministry of Defence. The settlers did not even apply for permission beforehand.

Nobody knows what will happen next. Amir Peretz, the Minister of Defence, is said to favour expelling the settlers. His cabinet colleagues probably disagree with him. However both Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, and his Defence Minister are under pressure to resign, so the settlers seem to have timed their move craftily. They went in just before Passover knowing that they would not be evicted during the Festival, and that the commission report, just released, on responsibility for the Lebanon invasion, would be a political time-bomb set to drive Hebron off the front pages of the Israeli press.

Every day I climb the hill up to the occupied building, which is guarded by Israeli troops. Whatever happens next will set a precedent for the future, so I am anxious.

The struggle for Shuhada Street continues. This used to be the principal shopping street of Hebron. Today Palestinians are forbidden to walk along most of its length. The shops are closed. The few remaining occupants are not allowed to use their front doors. Earlier this year the Israeli Court ruled the closure of Shuhada Street illegal, but their army continues to restrict its use on “security” grounds. Other “internationals” steer clear of Shuhada Street; Christian Peacemakers regularly walk from end to end, but we can expect to be physically attacked from time to time by young Israelis from the Beit Hadassah settlement near the north end of the street.

However the news is not all bad. Palestinian farmers close to Hebron, and further out in the South Hebron Hills, have been harvesting their crops and grazing their flocks in Palestinian fields closer and closer to Israeli settlements. We continue to accompany them, standing between farmers and settlers and trying to keep tensions from exploding.

I should also mention the new soccer team for 10-14 year olds based in the Hebron souk. They have new green football shirts with a CPT logo. Our proudest moment was a 5-5 draw with a visiting team from Bristol, England. Don’t underestimate the significance of this achievement for our traumatised community!

Finally a Palestinian who spent years in Israeli prisons for opposing the Occupation of the West Bank has discovered a new form of resistance. He has opened a coffee shop in the empty square facing the Beit Romano check-point. Every other shop in the square was abandoned years ago, in response to repeated attacks by Israeli settlers and harassment by Israeli soldiers. The new shop doesn’t do much business, but we love it. A picture is attached.

I should be home in Hastings on Thursday 24 May, until early July, and I will be available to give talks on Palestine. Meanwhile many thanks for your continued understanding and support.

John / Joe / Dad / Grandad / Haj (Lynes)

USA: where's Bethlehem ?


Two Nation survey: America vs Bethlehem.
Press Conference: 12pm noon, Thursday 21/12/2006 Furno Hall, Millennium Building, Bethlehem University. Bethlehem, Palestine. Details below.

Most Americans believe Bethlehem is an Israeli town inhabited by a mixture of Jews and Muslims, a pre-Christmas survey of US perceptions of the town has shown.

Only 15 per cent of Americans realise that it is a Palestinian city with a mixed Christian-Muslim community, lying in the occupied West Bank.

The nationwide survey, carried out by top US political pollsters Zogby International, canvassed 15000 American respondents. The poll was commissioned by the campaign organisation Open Bethlehem to coincide with a survey carried out in Bethlehem itself – canvassing 1000 respondents from the three urban centres of Bethlehem, where the population splits almost equally between Muslims and Christians.

The surveys have put the spotlight on the plight of the town, which has been fast losing its indigenous Christian population since the construction of the Israeli wall plunged Bethlehem into economic crisis.

The two surveys show that American perceptions of the town are wildly at odds with the perceptions of those who live there.

While the Christians of Bethlehem overwhelmingly (78%) blame the exodus of Christians from the town on Israel’s blockade, Americans are more likely (45.9%) to blame it on Islamic politics and are reluctant (7.4%) to blame Israel.

And while four out of ten Americans believe that the wall exists for Israel’s security, more than nine out of ten Bethlehemites believe it is part of a plan by Israel to confiscate Palestinian land.

The Zogby survey shows strong support for the town in the US, where 65.5% of the population want the UN to list it as a world heritage site. Americans are also strongly in favour (80.6%) of Bethlehem retaining a strong Christian presence.

Americans are also ambivalent about the Israeli wall, with 31.5% in favour of it, with another 31.6% opposed.

But more than two-thirds of Americans believe Bethlehem is unsafe to visit, while 80% of Bethlehemites consider their town safe for visitors.

While the US survey showed that Americans are sceptical about Muslims and Christians living contentedly alongside each other – only 17% thought they lived together in peaceful coexistence – the Palestinian survey showed they do: around 90% of Christians said they had Muslim friends, and vice-versa.

The Israeli government could well be shaken by the discovery that Americans’ tolerance of the wall would be strained by the discovery that it separates communities and families, cuts Bethlehem off from Jerusalem, and requires the seizure of privately-owned land.

US Christians, meanwhile, are likely to be shocked by the discovery that seven out of ten Christians in Bethlehem believe Israel treats the town’s Christian heritage with brutality or indifference.

The Bethlehem poll, which was carried out by the Palestinian Centre for research and Cultural Dialogue, shows on the other hand that more than two-thirds (73.3%) of Bethlehem’s Christians believe that the Palestinian Authority treats Christian heritage with respect. That result will surprise some who believe that the election of Hamas has strained Christian-Muslim relations in the town.

Leila Sansour, Open Bethlehem’s Chief Executive, says:

“Our US poll shows overwhelming support for Bethlehem’s Christian heritage, yet our survey of Bethlehem’s own citizens shows the city cannot retain this heritage and its Christian community while the wall remains.

“The choice is stark. Either the wall stays and Bethlehem ceases to be a Christian town. Or Bethlehem retains its Christian population – in which case the wall has to come down. The international community needs to wake up to what is happening and choose.”

1. 59.1 % of Americans thought that the population of Bethlehem was either Muslim or Jewish or a mix of both. Only 15.6 % knew it was a mix of Christians and Muslims.

2. When asked where the city was located 58% of Americans thought it was in Israel. Only 26% knew that the town of Jesus birth was located in the Occupied Territories.

3. When told that the population of Bethlehem is a mix of Christians and Muslims 25.1% of Americans thought that they lived together in bitter dispute while only 17 % thought they lived together in peaceful coexistence. 26.4 % thought it was neither.

4. In the Bethlehem survey 87.5% of Muslims said they had Christian friends and 92.2% of Christians said they had Muslim friends.

5. The Bethlehem poll shows that 22.4% of Bethlehem residents regard unemployment as their main problem, 5.9% cite emigration, 4.3% think it is the expropriation of their land by Israel –and 67.4% see it is as a combination of these four factors. When asked about the key current factor in the crisis: 38.1% of respondents said the Israeli occupation, 39.7% blamed the Israeli wall while 19.2% looked to the rifts within their own society.

6. A large number of Americans respondents (36.9%) were not aware of the Israeli wal l in and around Bethlehem. Of those who knew, equal numbers of Americans either supported or opposed the wall: 31.5% supported 31.6% opposed.

7. The American poll showed that 40.6% of Americans thought that the wall is there for Israel’s security, while 19.4% thought that the wall is there to confiscate land from Bethlehem residents for the sake of Israel’s expansion.

8. In Bethlehem, 6% of respondents believe the wall is a temporary measure, while 91.1% regard it as a premeditated plan by Israel to confiscate their land. The wall features as a bigger problem for Christians: 42.1% of Christians refer to it as the key problem facing the city, as opposed to 36.3% of Muslims.

9. In the last 5 years about 400 Christian families left Bethlehem. When asked for the reason 45.9% of Americans thought it was the rise of Islamic extremism while only 7.4% attributed their exodus to the Israeli occupation.

10. In stark contrast, 78% of Bethlehem’s Christians said they were leaving because of the Israeli occupation – while only 3.2% blamed the rise of Islamic movements. 12.5% attributed it to both.

11. 75% of people in Bethlehem said they are depressed by family members moving abroad. Among those who chose to stay, 20.5% said that work or family commitments were the major deterrents.

12. 63.2% of Bethlehem Christians have at least one relative who has emigrated, against 32,8% of Muslims. When asked if many of their relatives have left the country, the contast sharpens: Christian respondents stand at 20.1%, against 5.4% among Muslims.

13. 50.7% of Bethlehem Christians have thought of emigrating, against 43.6% among Muslims.

14. 15.7% of Bethlehem Christians said they are in the process of emigrating – against 8.3% among Muslims. Worryingly, 19.2% of those are young and 36% have BA degrees or above. Of those in the process of emigrating, 72.45% are male.

15. Americans think that more Muslim lands than C hristian lands have been confiscatd by Israel: Muslims 18.4% Christians 3.6% Both: 34.5%.

16. 54.7% of Bethlehem Christians said they had relatives whose land was confiscated by Israel. 41.7% of Muslims said the same .

17. 65.3% of people in Bethlehem said they have had family members or friends arrested for political reasons. (74.5% muslim, 59%Christian)

18. 41.5% of people in Bethlehem said they had either a member of their family or a friend killed by the Israeli army- 53.9% muslim, 32.9% Christian

19. 65.9% of Christians in Bethlehem think Israel treats Christian heritage with either brutality or indifference. (rising to 76% for those respondents over the age of 60)

20. 73.3% of Christians in Bethlehem believe PA treats Christian heritage with respect.

21. 86.1% of people in Bethlehem think churches should do more to help the city. 74.7% think the world knows little about situation.

22. 43.1% of people in Bethlehem see “Fear of the pro Israeli lobby” as the key factor behind the lack of action among international community while 14.2% think it is lack of understanding. 17.9% attribute it to general indifference .

23. 53.2% of people in Bethlehem believe that international pressure is key to resolving the situation while 18.9% think that the solution will come through a change in Israeli politics. Only 7.6% trust that help will come from Arab countries.

24. 75.7% of people in Bethlehem thought that most people in the world would like to visit Bethlehem while only 17.1% of Americans said they are likely to do so.

25. Americans saw the major interest in Bethlehem in the following order:
59.6% Visit the church of the Nativity
44.9% Walk the biblical route of the Holy family
36.8% experience the life of the local community
30.7% Visit Solomons pools
29 % Visit Desert monastries
26.8 % Visit Shepherds Fields.
A majority - 60.4% - said they would visit Bethlehem for the historic nature of the city, against those interested in pilgrimage (30.8%).
26) A 69% majority of Americans thought Bethlehem was unsafe and saw safety as a key deterrent to visiting while 81.3% of people in Bethlehem believed that Bethlehem was either very safe or somewhat safe.
27) When asked about what factors would make them less supportive of the wall in Bethlehem Americans put the their reasons in the following Order of importance:

1. the wall hurts the life of communities regardless of their faith or ethnic background 48.7%.

2. The wall separates some Bethlehem families from one another 40%.

3. The wall requires the seizure of privately owned land 38.7%

4. The wall separates Bethlehem and Jerusalem, two cities that have been historically interlinked and interdependent. 36.6%

5. The wall jeopardises the sustainability of Bethlehem’s Christian community. 30.5%

6. The wall has been condemned by local and International churches 25.8%

7. The wall has been condemned by the international court of justice. 25.2%

28) 74.4% of Americans believe it is neccessary to protect the rights of Christian communities wherever they are. 71 % agree that preserving the Christian community in Bethlehem will protect and strengthen the Christian heritage of Bethlehem. 42.8% say believe that preserving the Christian heritage of Bethlehem will strengthen Christian communities worldwide.
29) 84.5% of people in Bethlehem said they were proud of being Bethlehemites and only 4.8% said they would have prefered to come from somewhere else.

A Brief analysis from Leila Sansour (CEO of Open Bethlehem):

“This is the first time that such surveys have been carried out. The findings are of great importance to us. We know that Bethlehem is very isolated from the world and that little is known about us, but after the survey we are confident that more can be done to bridge thi s gap. It is obvious from the two surveys how many misconceptions Americans have about our city, but also encouraging to learn that they care most about those issues that concern our own citizens: community, faith, property and our heritage. It was, perhaps, sobering to contrast the widespread certainty, here in Bethlehem, that the world is desperate to visit our city against the fact that so few Americans are actually tempted to do so. We understand that the impression of lack of safety is a major deterrent. We also know how forbidding the wall appears, when one approaches our city. We need to work hard to send out our message how safe and welcoming Bethlehem is. It was particularly encouraging to learn that Ameri cans would cite their main reason for opposing the wall as the fact that it hurts the life of communities regardless of their faith or ethnic background. This is how we want to think of ourselves. Our community has embraced diversity for centuries. It is a place where Muslims and Christians have always lived together in harmony and continue to do so, despite the increasing polarisation of our modern world whose mood occasionally influences even our own environment.

“It is also encouraging to discover that despite the current situation in Bethlehem a slight majority of Bethlehemites (53.8%) remain optimistic about the future of our city. It was also gratifying to learn that 44.1% of Americans would contibute to help preserve the heritage of Bethlehem. We will continue working with the knowledge that we have friends and potential allies in the States. As more American learn about our situation, this can only improve the hope for peace.

“Our US poll shows overwhelming support for Bethlehem’s Christian heritage, yet our survey of Bethlehem’s own citizens shows the city cannot retain this heritage and its Christian community while the wall remains. The Israeli blockade and the land annexations by Israel are strangling Bethlehem, forcing its Christian population to seek livelihoods abroad.

“The choice is stark. Either the wall stays and Bethlehem ceases to be a Christian town. Or Bethlehem retains its Christian population – in which case the wall has to come down. The international community needs to wake up to what is happening and choose.”

Reports of the surveys will be available on Open Bethlehem website www.openbethlehem.org

The survey will be presented at a press conference with Bethlehem governor Mr Salah Al Taamari and Open Bethlehem CEO Leila Sansour alongside local Bethlehemites who can expand on issues raised by the survey in questions from the press.

12pm, Thursday 21/12/2006 at Bethlehem University, Bethlehem.

Press packs will be made available with all the polling data and a full briefing on Bethlehem with detailed maps, photographs and regional reports. Further details can be obtained from the Open Bethlehem office.

For more information, interviews, maps, photos or survey reports please contact:

Open Bethlehem
Manger Square, Bethlehem www.openbethlehem.org
Tel: +972-2-2777993 Fax: +972-2-2740139
e-mail: admin@openbethlehem.org
Nida Rishmawi: +970599940990
Austen Ivereigh: +44 7905224860
Leila Sansour, CEO (mobile): +972-547547921

Open Bethlehem – London Office
16-18 Strutton Ground, London SW1P 2HP
Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 2072228443

The Bethlehem survey was carried out by Palestinian Centre for Research and Cultural Dialogue (PCRD). Dr Walid Shomaly. Tel: +97222774707. Mobile: +972 545576290.

Other contacts in Bethlehem for press interest:
Carol Sansour Dabdoub
Public Relations Director
Bethlehem University

Tel: +972 2 274 1241 ext: 2237
Fax: +972 2 2744440

Dr. Jad Isaac. Director General, The Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ). Bethlehem, Caritas ST, P.O. Box 860
Tel: + 972 - 2 - 274 1889 Fax: + 972 - 2 - 277 6966
Mobile: +972 (0)522 579 410
email: jad@arij.org website: www.arij.org

Nidal Abuzuluf. Assistant Director, YMCA Rehabilitation Program.
and the Coordinator Network of Christian Organizations in Bethlehem, NCOB
455 Jerusalem Street, PO Box 73, Beit Sahour, Palestine
Tel: + 970 2 277 2713, 2185 Fax: + 970 2 277 2203
Mobile:+ 972 522 216 728

George-Anthony Ghattas. Country Representative, Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF). Attan Str. Bethlehem
Tel. (+) 972 2 2750093 Fax: (+) 972 2 2750094
Email: gghattas@hcef.org.

The General Manager.Program Development Department (PDD), Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Jaffa Gate, Old City Jerusalem
(+) 972 2 2750891 Fax: (+) 972 2 2750893
Email: gghattas@netvision.net.il

Yusef Daher. Executive Director, Arab Hotel Association
10 Nur Eddin St. Jerusalem P.O.Box 66206
Tel:(+) 9722 6283140 Fax: 972 2 6283118

Dr Bernard Sabella: Associate professor of sociology. Bethlehem University.
Work: +97226271715
Mobile: +972 505234416
e-mail: dspr@netvision.net.il

Sami Awad. Executive Director, Holy Land Trust
529 Manger Street, Bethlehem.P. O. Box 737
Tel: +972 2 2765930 Fax: +972 2 2765931
Email: sami@holylandtrust.org Alternative email: palestine@holylandtrust.org Website: www.holylandtrust.org

Michel Nasser. Director, Bethlehem Peace Center.
Manger Square. Bethlehem. P.O Box 1166
Tel: +97222766677 Fax: +97222741057
Mobile: +972599258725
Email: mangerb@p-ol.com www.peacenter.org

Sealing Bethlehem

5 July 2006

Israel closes Bethlehem to Jerusalem Palestinians

The Israeli army has issued orders to close the ‘Bethlehem Terminal’ to Palestinians living in East Jerusalem. This has been in practice for many months, and has now become army policy following recent orders by Major General Yair Naveh, Head of IDF Central Command.

For years, Bethlehem’s residents have been forbidden from accessing Jerusalem without special permission from the Israeli army. The communities of the two towns are intimately connected through family, work, education and religion, but are forced to live divided by a wall, unable to visit their friends and families, or go to their universities and places of worship.

This policy means, for example, that Christians from East Jerusalem are unable to pray at the Church of the Nativity, without spending hours traveling around Jerusalem to get to Bethlehem. This journey would take fifteen minutes without Israeli checkpoints.

The 237,000 Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem are forced to carry Israeli-issued ID cards which permit them to travel in certain areas forbidden to West Bank Palestinians. According to an article in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper (30 June), a senior Defense Ministry source suggested that forbidding East Jerusalem residents to enter cities in the West Bank is just one part of a broader policy of making life harder for Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. The source pointed out that this policy includes preventing students who have been abroad for long periods from coming back to the city.

Open Bethlehem’s director, Leila Sansour says: “Since the Oslo Peace Treaty, Bethlehem has witnessed the gradual but continual dispossession of its land, and increasing isolation from the rest of Palestine and the outside world. This policy is certain to undermine the sustainability of both communities.”

Israel built the new ‘Bethlehem Terminal’ in 2005 to replace a previous series of checkpoints between the towns. The Terminal, which is actually in Bethlehem, acts as an entry point for tourists and other international visitors who are fast-tracked thought the checkpoint while Palestinians wait in line.

This news comes in the same week that saw the launch of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Protection of Foreign Passport Holders Visiting/Residing in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This group will tackle Israel’s deportation and denial of entry to people of Palestinian origin who wish to visit or work in Palestine.


Leila Sansour - +44 7814 937743
Charlotte Carson - +44 7768 305897/ (0) 20 7222 8443

Manaf Abbas (Ad Hoc Committee) - +970-2-2954646/9

Charlotte Carson

Open Bethlehem
Victoria Chambers
16-18 Strutton Ground

020 7222 8443
07768 305897


Israel strangling Bethlehem ... to death ?

Fears of new Israeli settlement as wall completed around Bethlehem: 28th Feb 2006

The final section of Israel’s wall separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem will be completed in a matter of days.

The wall around Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem will not only sever the connection between the region’s most holy Christian sites, but will also herald the creation of a new ‘fact on the ground’ - an illegal Jewish settlement which will be home to some of Israel’s most extremist religious groups.

The ultra-orthodox Kever Rahel Fund announced last year that it intended to build about 400 apartments at the site. This week their work has begun. Settlers are planning to move into houses around the tomb as soon as the wall is completed.

Bethlehem’s population fears that town will become another Hebron– where Jewish extremists have expelled Palestinians from their homes and with the support of the Israeli army, intimidate and harass the local population. Hebron was once the busiest shopping town in the region, but is now a ghost town. Christian Peacemaker Teams have a permanent presence there to monitor and report abuses by the army and settlers on local people.

A former member of the Israeli parliament, Hanan Porat, was quoted today in Israeli newspaper Haaretz : "With the help of God we are progressing toward maintaining a permanent Jewish presence and a fixed yeshiva in Rachel's Tomb, as Rabbi Kook [religious Zionist fundamentalist] urged, and bringing Israelis back to where they belong."

The mayor of Bethlehem, Dr Victor Batarseh, a Palestinian Christian, said: “The recent land confiscation and works around Rachel’s Tomb are illegal and have no security basis. This is an act of land expropriation. It is a serious threat to the economic and social life of the town. As the Mayor of Bethlehem, I share the concern of all Bethlehemites, Christians and Muslims alike, that this could be the first step towards building a new illegal Israeli settlement right in the heart of Bethlehem. That is how it all started in Hebron a few years ago.”

In a statement to the international community, he says: “We call on all religious and political leaders, to intervene and protect the lawful rights of the town of the Nativity. The ghettoization of Bethlehem is not only destroying ancient communities, but is destroying the prospects of peace in the Middle East and the whole concept of international law”.

Rapid construction of the final section of the wall separating Bethlehem and Jerusalem is proceeding following the rejection by the Israeli Supreme Court of the appeal of 18 Palestinian families and the Bethlehem and Beit Jala municipalities to re-route the wall at Rachel’s Tomb. As a result, the area will now be included within the borders of Jerusalem municipality, in direct violation of the Oslo agreements. The wall was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in The Hague (9 July 2004).

The Rachel’s Tomb area, once a vibrant neighbourhood and a central artery between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, has seen 72 out of 80 businesses close in the last four years. The tomb itself, a major Bethlehem landmark and a shrine holy to three religions, is now barred to the city’s inhabitants. The neighbourhood has been devastated to accommodate the expanding military base around the tomb, confiscating family homes and businesses and carving out a major landmark from the heart of Bethlehem. The wall pushes one and a half kilometres inside the city’s boundaries and confiscates 3km2 of its land.

Leila Sansour, Chief Executive of Open Bethlehem says: “We are now racing against time. Israel has stolen our land to build a settlement. It is a disaster for us. A city of international importance may soon become history. We are calling for divestment from any international company that gives support to, or is engaged in, this illegal project. Divestment is one of the few non-violent options open to us”


For more information, maps and photographs please contact:

London Office
Patrick Orr: 020 7222 5479/ Charlotte Carson: – 020 7222 8443

Bethlehem Office
Carol Dabdoub: + (972) 2 274 1241 ext. 2470; M. (972) 545439841

Bethlehem Mayor’s Office
Tony Murcus: + (972) 22 741323/4/5.


Notes for editors:

• Open Bethlehem was launched in London and Washington by the Mayor of Bethlehem on 9 November 2005, declaring Bethlehem an open city and announcing the issue of a Bethlehem passport.
• Open Bethlehem is a city initiative that aims to promote Bethlehem as a prime destination for tourists, bold initiatives and investment. The core of its message is that Bethlehem is a city of openness and diversity, with a centuries-old tradition of welcoming travellers, refugees and pilgrims from across the world.

The link below is for a news agency providing up to date news of the situation in Palestine from Palestine, in English.

Open Bethlehem

Leila Sansour and George McCleod are launching a special project to draw attention to the plight of Bethlehem.

They are creating a 'passport' for the town. There are now just two ways in and out of the town, controlled by the Israelis.

Tourism for example in 2004 fell to less than 8,000 visitors. Businesses, hotels, restaurants, the town's whole economy is dreafully impacted. The health of the town ails and does the health of the ordinary Bethlehemite.

The Barrier (Wall or Fence, call it what you will) is in place. What happens next ? How does the world retrieve this situation ?

Leila Sansour is a filmmaker with family and roots in Bethlehem. She is active internationally and is currently travelling to Washington to launch the Open Bethlehem project there.

New 3-language news agency Maan


This is a link to the English language section of a new news agency operating across Israel and Palestine.

It also operates in Hebrew and Arabic, and is created by a company based in Ramallah.

Pictured left is Raed Othman of Maan News who is also linked to Bethlehem TV.

Oh Little Town

A half hour documentary filmed in Bethlehem in January 2004 was broadcast by Community Channel over the Christmas period 2004.

It tells stories from three parts of the Bethlehem community: local working adult / young people in living in a refugee camp with their parents and grandparents / a vibrant local satellite TV station .

The picture (left) shows an old woman sitting on the ruins of her West Bank house.

"Oh Little Town" was filmed and produced by Chris Haydon and edited by Boris Jaensch.
If you would like a copy please contact Chris Haydon by email: chris@southwark.tv


Jewish Voice for Peace

Details of another Jewish organisation that speaks intelligently and sensibly about the Palestinian question: Jewish Voice for Peace. They are based in California.

Jewish Voice For Peace
1611 Telegraph Avenue
Suite 806
Oakland, CA 94612

Tel: 510-465-1777
Fax: 510-465-1616
email: info@jewishvoiceforpeace.org

Mitchell Plitnick, Director of Education and Policy
Liat Weingart, Director of Campaigns and Programs
Cecilie Surasky, Director of Communications

ICB first overseas Southwark TV partner

The first international partner for the Southwark.TV project is from the Palestinian Territories on the West Bank.

You may like to visit the website at

In addition to Bethlehem, Southwark.TV is planning links with Ramallah and has already received a donation of a laptop computer for use in the town at media training projects.

Local filmmaker Yousef Aldeek has sent copies of his films to Community TV Trust which is planning to screen some of Aldeek's work at future Southwark.TV screening events.