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Letter of the Day: Bethlehem’s wall

  • Shadows cast on the wall separating the West Bank town of Bethlehem from Jerusalem. (Associated Press)

Bethlehem’s wall

EDITOR: I woke up singing an old song with words from the Hebrew Bible. “The Lord says I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction. You shall call upon me and I will hear you, and I will bring back your captivity from all nations.” Could this also refer to all displaced and exiled people everywhere, including Palestinians?

My heart dared to go further. Is the Hebrew God, the God of Jesus, making promises for Jews only — like the beautiful roads connecting illegal settlements in the West Bank to Jerusalem, which are for Israelis only? Of course not. We imperfect human beings have always created gods to fit our own historical necessities. No one excepted.

Now is a time of winter and darkness, of light and new birth. Jews celebrate Hanukkah, Christians the birth of the prince of peace, Jesus, a Palestinian Jew. Carolers sing, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” . . . and again I wonder if they know or care as they sing so tenderly that Bethlehem today is surrounded by a 26-foot concrete wall.

Go stand by that wall. Let your eyes see and weep. Let your heart break for those who built it and those whose lives are devastated by it.

THERESE MUGHANNAM-WALRATH

Santa Rosa

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