By Peter Manning
Bethlehem is normally seen as a religious centre but for the past few weeks the world’s most powerful players have come to talk and see.
Probably the most important was Senator John Kerry, US Secretary of State, who visited the Church of the Nativity, marvelled at the Roman tilework on the Christian church’s floor, and shopped at a nearby Palestinian shop for Palestinian handicrafts.
There’s nothing like going to Palestine to expose the falsities of the Israeli narratives. No wonder he later took a swipe at Israeli leaders for not seeming to want peace with justice for Palestinians.
Israel is its own worst enemy.
The Netanyahu Government had also allowed settlers east of Palestine just weeks before to attack Bethlehem citizens – while Kerry was trying to get “peace talks” started.
Those actions effectively sunk that other narrative: that Israel has no “partner for peace” in Palestine. How can anyone be a “partner” when they are under attack and their land being stolen?
And now, of course, it has become clear that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was murdered with a deadly poison.
Little wonder that Israel is losing the PR battle around the world – including in Australia where reliable surveys show Australians are now on the Palestinian side, especially on the settler issue.