News Release

Christmas and Chanukah: Interviews Available

JULIET SCHOR
Professor of sociology at Boston College, Schor is author of the books The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need and Do Americans Shop Too Much? She is available for a limited number of interviews until Thursday.

STAV ADIVI
Adivi is a major in the Israeli Defense Forces. He said today: “I am a Zionist and an Israeli patriot. I am one of 1,200 who are refusing service in the West Bank and Gaza…. Chanukah is a celebration of victory and freedom. About 2,100 years ago, Judah Maccabee led the Jewish fight against the Greeks who were occupying the Holy Land. At the time Antiochus of Greece was forcing the Jews to adopt Greek practices, even slaughtering pigs on the Temple Mount. In the end the Jewish resistance won the war and we got our freedom. As we are celebrating Chanukah, we are occupying the West Bank and the Gaza Strip where Palestinians live. They deserve their freedom and their self-determination as well. I’m not considering every form of resistance legitimate — suicide bombings are morally wrong. But the occupation must end. It’s important that we realize that if Palestinians don’t have their freedom, Israelis will not either.”
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Rev. MITRI RAHEB
Raheb is pastor of the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, general director of the International Center of Bethlehem and author of the book I Am a Palestinian Christian. He said today: “Christmas has become the feast of a sort of peace that no one really can fully describe. In fact, it is kind of a cheap peace, which is something to preach about when one is not well prepared, or a bit of wishful thinking, when one is not ready to do much. Personally, I am bored with all of this talk about peace around Christmas time. Christmas has become a season for joyful peace talkers, rather than blessed peacemakers.

“In our Palestinian context, peace talk is often a good recipe for managing the conflict rather than resolving it. As the world continues to talk peace, Israel continues to build the wall, and while Christians continue singing ‘O little town of Bethlehem,’ Israel makes sure that this town stays as little as possible. As little as two square miles, surrounded with walls, fences and trenches, with no future expansion possibilities whatsoever.

“No one understood what peace really is, like St. Paul. He himself, a former Jewish leader, a zealot, a persecutor, and a hard liner; he committed himself to making sure that a wall of separation is built and kept between his community and its enemies. He was ready to attack and even terrorize whoever dared to question the importance of this wall for the security of his community. However, this same radical person was radically transformed. He had a unique encounter that made him discover what peace really means, and he described it as breaking down dividing walls of hostility (Ephesians 2:14).”

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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167