Church of Nativity:
Who's Who In Staged Siege?

by Carol A. Valentine
Curator, Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum
Copyright Carol A. Valentine, April, 2002
On loan to Public Action, Inc.
May be reproduced for non-commercial purposes.

April 21, 2002 -- Don't believe everything you read about the siege at the Church of the Nativity.  Remember who owns the newspapers and where their sympathies lie. 

Read the article that appeared in the April 20 edition of the Zionist flagship publication the Washington Post, entitled "A Sanctuary Under Siege."
(I have attached a copy below.)

As you read, keep this adage in mind:  "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."  Those who design wars (action) expect opposition (reaction).  They plan to control both sides of the fight. 

To do that, psychological warriors design media events to neutralize opposition.  The psyops warriors design conflict dramas.  Actors (undercover agents) are assigned to play parts on both sides, as antagonists and protagonists.  The events are reported as "news," and public opinion is manipulated in favor of one side or the other.   So it was in Waco; so it is with the Church of the Nativity.


Christianity has been destroyed from within.  Now all that remains is to destroy the Christian relics and monuments.   In 1999, the Jews, under the cover of the "United States," attacked ancient centers of Christendom (Serbia, and, in particular, Kosovo) and destroyed many early Christian relics there.  Now the Jews attack on the Church of the Nativity, the very core of Christian history.


The Jews know that Christianity is dead and the Christian religious leaders worthless.  They  want to drive the point home.  Hence the current lesson: Judaism is triumphant.  The Jews can do to whatever they wish to the religious shrines of goyim and the goyim will roll over. 

So the Pope utters pious inanities, wrings his hands, and murmurs about unjust wars and genocide.   But really, it should be one way or the other: The Pope should have 1) requested that Palestinians leave or,  2 ) requested that the Israelis honor the sanctuary of the Church.  

Remember, the Vatican is a state.  It has what has been called the smallest and most colorful army in the world -- the Swiss Guard.

The Pope could have sent the Swiss Guard to defend the Church of the Nativity.  A symbolic move, to be sure -- but after all, the Church of the Nativity was the birthplace of Christ, and the Pope claims to be the Vicar of Christ.  The Pope did not need tanks.  He has Christ, yes?  He just needed gall.

Meanwhile, on what is Catholic attention focused?  Catholic attention right now is focused on priests rear-ending altar boys -- even as the birth place of Jesus is being defiled and destroyed.   What perfect timing.  What strategy.


Do you imagine this siege is not a staged event?  The defilement of the Church of the Nativity is an important Jewish supremacy target, and the Israelis would carefully calculate their strategy.

Saturday's Washington Post article points out that there is limited food and water inside the Church of the Nativity.  Of course the Israelis must have known from the start -- just as anyone with a grain of common sense would know.

Given that, all the Israelis have had to do is wait it out and capture the "Palestinian gunmen" without killing anybody and without destroying any portion of the building.  But waiting does not make a media event.  That's not the way to manufacture "news" to shape public opinion. 

What the Jewish supremacists want is fireworks and an extended drama so lessons can be taught and public opinion molded.  That was the plan in Waco, too. 

The Post also tells us the Israelis have sent in water to "some" the Christian clergy -- water fortified with 40 minerals and vitamins.  Wonder why the Israelis would do that?  After all, the article makes it clear that the clergy are sharing their food and water with the "Palestinian gunmen."  Sending water will only prolong the siege; but that, of course, is part of Israel's plan. 

"How kind the Israelis are acting towards the Christians -- sending in water," say the dumb goyim.

The Mt. Carmel Center was richly populated with government agents living under cover,  pretending to be Davidians, long before the raid of February 28, 1993.  And Special Operations commandos were amply represented on the other side, playing the part of "law enforcement officers" on the day of the raid.  [Footnote 1]  Rest assured that there are Israeli undercover agents on both sides of the Church of the Nativity drama, some posing as "Palestinian gunmen," some as "Christians."     


Washington Post:
"The decision by the Palestinians to seek refuge there was part of calculated strategy, planned days in advance . . . 'It was planned this way,' said the Rev. Majdi Siryani, a Roman Catholic priest . .  .'They knew the Israelis would not storm the holy site.  They'd be insane to do it.'"

I'd say the good Father Siryani is a fool or a knave.  The refuge-seeking gambit was part of a calculated strategy, all right -- but the chances are overwhelming that it was an Israeli strategy.   How could Siryani know anything about the Israelis and not understand their treachery and hatred for Christianity?

Father Siryani must have been too busy saying his prayers to notice that the Jews who ran the US bombed Serbia, a land filled with ancient Christian relics, during Holy Week in 1999.  


Let's look at the words in the Post again: 

"The decision by the Palestinians to seek refuge there was part of calculated strategy, planned days in advance . . . 'It was planned this way,' said the Rev. Majdi Siryani, a Roman Catholic priest . .  .  'They knew the Israelis would not storm the holy site.  They'd be insane to do it.'"

What these words convey is that the blame for the damage or destruction of the Church of the Nativity ultimately rests on Muslim shoulders, and the Israelis have been acting with restraint.  If you believe that, you've been neutralized:  you are casualty of the Israeli disinformation campaign.

"Let's you and him fight," is the strategy of this War of Jewish Supremacy.  "Let the goyim fight each other and knock each other out."  That was the tactic used on September 11 when USrael pulled off a spectacular media event, blamed it on the Muslims, and sent the dumb American goyim off to bomb Afghanistan.

When you read the Post article below, notice there are "negotiations" between the Israelis and the Palestinians, just as there were "negotiations" between the FBI and David Koresh in Waco.  Ultimately it will be shown that the "Palestinians" acted unreasonably in the face of reasonable Israeli offers, just as David Koresh was said to have acted unreasonably.

Right now The Washington Post is saying that many of the nice Christians support the Palestinian cause.  Do you wonder why the Post, a Zionist flagship newspaper, is telling us this news?

We may find that some of those Christians who sympathize with the Palestinians today change their minds tomorrow.  We, the consumers of this media event, will be expected to change our minds, too.  That's the purpose of media events. 


For witness to Israel's barbarity, see:


Footnote 1.   See:
Trojan Horses and Branch Davidians
and "the Soldiers: How Many, and Who?"
Note: The man who directed the Waco Holocaust is now USrael's Terror Czar:


A Sanctuary Under Siege
By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post, April 20, 2001.  Pg. A1.

BETHLEHEM, West Bank -- Inside the Church of the Nativity, priests were singing vespers and meditating. Incense filled the air. All doors and gates to the outside were sealed, in a vain effort to insulate the holy shrine from a battle raging between Palestinian fighters and the Israeli army.

 The prayers that evening, April 2, were interrupted by a gunshot coming from the Franciscan monastery, adjacent to the church's ancient basilica. A bullet blew apart a lock to a century-old side door, enabling a handful of Palestinian gunmen to walk in. Over the next two hours, dozens more followed, about 200 in all, until the sanctuary was filled with Palestinians, black paint streaked across many of their faces.

 The sudden appearance of a small army of guerrilla fighters in one of the holiest sites in Christianity did not, however, come as a complete surprise to most of the clergy members inside. Many of them had been expecting the visit. They welcomed the Palestinians, asked them to please shoulder their weapons and offered them tea.

 "We finished our prayers, then went over to find out what was going on," said Father Parthenius, a Greek Orthodox priest who is still inside the church. "We spoke to them. They were very tired, nervous and scared. They wanted something sweet, so we made some tea."

 Since that moment, the Palestinians have remained inside, surrounded by Israeli troops, snipers and  surveillance equipment that tracks their movements. The standoff has sparked near-daily gunfights, two blazes in the attached monasteries and frequent bloodshed, prompting an international outcry over the treatment of a place that has attracted pilgrims for almost 1,700 years.

 Although each side has accused the other of desecrating the church and acting out of desperation, the standoff at the Church of the Nativity did not happen by accident. The decision by the Palestinians to seek refuge there was part of a calculated strategy, planned days in advance, to map out an escape route from their street battles with the advancing Israeli army, according to interviews with more than a dozen Palestinian officials and church leaders in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

 "It was planned this way," said the Rev. Majdi Siryani, a Roman Catholic priest in Bethlehem who speaks daily with the monks and priests inside the Church of the Nativity and counts several of the armed Palestinian as his parishioners. "Everybody knew that if there was trouble, they would go to the church. They knew the Israelis would not storm the holy site. They'd be insane to do it."

 For now, the siege remains a stalemate. Palestinian and Israeli officials have scheduled talks on ending the crisis on four different occasions, but each meeting was canceled, each side blaming the other. Israel has said the gunmen can either agree to a trial in a military court or accept permanent exile to another country. The Palestinians have rejected the offer.

 It is not the first time that Palestinians have sought sanctuary in the Church of the Nativity. During the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967, scores of Bethlehem residents fled their homes for the confines of the church. Unlike the Palestinians currently in the church, however, those refugees were unarmed.

 Palestinians here said the church was selected as a refuge because they believed the Israeli troops would not attack it.

 "The Jews will think one time or two times before going into a mosque," said the Rev. Maroun Lahham, director of a Roman Catholic seminary in Beit Jala, a village near Bethlehem. "But they will think 10 times before going into a church. It is a political decision for them." Notably, no Palestinian gunmen tried to hide in the large mosque directly across Manger Square when Israeli troops invaded Bethlehem.

 The Rev. Michael McGarry, director of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Christian Studies, located between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, said the religious orders that oversee the Church of the Nativity have a long tradition of sheltering people who are fleeing danger, regardless of their guilt or innocence.

 "For the church, it's a very important honor and matter of dignity to allow people to seek refuge there and not turn them over in the face of a hostile situation," he said.

 Many clergy members in Bethlehem openly support the Palestinian cause. Several priests and monks inside the church are Arabs; others have spent their careers ministering to Palestinian Christians. Although official church positions vary, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, who is the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the region, is a longtime ally of the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. Israel has rejected Palestinian attempts to have the prelate serve as a mediator.

 On the same day that the Palestinians entered the Church of the Nativity, the Latin patriarchate in Jerusalem sent specific instructions to its churches in the West Bank urging them to embrace people seeking protection from the Israeli military offensive, church leaders said.

 "I think the priests did expect this to happen," Lahham said. "Maybe they didn't expect all these guns and so many people, but I'm sure they expected people would come to the church seeking refuge."

 Forty-four priests, friars, monks and nuns remain inside the church, according to a survey of officials from the Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Roman Catholic churches -- the three religious orders that serve as custodians of the site. Franciscan Catholics account for three-fourths of the total.

 Israeli military officials have described the clerics as hostages unable to speak ill of their captors, but those contacted by telephone inside the church strongly disputed that characterization.

 "No, no, no," said the Rev. Amjad Sabbara, a parish priest in the Roman Catholic compound. "We are not hostages. We share everything we have with these people, and pray that they will be able to leave peacefully and go back to their homes."

 Sabbara said the Franciscan monks and friars have provided the Palestinians with the bulk of their food supplies, which amount to a single bowl of rice soup each day shared by two people. Nuns have tended to the wounded. Franciscan leaders also oversaw the construction of two coffins -- made of wooden shipping crates -- to hold the remains of two Palestinians shot to death by Israeli snipers. The coffins are kept in a cave underneath the main basilica, priests said.

 Some of the clergy members are wary about the presence of gunmen in the church. The five Armenian monks and priests have isolated themselves in their monastery and have sealed the door that connects their quarters to the basilica, where most of the Palestinians remain. The Armenians have accepted some small food deliveries from the Israelis, but said they are reluctant to share it with the Palestinians; the supplies are slim.

 "We are treating them as guests, although you might call them unwanted guests," said Bishop Aris Shirvanian, director of external affairs for the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem. "So far they have been respectful to all, but you can imagine what might happen when they reach the point of starvation and desperately look for food or water. They may become violent inside the compound. This is a serious concern."

 The six Greek Orthodox priests have offered the bottom two floors of their monastery to the Palestinians and have handed over five sacks of rice, but have drawn the line at providing any more food from the limited stocks, Father Parthenius said.

 He said the Greek priests have enough spaghetti, beans and rice to last them another 10 days, plus plenty of wine.

 The Church of the Nativity was originally built in 326 A.D. on the orders of the Roman Emperor Constantine, after his mother made a pilgrimage to the area. Local Christians first identified the site as the birthplace of Jesus in the 2nd century.

 The church was razed but rebuilt 200 years later by the Emperor Justinian. It was also extensively remodeled by the Crusaders from Europe and designed to repel invaders. The stone structure strongly resembles a fortress, with thick walls, a handful of small iron-grated windows and a tiny front door, only 4 feet 2 inches high.

 The interior of the basilica is decorated with ancient mosaics and supported by rows of red limestone columns. Most of the Palestinians sleep on the stone floor, where there are no pews or other furniture. People inside the church said there is a shortage of blankets, so the men sleep in shifts. Candles illuminate the basilica during the day because so little natural light penetrates the building.

 Underneath the main floor is the Grotto of the Nativity, where Jesus is said to have been born. Priests and monks have held daily services here for centuries, but recently have had to sidestep about a dozen wounded Palestinians who have turned the spot into a makeshift medical ward, priests said.

 The Greek Orthodox and Franciscans venture into the basilica and grotto daily, where they keep candles and incense burning, but spend most of their time in the monasteries and convents that serve as wings to the church.

 Like the basilica, those buildings are constructed like fortresses and equipped in the same spirit. There are old cisterns that collect rainwater, and a large well underneath the Greek Orthodox monastery. Although Palestinian leaders said the gunmen were running out of water days ago, priests said a sizable reservoir remained. In recent days, the Israeli army has also delivered bottled water -- fortified with 40 minerals and vitamins -- to some of the clergy, church leaders said.

 Perhaps the most pressing shortage is a lack of cigarettes. Father Parthenius said almost all the Palestinians are smokers and are growing increasingly irritable from nicotine withdrawal. Some have resorted to smoking oregano and other spices. "They're having to go cold turkey, and it bothers them a lot," he said.

 Estimates vary on the number of Palestinians inside the church. Israeli military officials said there are between 200 and 240, but even they aren't sure. Nor is it known exactly how many are armed.

 The Israelis have said that most of the Palestinians are innocent of crimes and that only 30 to 40 are wanted for specific crimes. They have identified 10 of the Palestinians by name as suspected terrorists, including two men wanted for the slaying of Avi Boaz, a U.S. citizen and longtime resident of Israel who was dragged from his car and killed in the West Bank in January.

 Gunfire erupts daily in the vicinity of the church, with each side blaming the other for starting the fights. But the Israelis have refrained from an all-out assault on the church, saying they want to avoid damaging the holy site.

 Col. Marcel Aviv, the commander of the Israeli forces in Bethlehem, said the military would be patient but would not withdraw until the Palestinians surrender.

 "They think if they go inside these holy places, we won't do anything and we'll eventually go away," he said. "But they're wrong. We'll wait here until we get them."

 In the meantime, the Israelis blare grinding noises and other unpleasant sounds from loudspeakers set up on Manger Square. They also broadcast messages informing the Palestinians that their families might face harm if they don't give up.

 But there have been few signs that the Palestinians are losing their stomach for resistance. Jihad Abdul Rahman, a 16-year-old Palestinian who escaped from the church this week, said the conditions inside were dire but predicted the fugitives would hold out for many more days, if necessary.

 "They are really in a horrible situation," he said in an interview at his home in a refugee camp south of Bethlehem. "Prison would be a more merciful place for them. But they were all saying they would rather die than surrender to the Israelis. They don't trust them."

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