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Bethlehem Walk canceled over Israeli inclusion
October 2, 2012 19:01
Organizers of the silent walk in Bethlehem receive threats from Palestinian activists angry over "normalization" with Israel.
Palestinian flags waving in West Bank

Palestinian flags waving in West Bank 370. (photo credit:Reuters)

Organizers of the Bethlehem Walk said Tuesday they have decided to cancel the event following strong protests and threats from Palestinian activists, who objected to the participation of Israelis.

The event was supposed to take place on October 5 in Bethlehem.

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Israelis, Palestinians and members of other nations and religions from around the world were supposed to walk quietly in Bethlehem to promote “change and acknowledge basic common grounds and sow the seeds of understanding and acceptance.”

The organizers said in their invitation that “walking in mindfulness is a quiet walk full of respect for the here and now. It is an experience that helps us to develop calm, balance and confidence when faced with the challenges of reality.”

However, the planned event drew strong condemnations from Palestinian youth activists in Bethlehem, who expressed outrage over the participation of Israelis.

The activists called for cancelling the event under the pretext that it was a form of “normalization” with Israel. They also threatened to prevent Israelis from “desecrating our holy city and sites.”

The organizers said they decided to cancel the event “out of respect for the feeling of all those who were outraged by the march.”

One of the Palestinian organizers, who asked not to be identified, said his group “had no intention to spark violence and outrage.”
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