Bethlehem Walk canceled over Israeli inclusion
Organizers of the silent walk in Bethlehem receive threats from Palestinian activists angry over "normalization" with Israel.
Palestinian flags waving in West Bank Photo: 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.
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.”
planned event drew strong condemnations from Palestinian youth activists in
Bethlehem, who expressed outrage over the participation of Israelis.
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