Threats force Christmas coexistence rallies apart

Israeli activists formed a heart-shaped drumming circle in Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon, after safety concerns forced them to pull out of a joint Christmas Eve peace event with Palestinians next to the Bethlehem security barrier.
With the help of American aerial artist John Quigley, Israelis and Palestinians had planned to form a large human sculpture of a peace sign, with the concrete barrier running through it.
But at the last moment, threats from Palestinian hard-liners to sabotage the project forced organizers to scrap the barrier event out of safety concerns.
Instead, Palestinians gathered solo in Bethlehem’s Manger Square on Monday, where, under Quigley’s direction, they formed a peace sign with the words “Love All” by the large Christmas tree.
And on Tuesday afternoon, Israelis and some foreigners sat in the shape of a heart on the cold stones of downtown Jerusalem’s Zion Square.