Readers React: The Islamist threat facing Bethlehem this Christmas


To the editor: For the second time this month in the print edition, The Times has published a piece on the “Israeli-Palestinian violence [that] damped the typically festive mood” in the city of Bethlehem.

Conspicuously absent from Times coverage of the city’s subdued atmosphere during the Christian holiday season is the reported threat posed by Islamic extremists. As the Associated Press reported, a Palestinian security officer said that “Palestinian security forces arrested Wednesday about a dozen suspected radical Islamists in Bethlehem.”

According to Israeli Ynetnews, Palestinian security forces arrested 16 Salafists, fearing Islamic State planned to target Christian tourists.


Will The Times be reporting on Islamist threats to Bethlehem, or is the dampened holiday spirit newsworthy only if Israel is somehow implicated?

Tamar Sternthal, Jerusalem

The writer is director of the Israel office of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

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