Oct. 10, 2017
- Setting the Record Straight: “The Siege” of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem – Yair Altman
New York University’s Skirball Center is hosting performances of the play “The Siege,” which presents a revisionist, anti-Israel take on the capture of terrorists who barricaded themselves in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee MK Avi Dichter, who headed the Israel Security Agency at the time, has written to university officials describing how the events actually unfolded, in contrast to what is presented in the play.
“The play you are putting on seeks to rewrite history and instead of Palestinian terrorists who took the holy Church of the Nativity hostage, you are presenting [them] as innocent civilians who were hiding in the church….All those same hundreds of terrorists who until then had been shooting at windows in [the Jerusalem neighborhood of] Gilo, sending terrorists with explosive belts into Jerusalem, and shooting mortars at the capital of Israel, broke into the Church of the Nativity in the city [of Bethlehem] and barricaded themselves inside. They took dozens of…priests and monks hostage.”
“A hostile takeover of one of Christianity’s holiest sites must not be turned into ‘a struggle for survival and freedom,’ as it is described in the program. New York University must not serve as fertile ground for this contemptible, anti-Semitic play that portrays terrorist attackers as freedom fighters.” (Israel Hayom)