Jesus is a terrorist, there ain’t no one can doubt it. Born in Bethlehem, what more need I say about it? Thirty foot concrete barriers, soldiers armed with guns, being born in Bethlehem just ain’t much fun. Jesus stands on the corner, throwin’ stones at tanks. Israeli soldiers don’t hold back, they ain’t shootin’ blanks. Jesus stands defiant, a David ‘gainst Goliath. Jesus is a terrorist, he ain’t allowed to pass. Being born in Bethlehem, life is over fast.
Jesus is a terrorist, he ain’t allowed to pass. You know what they’re teaching, in those Christian schools in town. He’s learning hate against the state, and what it means to martyr. Jesus is a terrorist, he don’t need Jimmy Carter. Jesus knows all ’bout them virgins. That ain’t no lie they tell ya, once you pass them pearly gates, it pays to be a fella!
Jesus is a carpenter, but he’s not allowed to work. He passes time carving trinkets for those Christian tourist folk. They come and kiss the ground where Jesus once lay swaddled. They bargain him down, then they just turn on back around. They close their eyes to the soldiers, they close their eyes to the wall. Jesus, born in Bethlehem, don’t stand any chance at all.
Jesus rode a donkey once, straight on through to Jerusalem. Today, Jesus ain’t got a prayer, he’s not allowed to pass. Jesus can’t stoop low enough to kiss the soldier’s ass.
The tourists come back home, blind as before. They go to church, and they sing their songs, and look up on the wall. Jesus still is hangin’ there, saving them from the fall. But just like Judas, they turn their backs, no one heeds his call.
Cause Jesus is a terrorist, but don’t you worry none. It’s just a name they give you when you’re Palestinian. A savior born in Bethlehem- it’s quite a story, but just not rightcause Jesus is a terrorist, don’t you worry ’bout his plight.
Today, the people of Bethlehem are imprisoned behind a thirty-foot high concrete wall, unable to move. The Christian community cannot travel to Jerusalem to pray at the church of the Holy Sepulchre- a short, twenty-minute drive from Bethlehem. The Israeli military occupation, nearing its 40th year, has strangled the economy as well as the people living in the Holy Land, and there is no end in sight. The people are constantly at risk, not even their homes are safe, no sanctuary available- anywhere. The checkpoints and the military incursions are constant reminders that the life of a Palestinian in Bethlehem is cheap. And the Christian community, as well as the world, looks on in silence. At this time of year, as we remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus, may all Christians, and all people of faith, raise their voices and demand justice for the good people of Bethlehem and Palestine.
The occupation must end.
JOHNNY BARBER is a member of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. He has travelled to Iraq, Israel, Occupied Palestine and Lebanon to bear witness and document the suffering of people who are affected by war. He advocates for reconciliation and nonviolent strategies in the face of violence and oppression. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.