Will it be a merry Christmas for Palestinian Christians this year? The answer is that it depends who you ask.
According to some the picture is bleak. Take, for example, this report about Santa having to “ditch his sleigh in Egypt and crawl through a smuggling tunnel to bring a little Christmas joy to the Gaza Strip.” Or this piece about new nativity scene sculptures on sale in Bethlehem that sum up local frustrations — they show Joseph, Mary, crib, wise men and large Israeli concrete wall with military watchtower.
Others are more upbeat. The Bintel Blog has already reported that Palestinian hotels are experiencing something of a boom. This article discusses flourishing tourism in Bethlehem, with four times the number of visitors this year than in 2007, and reports on a new event meant to draw people in — the town’s first Christmas rock concert.
Ck, the fellow behind the wonderful blog Jewlicious, has been analyzing his site’s Web stats — and he’s made some interesting findings about what Palestinians are searching for:
In the past year, Jewlicious has recorded 1262 visits from what Google calls the Palestinian Territories. What sort of insight might we be able to gain from this informal interaction? Well, it seems the vast majority of the traffic, 84% of it, came from search engine results. The top keywords were as follows:
1) israeli girls
2) israeli sex movies
3) palestinian singles
4) hot israeli girls
5) israeli sex movie
6) arab hot babe
7) escort israel
8) german colony restaurant
9) israel girls
10) hot Israelis
Other notable keywords were: address sex home in tel aviv, balestine gay (not a typo), gay arab shoes, gay nazis pic, homophobia palestine, natalie portman zionist, sex children egy 15year photo (??? I don’t want to know…), shakshuka recipe and of course miri eisin. The rest of the Arab world evinces similar themes - Egypt, with 8,664 visits has israeli girls, israeli babes and hot israeli girls as top key words (shakshuka is in there too). The United Arab Emirates with 8,023 visitors has Israeli girls, Israeli babes and Jewish babes as their top key words. Israel, with 398,342 visitors in the past year had jewlicious, israeli babes and shakshuka as it’s top three keywords.
Well, that’s the Internet for you. At least, Israelis and Arabs can come together over their shared (and wholesome) taste for shakshuka. I just hope the State Department will be serving up some of the tasty tomato-and-egg dish at Annapolis.