World View: Christmas in Bethlehem Is the Biggest in Years

Christ Child figurines are displayed in a shop in the Biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem, on December 22, 2018, three days ahead of the Christmas celebration. (Photo by THOMAS COEX / AFP) (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Christmas in Bethlehem is the biggest in years
  • DJIA falls 650 points on Monday

Christmas in Bethlehem is the biggest in years

Christmas eve celebrations at Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on Monday (AFP)
Christmas eve celebrations at Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on Monday (AFP)

It is Christmas in Bethlehem today (Tuesday). Bethlehem is unique in that it celebrates Christmas three times each year:

  • Catholics and Protestants celebrate Christmas on December 25.
  • Most Orthodox Churches – including the Greek Orthodox, Ethiopian, Russian Orthodox, Coptic and Syrian – celebrate Christmas on January 7, thanks to a switch to the Gregorian calendar in 1576.
  • The Armenian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem celebrates Christmas on January 19, due to another calendar change.

About 50 percent of the Palestinian Arab Christian community across Israel and the Palestinian territories belong to the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and celebrate Christmas on January 7.

Pilgrims from around the world come to the West Bank city of Bethlemen each year to celebrate Christmas at the Church of the Nativity, venerated as the site of Jesus Christ’s birth. In past years, tourists have stayed away because of tensions and violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Last year, tensions were high because of repeated violence around the al-Aqsa Mosque/Temple Mount compound and then again when President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

However, this has been a relatively quiet year in the West Bank, and so this has been a record-setting year in terms of tourism. Some three million tourists have visited Bethlehem this year, and the city’s hotels hosted an “astounding” 10,000 tourists overnight on Christmas Eve. AFP and AP

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DJIA falls 650 points on Monday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 652.83 points on Monday and other Wall Street indexes fell proportionally. CNBC described the market decline as “very orderly.”

If the decline continues and becomes “disorderly,” then that will be an actual stock market panic. The S&P 500 Price/Earnings ratio is around 20 and has been above 20 for years. The historic average is 14, which means that the stock market is in a huge bubble and something will trigger a total panic and implosion. The P/E ratio fell to the 5-6 range three times in the last century, the last time in 1982, and when it does, the DJIA will fall to around 3000.

There has been a lot of nonsense on television about President Donald Trump blaming the Fed for a stock market crash. Blaming the Fed does no harm, but it does no good either. It is irrelevant.

There was a similar stock market bubble in 1929. It has been 89 years since the 1929 panic and to this day nobody knows what triggered it and why it happened on August 28 rather than a few months earlier or later. The same will be true when the new panic occurs this time. I hope Trump understands that he who lives by the stock market dies by the stock market. Market Watch and Bloomberg

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Christmas, Bethlehem, West Bank, Church of the Nativity, al-Aqsa Mosque, Temple Mount compound, Jerusalem, Dow Jones Industrial Average, DJIA
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