Bethlehem Live Festival: A space of hope
In the context of a decades-long military occupation, where Palestinians livelihood in the West Bank are governed by military law, where Palestinians inside of the lands of 1948 are legally regulated to second-class citizenship, where Palestinians living in Gaza are have endured over a decade of military siege – being denied their most basic necessities – Bet Lahem Live is the small light shining in the darkness that allows the Palestinian community to gather in all our diversity and celebrate our history, culture, and a future of peace characterized by justice and equality.
As Palestinians are routinely denied access to their historical lands in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Nazareth, this festival privileges inclusivity by centering it in Bethlehem – one of the spots that most Palestinians can gather. However, our kinship trapped inside of Gaza, are denied entry, as most Palestinians are restricted from Gaza. Nonetheless, Bethlehem provides that space where families who have been historically connected for hundreds of years, but have been split apart by Israel’s Apartheid Wall, are able to come together and re-envision what the future of the Holy Land may hold – not just for Palestinians – but for all the people who inherit this land.
The working panels on justice, personal identity, and community, all set in the backdrop of art, dance, and music create an environment where new realities can be birthed.
Bet Lahem Live celebrates the diversity of faiths in our city and within the international community. We value acceptance of others and respect for differences. We encourage human connection in shared values, trust, and heritage.
Bet Lahem Live magnifies many aspects of local Palestinian culture — including music, art, theatre, and dance. The festival celebrates the local culture of Bethlehem, while simultaneously engaging multicultural expression through international speakers and performers.
Bet Lahem Live supports restorative and social justice. We believe in the sanctity of all human life, and we, therefore, challenge injustice and oppression. We advocate for the understanding of one another’s needs and the fair sharing of resources. We encourage individual responsibility in the pursuit of greater social justice.
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