Xmas in Bethlehem: By the Numbers
19: Fully booked hotels.
1.3 million: Tourists visiting Bethlehem this year.
30,000: Visitors expected just for Christmas Eve.
5,000: Additional visitors expected for January's Orthodox rites.
12,000: New jobs created by tourism surge.
30 percent: Drop in local unemployment over past three years, attributing to improved security situation.
1,500: PA security men deployed for Christmas season.
2.8 million: Estimated number of tourists in Israel in 2008.
Hmmm. Random thought, would Obama pressure Israel to dismantle the security barriers and usher in a new era of homicide bombing? I know he's not even a day in office and I mentioned I prefer to lay off this issue until something does happen, but he keeps surrounding himself with ... ehem... sordid individuals shall we say? And I'm not the only one to notice it if you browse through my latest posts.