Having just returned from the "little town of Bethlehem" I can say it's not so little now. But "How still we see thee lie" is certainly true. It's almost a dead town due to having been ringed with fences by the Israeli army. These have taken farming land and stop people going in and out of the town. Palestinians are all prisoners.

The tourist trade is dead - we were the only tour group, staying in the only major hotel still open. The manager had not been able to visit his home town only 50 miles away for four years. The Three Wise Men would not now be allowed through the many roadblocks and checkpoints. New towns built illegally by Zionist settlers dominate the shepherds' hills. Everything we associate with Christmas is affronted - even the Church of the Nativity, the site where Jesus was born, was besieged by tanks.

In denial of the teachings of Christianity and Judaism the Palestinian people have had most of their land stolen and are harassed and humiliated in an attempt to drive them all away as refugees.

Our government supports America which props up Israel. Thus we share the blame for the callous injustice that earns hatred and leads to desperation and terrorism. Tony Blair should use his opportunity to insist on America changing its policy to one which supports liberty, freedom, democracy, etc for the Palestinian people.

Stephen Petter