Bethlehem is indeed a town of significance to Christians, not least to the thousands of Palestinian Christians who call it home (Crossword 88, 10 Across, NI 369). However, it is not in Israel, but was illegally occupied by the Israeli military for 28 years, who still frequently invade the Palestinian town. It is currently surrounded by Israeli troops and is cut off from Jerusalem and surrounding villages by the illegal Israeli wall. I expected the NI to know better.
The NI deeply regrets this error, as does Axe who compiles our crossword. He adds: ‘I cannot understand how I could have allowed such a basic error of pure geography. But also to fuel the emotional fires over such a delicate issue is unbelievable. Please accept my apologies and pass them on to any reader whom I may have upset.’