Saving Bethlehem From the Brink

Vera Baboun, the first woman mayor of the city where Jesus was born, faces no small task: To improve a dire economic situation and to stop residents from emigrating.

Christmas Eve and the days that follow are the best of times for Bethlehem and its merchants. Everyone is outdoors. Beneath a giant Christmas tree decorated with tiny lights, vendors do a brisk trade in cotton candy, hot corn, falafel, Santa Claus hats and colorful Mickey Mouse, Santa and Dora balloons. Kids and grownups, religious and secular folks, Muslims and Christians, police and civilians - all are having...