The BBC locates a Bethlehem
[shepherd] carpenter whose business isn’t doing well this year. It’s the fault of the [Jews] wall.
Even the Guardian, no friend of Israel, had other alternative suggestions: terror attacks in Europe, the downing of a Russian plane and Palestinian uprising.
“After the Paris attacks, Europe stood up as one and decided it wasn’t coming [to the Middle East],” he (Bethlehem hotel manager) says. “We also used to get a lot of people from eastern Europe who come via Turkey and visit here, but not after the Russian plane [downed over the Sinai desert in Egypt in October]. Then there is the situation here …”
During the last intifada the hotel was closed for four years so some economic fallout shouldn’t have been such a surprise.
Yes stabbing people in what the Palestinians are now calling a popular uprising will be tough on trade. Buyers might be deterred by the violence against random passers-by. A driver ramming his car into a bus stop might have difficulty distinguishing Jews from Christian pilgrims— or might not care.
I would also add the Palestinian Authority
[ordering] asking Christians to tone down the celebration as a factor the BBC missed.