September 17, 2005 / BBC News
Born in Bethlehem Hospital of Bethlehem
Tim Butcher, currently based in the Middle East, has just become a father for the first time, but he is not sure how grateful his son will be when he realises the significance of his birthplace.
A baby has just been born in Bethlehem and, while the birth might not quite have the same global impact of its illustrious predecessor, for Jane and me it was our own modest miracle.
Based as journalists in the disputed city of Jerusalem, the arrival of our first child posed a dilemma, as where the baby would be born had implications.
Some ex-pat friends of ours, about to have a child, chose to fly all the way home to the United States rather than risk problems downstream.
They were fearful that, without a tectonic shift in Middle East politics, their child would find travel in the Arab world problematic with a passport giving Israel as place of birth.