Ron DeSantis tells Iowans of ‘nasty’ Bethlehem ‘pigsty’ during Iowa close
April is a big travel month for Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis israel AP (Large)
The Governor keeps telling Iowans he's 'upset' by the 'Palestinian Arab controlled' city.

Ron DeSantis wrapped his campaign schedule in Iowa with a final shot across the bow of Bethlehem.

Not the one in Pennsylvania, either, but the one central to the Christian tradition.

During remarks in Ankeny on Sunday, the Florida Governor fumed about the “Palestinian Arab controlled” city where Christ was born and how “upset” he is by its current condition.

“So if you go to Bethlehem, I mean, it’s honestly, I was really upset. It’s a pigsty, trash everywhere. It was nasty,” DeSantis said.

The travelogue continued.

“They have a church … I think it’s where they think Christ was born,” DeSantis explained. “They built this beautiful church so they have it there and everything and you go in, then you walk out and they built this like massive mosque towering over it because that’s just kind of what they do.”

“So all these key sites, if Israel was not a sovereign over them, you know, I don’t know that they would even last if not. So I think they play an important role (not just) as a democracy in the Middle East, but also (as a) caretaker.”

The Governor has made Bethlehem bashing central to his campaign in the more than three months since Hamas attacked Israelis on Oct. 7.

During a campaign stop in Iowa, the Florida Governor maligned the religiously significant city as a “pigsty” and a “disgrace” just two days before Christmas, complaining of the “intentional” mosque offending his sensibilities on that occasion.

“In fact, Bethlehem is controlled by the Palestinian Arabs. And so there, there’s a church where you can go where they, they say, is where Christ was born. And it’s a beautiful church. But (when) you walk out, first of all, it’s like a pigsty. The city, it’s not well-kept. And then they built this massive mosque right in front of it to like tower over it,” DeSantis commented at the 2023 Presidential Thanksgiving FAMiLY Forum in Iowa.

The Governor seems to be referring to Omar Ibn Al Khattab, which is the sole mosque in Bethlehem’s Old City, opposite the Church of the Nativity.

Lonely Planet notes it “was built in 1860 on land granted by the Greek Orthodox Church in honor of Omar, the Prophet Muhammad’s father-in-law, who in 637 took Jerusalem from the flagging Byzantines and then stopped for prayer at the Christian Church of the Nativity.”

The Pact of Omar declared it would forever be a Christian place of worship.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • My Take

    January 15, 2024 at 12:43 am

    A pigsty, in a land where almost no one eats pork.

  • My Take

    January 15, 2024 at 12:46 am

    The Palestinians shouldn t have a nation … because they don’t sweep the streets.

  • PeterH

    January 15, 2024 at 8:44 am

    This is Ron’s “Merry Christmas” message to America’s Christians!

  • waking

    January 15, 2024 at 9:08 am

    Maybe Rona should get that church moved to Disney World if he’s so damned worried about trash, just don’t move it to close to Cindy’s castle

  • Dont Say FLA

    January 15, 2024 at 10:40 am

    Is there anything on Rhonda’s spectrum of analysis between its two poles “Reminds me of Florida” and “A Disgrace”?

    Rhonda’s descriptions of places he visits reveal more about Rhonda than the places he visits.

    Rhonda thinks in black and white, and they’re proud of it.

  • Susan Mason

    January 15, 2024 at 1:04 pm

    Ron DeSantis is the best Governor Florida has ever had. He is a brilliant lawyer and military leader. No one on the ballot can beat our Governor’s character in respect for faith and family, except Donald Trump. I pray President Trump will nominate Ron DeSantis for VP and assign him to close the border and reconcile the USA with our creator, Father God. This land is still One Nation Under God.

    • PeterH

      January 15, 2024 at 1:15 pm

      Neither of your selected choices will ever sit in the Oval Office….not in 2024 …… NEVER!

    • MH/Duuuval

      January 15, 2024 at 3:53 pm

      I hope your prayer is answered and that Dee will have the good sense to accept as DJT is not getting any younger.

  • MH/Duuuval

    January 15, 2024 at 3:59 pm

    Dee is ignorant of the lockdown that the Israeli government has had on the West Bank, and this was before Oct. 7. There have also been numerous confiscations of land held by Palestinian Muslims and Christians.

  • Peter Ellertsen

    January 15, 2024 at 7:16 pm

    I don’t know what DeSantis thinks was “towering over” the Church of the Nativity — the Mosque of Omar is on the other side of a large open square. Manger Square is a city block wide, and I’d estimate it’s 150 to 250 yards away from the church. DeSantis may not realize this, but Jesus is honored as a major prophet in Islam; also, the Christian shrines in Bethlehem attract tourists who account for much of the economic activity there.

Comments are closed.


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