Between late December and early January St James’s Church, Piccadilly is hosting “Bethlehem Unwrapped”, a Christmas festival – produced in association with several radical NGOs – presenting a series of events and activities on the lives of Palestinians “living behind the wall”. “Bethlehem Unwrapped” includes an especially duplicitous anti-Israel propaganda stunt: the erection of an 8 meter-tall “replica” of the Israeli “wall” that it claims (erroneously) “surrounds Bethlehem” and imposes hardships on the town’s inhabitants.
It is duplicitous, as Denis MacEoin argued recently in his open letter to St. James Church, because it doesn’t mention the dozens of security fences that have been built by other countries (such as India’s barrier in Kashmir and the “Peace Lines” in Northern Ireland), nor the fact that the barrier – built in response to waves of deadly Palestinian suicide bomb attacks – has saved countless lives. It is also a moral failure as a Christmas message because it ignores the real problems faced by Christians in the Palestinian territories – the intolerance and violence of Islamist extremists who seek a Palestine free of Christians and, of course, Jews.
Though much has been written about Israel’s security fence and the mock wall currently on display in London, attempts to impute Israeli racism, segregation or even “apartheid” to such a non-lethal response to murderous attacks against its citizens is standard fare within radical anti-Israel circles – all of which brings us to the following photo published on page 8 of the Dec. 30 print edition of the Guardian, under the heading, ‘A taste of segregation‘:
Of course, suggesting that Israel engages in codified segregation by erecting such a fence fails the most obvious tests of logic and common sense, as Palestinian Arabs who live in the West Bank are NOT citizens of Israel and therefore can’t possibly be expected to enjoy the same rights and privileges. Suggesting that Israel’s barrier represents “segregation” (a word which typically refers to separation or isolation based on race) is as absurd as claiming that United States is practicing ‘segregation’ on their southern border because Mexican citizens aren’t allowed to automatically cross the ‘fenced’ border into America.
In short, there is no racial component to Israeli checkpoints and security fences.
Finally, it is interesting to note that when you look closely at the Guardian’s photo it is cut off around the lower left where two Brits (Sharon and Lesley Klaff) spray painted in red the words “THIS WALL SAVES LIVES”.
If the Guardian had decided to highlight this obscured message perhaps some of their readers less susceptible to their agitprop would have gleaned the most obvious moral lesson: Though the barrier can reasonably be criticized because it creates ‘hardships’ for Palestinians, the reality is that such hardships are reversible. The deaths of Israeli men, women and children – at the hands of homicidal extremists – are not.
- ‘Tis the season for anti-Israel propaganda at St James’s Church, Piccadilly. (cifwatch.com)
- Does BBC reporting on Israel’s anti-terrorist fence meet standards of ‘due impartiality’? – part 3 (bbcwatch.org)
- PSC patron’s Christmas smear of Israel promoted on multiple BBC platforms (bbcwatch.org)
- CiF Watch prompts correction to extremely misleading Livni quote at ‘Comment is Free’ (cifwatch.com)