In a controversial stunt, St. James' Church in central London erects a replica of the wall separating Bethlehem and the West Bank in an attempt to show the reality of Palestinian life.
Britain got a taste of Palestinian life this week when a London church unveiled an eight-meter-high replica of the Israeli-built wall that surrounds Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.
The feature at St James' Church, is designed to replicate the Israel/Palestine barrier wall which stands around the holy city and other parts of the territories has already caused a stir in the capital.
The controversial wall, erected in a bid to highlight injustice in Palestine, has divided the city as members of the public have scrawled both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli graffiti on the structure. The move comes as part of the “Bethlehem Unwrapped” festival, set to run from December 23 to January 5. The festival's Creative Director Justin Butcher said: The festival aims to “unwrap” the image of Bethlehem, which for many in the West is based on the “sentimental Victorian image found on Christmas cards and perpetuated in Christmas carols."
He added: "The wall divides communities from one another and divides communities from their land, It has a really devastating effect on the Palestinian economy and Palestinian communities. This is not a straight forward border divide.”
Meanwhile, church rector Reverand Lucy Winkett said that “This wall is symbolic of walls all over the world that divide and confine peoples, restricting free movement and dominating the imagination of those who live behind them.”