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The Meaning of the Peace: Bethlehem's Apartheid Wall

by Abby Zimet

Seeking to bring home and make real the experience of living behind the concrete wall that surrounds the people of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, London's historic St. James Church has erected a 26-foot-high replica of the wall for a 12-day "festival of hope" featuring music, art, food and poetry. “Bethlehem Unwrapped” is aimed at "unwrapping the traditional, Victorian, sentimental images of Christmas, showing (what) Bethlehem today looks like" and reaching out to celebrate "the people.... behind the wall." Organizers have invited people to write messages of solidarity on the wall, which they call "symbolic of walls all over the world that divide and confine peoples." With poignant video of Palestinians in Bethlehem telling the story of Jesus, born here, "a refugee."

"Jesus came to tell people about the meaning of the peace, the meaning of the love, the meaning of the life together."


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