From a Christian perspective, the erection of the Wall around St. James Church in Piccadilly, London UK, purporting to be a replica of Israel’s security barrier, is a serious and incredibly negative action. Whether or not it was meant to, the building on this wall increases anti-Israel tension, and panders to anti-Zionism, looking for a way to blame Jewish people through the action of Israel.
I am a Christian, and Christmas is a season of goodwill, cultural togetherness (for even those who are not religious in the UK, still enjoy the festivities in one way or another) and harmony.
What I believe St. James Church has done, is highlight a one-sided viewpoint in an already negative mindset towards Israel. By erecting such a wall, without any kind of true and honest context, it will have the effect of horrifying the general public, to see what they believe is a huge, monstrous dividing wall, oppressing and caging in the Palestinians. With no other recourse to alternative information, this self-perpetuates the myth of Palestinian oppression by the “evil Israelis”.
The image of “walls” is a negative one, implying imprisonment as opposed to freedom and is therefore easily used by those who wish to demonise Israel.
The Church’s responsibility is to share truth, and unite, not to demonise and be divisive. St. James Church has failed to keep a balanced perspective on why the security barrier is there in the first place. It does not address how many lives have been saved by this barrier. It also does not address the issue that given a secure and safe future, Israel will take that security barrier away!
Nothing in life is one-sided, and the issue of the security barrier certainly isn’t. It is possible that St. James Church is unaware of Israel’s perspective. If this is true, then the truth needs to find them quickly, and must be shared. If they are aware of the truth of the situation, yet have blatantly ignored it, then deliberate misinformation and lies need to be opposed as strongly as possible.
That is why it will be a honour and privilege to join with my dear Jewish and Christian friends on Saturday at St. James Church, to make a stand for truth.
I encourage all those, from any religion, faith, colour, or creed, to make a stand with us also!