Banksy, why do you oppose the message of peace?

Dear Banksy,

For this Christmas season, you created a special nativity scene. You call your artwork „The Scar of Bethlehem“. Mary and Joseph, ox and donkey and the baby Jesus are arranged on straw bedding in front of a wall of gray concrete slabs. A star-shaped hole caused by an explosion in the wall depicts the guiding star of Bethlehem.

I have a question: How did Mary and Joseph get to Bethlehem?

Mary and Joseph were Jews and Jews are now persecuted in Bethlehem. Bethlehem today is not safe for Jews. Bethlehem today is a place of Jew hatred.

The murderous hatred of Jews, which is cultivated in Bethlehem, is constantly seeking ways to murder in Israel as well. Actually, the wall shown in your nativity scene ensures that the festering hatred of Jews in Bethlehem can’t explode in Israel. Since the barrier was built, suicide bombings in Israel – committed by terrorists educated and trained in the territories under the rule of the Palestinian Authority – have been reduced to zero. The barrier protects the lives of Jews.

In Bethlehem, Fatah rules. On the 47th anniversary of Fatah, Mufti Muhammad Hussein, whom Abbas personally appointed „spiritual leader of an autonomous Palestine“, spoke the following words to a cheering crowd: „The hour of resurrection will not come until we have annihilated the Jews.“

Children in Bethlehem are taught to hate Jews. In schools and on children’s television they are told that Jews are not human beings and that it’s even fun to kill them. They sing songs celebrating the extermination of Jews and recite poems that present Jews as the worst plague in the world. Parents tell their children that they would be proud of them if they should murder Jews in suicide missions.

The founding charter of Hamas of August 18, 1988 states that all Jews worldwide should be exterminated (Article 7) and that there should be no peace with Israel (Article 13). Hamas ministers call for the extermination of all Jews, which they publicly describe as vermin and bacteria, whose throats should be cut and families murdered. Speeches calling for the annihilation of Jews are continually held in schools, mosques, market places and on television.

The Gaza Strip has been „freed of Jews“. On the morning of September 12, 2005, the last Jews left the Gaza Strip via the Kissufim border crossing. Arabs celebrated the withdrawal frenetically with gun salvos and noisy motorcades. Torched synagogues recreated a live Middle Eastern „Crystal Night“. Since that infamous day, Hamas has fired over eight thousand rockets and grenades at Israel. The rockets are aimed at civilian targets in Israel: schools, kindergartens, synagogues, mosques, churches and hospitals.

In the Palestinian territories, Jew hatred is preached and encouraged. On the contrary, the Israeli declaration of independence reiterates a message of peace:

„WE EXTEND our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.“

The declaration of independence of the Jewish state of Israel resembles much more the message in the Christian Christmas story.

Dear Banksy,

why do you oppose this message of peace? Why do you criticize the land of Israel, which desires peace? Why do you criticize a barrier that protects Jews from being murdered?

———

My thanks go to the artist William Wires for his inspiration and translations of my texts into English.

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