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Joseph and Mary can’t make it to Bethlehem, on Banksy’s Christmas card
Yesterday an image that is purportedly British street artist Banksy’s Christmas card this year started making the rounds on Twitter.
The artwork in question is, in many ways, a conventional Biblical landscape painting, which shows what are presumably the figures of Joseph and Mary — she astride a donkey — making their way toward Bethlehem, only to find their route blocked by the graffiti-covered Israeli West Bank Concrete Wall.
(a) Immunity from personal arrest or detention and from seizure of their personal baggage;
See “Israel’s detention of UN expert ‘unprecedented and deeply regrettable’ – rights chief”, 16 December 2008 – – - http://www.un.org/en/ethics/pdf/convention.pdf -
Israel’s refusal to allow a United Nations expert to transit to carry out his officially mandated functions in the occupied Palestinian territory, his detention and subsequent expulsion is “unprecedented and deeply regrettable,” — - http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/26D5CA4D5AB90242852...D8D6F -
The image evokes a powerful sense of how the life of a Palestinian is affected – even shared religious wisdom (ie: The Christian story) cannot escape the powerful grips of racist Israeli government policy.
The town of Bethlehem (like other Palestinian towns and villages) is being choked by an 8-metre-high concrete wall. In the minds of Christians and non-Christians in Palestine and around the world, Bethlehem is also inexorably bound to the stories and traditions surrounding the birth of Jesus (which include themes of oppression and exclusion).
To the left, a shepherd tends his sheep, while in the distant sky a cross-shaped star lights up the heavens over the imposing an illegal concrete wall.