A Methodist church in the West end of London is opening a “life-sized copy of a border control point at the separation barrier between Israel and occupied Palestine”.
Visitors to You cannot pass today: Life through a dividing wall (see event) that begins on Monday will walk through the checkpoint, installed at Hinde Street Methodist Church in Marylebone, accompanied by documentary photography, sound, testimony and eyewitness accounts.
It is one of a number of events taking place around the country this September as part of “World Week for Peace in Palestine & Israel” organised by World Council of Churches.
Events are also set to take place in Newcastle, Edinburgh, Berkshire, Birmingham, Salisbury, Wigan (see full list) in what is being described as “a week of advocacy and action in support for an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel” and are backed by a number of Christian organisations, including Amos Trust, Baptist Union of Great Britain, Church of Scotland, Council of Lutheran Churches, Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine & Israel, Embrace the Middle East, Friends of Sabeel UK, Kairos Britain, Methodist Church in Britain, Pax Christi UK, Quakers in Britain and United Reformed Church-Commitment for Life.
Whilst peace between Israel and Palestinians is something Christians should be actively praying for, resources provided in support of the week are extremely biased against Israel and fail to present Israel’s position on why the security barrier is needed.
Its main resource booklet, “Dismantling Barriers”, which is the theme of “World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel” states, “While communities around the world are welcome to commemorate the week in whatever ways suits their context, it is recommended that extra focus be placed on four barriers undermining efforts to establish a just peace in Palestine and Israel: the separation barrier, checkpoints, the ongoing situation in the Gaza strip, and settlements.
It completely ignores the ongoing incitement to terror by Palestinian government officials, threats and rocket fire by the terrorist organisation Hamas, that is controlling Gaza, tunnel digging into Israel, and the actions of hundreds of Palestinian terrorists that have murdered Israelis over the past 12 months on the streets of Israel.
Research body, BICOM, provides explanation why the security barrier is needed:
“After the failure of negotiations at Camp David in 2000, the Second Intifada broke out and brought with it a wave of suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks to Israel. Whilst Israel has experienced terrorism throughout its history, it had never been so intense. In 2002, a fatal suicide bombing was carried out in Israel nearly every two weeks. The attackers invariably came from the West Bank. In response, Israel decided to build a security barrier in order to stop terrorists from entering Israel from the West Bank. This contributed to a dramatic reduction in successful terrorist attacks inside Israel. All but five per cent of the barrier is an electronically monitored fence and the rest is a wall.
“The purpose of the security barrier is to prevent attacks on Israeli citizens. Whilst the final border between Israel and the Palestinians has to be resolved in negotiations, the route of the security barrier is determined by the need to save Israeli lives by preventing Palestinian terrorists from reaching Israeli towns and cities. In 2004, the Israeli Supreme Court made a landmark ruling, which concluded the fence was legal, on the strict grounds that its purpose was to protect lives. The court also determined that the route should not cause disproportionate harm to the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank. On the basis of this ruling, the route of the fence was changed in many places to minimise the impact on Palestinian life. The revised route closely follows the Green Line (the 1949 armistice line) in many places and includes less than 10 per cent of the West Bank on the Israeli side.
“Palestinians living in the West Bank are able to appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court against the route of the fence where it causes disruption to their lives, and have successfully done so in some cases. Attempts are made to minimise disruption caused by the fence, for example by building agricultural gates that allow Palestinian farmers to access their land.”
Christians United for Israel UK