Saturday, 28 December 2013

Nigel Kennedy, Jeremy Hardy, Mark Steel and Yasmin Alibhi-Brown make “Bethlehem Unwrapped” unmissable!

One problem with being anti-Israeli/pro-Palestinian must be the kind of company you find yourself keeping. Apart from Islamofascist terrorists, a selection of Middle East tyrants, anti-Semites from the far left and the far right, you find yourself in the same boat as some of the most nauseating left-wing British journalists, academics, politicians, “comedians” and artists of our benighted era. If you hurry,you'll be able to catch many of them in London’s star-studded West End during the next week or so.

St James’ Church in Piccadilly – Anglican, inevitably – is hosting the 12-day “Bethlehem Unwrapped” Festival, whose origins and purpose you can read about here on the Ekklesia website. Basically it’s about people cooking and making music and performing comedy and showing films etc. in the cause of celebrating Arab and Palestinian “peacemakers” in Bethlehem. Or something.

A giant replica of Israel’s security barrier has been installed at St James' church. The wall, of course, is all to do with Israel grabbing land and oppressing Arabs and has nothing whatever to do with protecting Jews from Arab terrorists. Oh dear me, no – of course not. The very idea! Banish any silly notion you might have had that the wall has anything to do with protecting the citizens of the only genuinely democratic country in the region from Muslim governments and organisations who deny Israel’s right to exist, have pledged to drive Israelis into the sea, and teach their children that Jews are apes. No – it’s there because the Israeli government is mean and cruel and evil. (Personally, I’d be happier to see an installation at the church consisting of a mound of replica rockets – you know, the sort regularly fired into Israel by its Arab enemies with the intention of killing Jews.)

If any of you are unconvinced of the desirability of attending this love-in, let me point out some of the things you’ll be missing:

A long-time supporter of a cultural boycott of Israel, mockney violinist Nigel Kennedy, playing his latest composition The Bridge.

A comedy evening, including BBC favourite Mark Steel, who has written newspaper articles mocking claims that the Israel is under serious attack by Hammas (Stop pretending Israel's massacre in Gaza is part of an even battle with Hamas and the Palestinians).

A screening of the film Jeremy Hardy v The Israeli Army by Palestinian film-maker Leila Sansour. Yes, another anti-Israeli BBC favourite – am I sensing a theme here?

A panel discussion involving the second most stupid woman in Bitain, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, the title of whose articles underline her even-handedness: Why so little condemnation of Israel's extremism?; Israel's friends cannot justify this slaughter; Israels (sic) abdication of human rights etc.

The director of the "Bethlehem Unwrapped" Festival is Justin Butcher, a playwright. His lack of bias can be gleaned from the fact that he wrote a trilogy of plays with the titles The Madness of George Dubya, A Weapons Inspector Calls and Guantanamo Baywatch.

I would attend the festival myself, but projectile-vomiting in public is just so embarrassing.

The Rector of St James' Church, Lucy Winkett, should be thoroughly ashamed of herself for involving the Church of England - my church - in this tawdry, nasty stunt.

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