Posted on December 9, 2013, by & filed under News, UK Specific.

On 23rd December, at the opening of the Bethlehem Unwrapped festival, a mock Separation Wall, long in the planning, was erected, modeled on the dimensions of the Wall that slices into and separates communities in the West Bank today. The mock Wall, on which many passers-by are taking up the invitation to draw or write in solidarity of human rights, blocks off behind it St James Church, Piccadilly; much as the iconic Christian town of Bethlehem and its holy sites are blocked off to many people this Christmas and for many years now.

Behind the Wall installation in the Church, an exciting festival of themed events is happening NOW, which includes comedy, feasts, music, and, on 4th January at 8pm, a debate that features our very own Jeff Halper, Director and co-founder of ICAHD, a veteran of the Israeli movement for justice for Palestinians. He will be here from Jerusalem. The debate is on whether the West Bank Wall (and the Gaza boundary fences) are for Security or Separation. Two of those joining him are Leila Sansour, founder of Open ethlehem and maker of the film “Jeremy Hardy vs the Israeli Army (2002) and Yiftah Curiel, the public affairs spokesman at Embassy of Israel, London.

As well as being reported and commented on in The Guardian,in the New Statesman by Lucy Winkett, Vicar of St James, Piccadilly, and in the Anglican newspaper The Church Times, this event has caught Stephen Fry’s attention and moved his Twitter finger to tweet about it to his myriad followers.

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The programme starts on 24th December, continuing through to an exciting closing ceremony led by brilliant musicians such as virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy and renowned singer Reem Kalani on the 5th January.

Click here to view the events programme to date.

The aim of this is to reach far beyond the usual crowd and hit the nerve of the general public in gaining attention to the ongoing and worsening plight of the peoples of Palestine. St James’s Church, Piccadilly, which will be the hub for the art project and festival, will be open all day to the general public, with people on hand to provide information and guidance to all who drop in.


Amos Trust, Holy Land Trust, Interpal, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) UK, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, P21 Gallery, Tipping Point North South,

War on Want & Zaytoun CIC

Performance Artists and Speakers

Nigel Kennedy, Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, Reem Kelani, Jeff Halper, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, singers from the Tallis Scholars, comedians Mark Steel, Ivor Dembina, Andy Zaltzman, Dave Cohen and more!