Friday, 12 March 2010

Christ at the Checkpoint

The international Bethlehem Bible Conference 'Christ at the Checkpoint' begins today. Speakers include Tony Campolo, Brother Andrew, Gary Burge, Lynn Hybels, Paul Alexander, Alex Awad and Salim Muniyer. Here are a few photos taken at the Bethlehem Israeli checkpoint.
It is shocking to think that human beings have to endure this indignity on a daily basis assuming they are fortunate enough to have permission to work on the outside of Ghetto Bethlehem, or have permission to visit a hospital or school in Jerusalem. The checkpoint reminded me of a cattle abattoir.

It took us a half hour waiting for someone to let us through - we were lucky. Palestinians will wait hours to cross one of these checkpoints. South African apartheid had nothing on this.

The Separation Wall (read apartheid) was not built primarily for security but to steal yet Palestinian land - because of course this is Palestine not Israel. Were it for security, the route chosen would not have placed over 100,000 West Bank Palestinians on the Israeli side of the defacto border...

When I walked through the barrier last night, relatively easily because of my British passport, it reminded me of Germany in the 1930's when a democratic civil society accepted the inhumane treatment of some of its citizens classified by their ethnicity on the grounds of security. It makes me speculate about what will be tolerated next.