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Wall around Bethlehem is Christmas billboard in Atlanta

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Just in time for the holiday season, thanks to If Americans Knew, this magnificent billboard graced with the inscription “O little town of Bethlehem”, is up in Atlanta. Banksy’s stark vision of a modern day Joseph and Mary making their way across the now desecrated Holy Land is riveting, captivating and remorseful.

Rumor has it these billboards are also going up right-now/soon in South Dakota and Nevada.

Bethlehem billboard (photo: If Americans Knew)

Bethlehem billboard located on I-85 near Indian Trail Road, Atlanta (photo: If Americans Knew)

Cards are available at If Americans Knew — just in time for the holiday season.

annie
About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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47 Responses

  1. a blah chick
    a blah chick on November 23, 2014, 12:27 pm

    Someone should put that on a post card and send it to that idiot Moda’i couple in Dublin.

    • amigo
      amigo on November 23, 2014, 1:18 pm

      “Someone should put that on a post card and send it to that idiot Moda’i couple in Dublin”abc

      Great idea.Consider it done.

      • Horizontal
        Horizontal on November 24, 2014, 8:40 am

        Who are those guys?

      • amigo
        amigo on November 24, 2014, 12:14 pm

        To Horizonatl.

        They are a husband and wife team at the Israeli embassy in Dublin.quite a nasty pair.

        You will find the under his name —Boaz Modai.He is the Israeli ambassador and she is his assistant or something along those lines.She is the one who once claimed that if Jesus was in Palestine , the Palestinians would kill him.

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.540074

      • amigo
        amigo on November 24, 2014, 12:17 pm

        To horizontal.

        You might find his speech invigorating to watch.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/politicians-cowardice-impassioned

      • Horizontal
        Horizontal on November 24, 2014, 6:05 pm

        She is the one who once claimed that if Jesus was in Palestine , the Palestinians would kill him.

        That would make it one each. Tie game.

  2. tcleary789
    tcleary789 on November 23, 2014, 12:57 pm

    This is a very courageous billboard. I hope the initiators of same are not punished for their courage. I will donate to MW and If America Knew today.

    • Horizontal
      Horizontal on November 24, 2014, 8:39 am

      You know that somebody, somewhere is going to sue to have these brought down because it makes them feel “unsafe” as well as being “uncivil.”

  3. Marnie
    Marnie on November 23, 2014, 1:04 pm

    Beautiful Annie!

    I hope it gets to North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana…………………………and Hawaii.

    • annie
      annie on November 24, 2014, 1:19 pm

      me too marnie! every state in the country, why not!

  4. amigo
    amigo on November 23, 2014, 1:28 pm

    Poor miss Geller will be burning candle light on this one.

    The Three wise men will have to take the long way around and will probably be denied entry at some checkpoint accused of being trouble makers or maybe even Hamas operatives.

    Poor , poor Israel , lost in the desert .

  5. John Douglas
    John Douglas on November 23, 2014, 4:09 pm

    Changing times. Thanks , Annie.

  6. just
    just on November 23, 2014, 4:47 pm

    perfect. right in the heart of dixie fundy-land. i’m shelving my other holiday cards……this is the one!

    no room at the inn, indeed.

  7. Kay24
    Kay24 on November 23, 2014, 5:46 pm

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention Annie. I would never have known about this otherwise.
    Great job by If Americans Knew. org. I wish someone would also come up with billboards showing that wonderful shot of the Pope standing beside the apartheid wall with the words “Free Palestine” in large lettering. It would also make an excellent Christmas poster.
    It would make a great impact.

    • amigo
      amigo on November 24, 2014, 7:22 am

      Kay , I think the image of the Olive tree splitting that odious pine tree in two as it rises again would make an excellent billboard and open up the discussion about the 450 Palestinian villages demolished and many buried under the pine trees which are out of place just as zionism is.

      http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/reminder-implicates-history

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on November 24, 2014, 10:50 am

        I agree it really makes an impact, but then it will for folks like us, who know the story.

        John and Jane Doe will just drive by and think that it is an ad for forestry in Canada, or a wildlife poster for growing more trees. Heh.

        The posters should tell the story without much words. Also just like the shrinking map of Palestine, which I thought was brilliant and did make people look twice, the posters should be very factual so that those who usually get enraged about the truth being shown, do not have any valid reason to demand they be brought down (not that they will won’t try).

  8. RoHa
    RoHa on November 23, 2014, 7:45 pm

    Hold on there. Let’s look at those Magi characters.

    Calling them “Magi” suggests they were Iranians, which makes them hostile straight away. (Tradition tell us that only one of them was Iranian. The others allegedly came from India and Yemen, which is not a lot better. The Yemeni, Balthazar, seems to have been particularly heavily shaded in. Not the sort of people we want .)

    They effectively delegitimized King Bibi Herod (to his face!) and declared that someone else was the real king.

    They smuggled in gold (to finance terrorism) and drugs (frankincense and myrrh).

    They recognized as king, and gave the contraband to, a character who subsequently rebelled against the authorities, started riots, etc.

    They slipped out of the country without informing the authorities.

    They seem to be exactly the types that the wall was built to keep out!

    • eljay
      eljay on November 24, 2014, 8:18 am

      >> RoHa @ November 23, 2014, 7:45 pm

      Nicely done! :-)

  9. peacenotapartheid
    peacenotapartheid on November 23, 2014, 10:17 pm

    Wonder how that will be viewed by Georgia voters. Wonder how they measure effectiveness.

    How about this, geared to conservatives?: “The more we do for Israel, the less Israel does for U.S.”

  10. Walid
    Walid on November 23, 2014, 11:59 pm

    Great poster, great campaign.

  11. John Fearey
    John Fearey on November 24, 2014, 1:02 am

    The Feareys have so found their X-mas card for the year. thx

    • annie
      annie on November 24, 2014, 1:37 am

      i hope you send one to me ;)

      thank you john. so much.

      • on November 24, 2014, 8:26 am

        I’m pretty sure this is blood libel. Or a canard. Or Jew hatred, anti-Semitism, or anti-American. Or some label.

      • annie
        annie on November 24, 2014, 1:18 pm

        lol ;)

  12. Kay24
    Kay24 on November 24, 2014, 8:00 am

    The postcard idea is excellent. Nothing like flooding the world with postcards, with many scenes showing the occupation. It will bring so much focus on the ongoing crimes against Christians and Muslims by the Israeli government.

    • Horizontal
      Horizontal on November 24, 2014, 8:37 am

      Plus, it’ll drive my fundy Christian brother-in-law nuts. (Actually, he already is nuts, but you know what I mean . . .)

  13. Horizontal
    Horizontal on November 24, 2014, 8:36 am

    I usually don’t see anything on a billboard worth looking at. Now, this is something worth looking at.

    Wonder if we can erect a billboard on the Capitol Mall, right next to the national Christmas tree?

  14. Horizontal
    Horizontal on November 24, 2014, 8:41 am

    Gotta tip my hat to Fairway Media for not prior-censoring these. Let’s see how they stand up to the inevitable A/S onslaught.

  15. Donald
    Donald on November 24, 2014, 11:50 am

    A dumb card, in my opinion. What the hell does it even mean? Why drag Christmas and Christianity into this? It gives an excuse for pro-Israel types to talk about anti-semitic tropes.

    And aside from that, it’s still stupid. Aren’t we the ones who say that Biblical claims have nothing to do with the rights of people 2000 years later, and then we tie in something from 2000 years ago in the New Testament with today.

    • annie
      annie on November 24, 2014, 12:24 pm

      donald, if you’re interested in how christianity got ‘dragged’ into this, do some research on how much time, energy and money israel has spent wooing the christian zionist community. christianity is already in thick and this last year there were many church divestment resolutions.

      that said, this image is hugely popular:

      And here are the top 15 most viewed posts published in 2013*:

      15. Adelson says Obama should fire ‘atomic weapon’ at Iran, not negotiate by Philip Weiss

      14. Just because you like bubbly water, you don’t have to buy into occupation: A guide to alternatives to SodaStream by Henry Norr

      13. BBC to censor violinist Nigel Kennedy’s statement about Israeli apartheid from TV broadcast by Tom Suarez

      12. Do’s and don’ts for progressives discussing Syria by Ramah Kudaimi

      11. Israeli pours putrid skunk gas over homes in occupied Palestine by Philip Weiss

      10. Mohammed Assaf IS Arab Idol!!! by Annie Robbins

      9. Natalie Portman and Woody Allen see anti-Semitism as pervasive by Philip Weiss

      8. Attack in Tel Aviv: ‘Jewish girls do not go out with Blacks!’ by David Sheen

      7. Dershowitz calls Hawking an ‘ignoramus,’ a ‘lemming,’ and likely an anti-Semite by Philip Weiss

      6. Zombie Hasbara: ‘World War Z’ and Hollywood’s Zionist embrace by Jesse Benjamin

      5. Obama told friends he reneged on progressive promises out of fear of assassination — former CIA analyst by Philip Weiss

      4. Amina Tyler’s naked activism by @WomanUnveiled

      3. ‘The bra is a security threat’: Harassment and interrogation at Ben Gurion airport by Anonymous

      2. Palestinian-American student denied entry to Israel after being told, ‘there is no such thing as Palestine’ by Yara Karmalawy

      1. The reviews are in: ‘Zero Dark Thirty makes me hate muslims’ by Adam Horowitz

      * Special mention to Annie Robbin’s post Joseph and Mary can’t make it to Bethlehem, on Banksy’s Christmas card, which actually was the most viewed post of the past year — over 168,000 views! – although it was published in 2012.

      Thanks again for all your support and see you in 2014!

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/12/happy-from-mondoweiss#sthash.Aa9Z81Mq.dpuf

      and that post (linked above in the main article on top of the page) has had 10’s of thousands of extra hits since adam wrote that last dec 31. it’s way into over 200k now. however, it is no longer “the most viewed post”. everyone will just have to wait until dec 31 to find out what is. but, given the holiday season is upon us, our original post from 2012 may get hit heavy again. we were literally getting 10’s of thousands of hits every single day leading up to christmas last year on that one post. people really like that image. it resonates with many many christians and seculars too. probably muslims also. not sure how popular it is among people of other faiths.

      What the hell does it even mean?

      put on the ol thinking cap donald. or just go look at the comment section of the 2012 article.

      • Donald
        Donald on November 24, 2014, 6:08 pm

        I was a Christian Zionist in my youth, so I know something about that. I can guess what the person intended by this (gosh, wouldn’t it be clever to mix the Nativity scene with an image of the Wall as a way of criticizing Israel) , and in fact defended the Christians who liked this poster at this very website when it was mentioned some time back (years back? not sure). I defended them by saying that many Christians would probably not realize that New Testament passages about “Jews” were used for centuries to justify hatred, and so it’s probably not the best idea in the world to defend Palestinian rights by using an image from the New Testament to criticize Israel.

        I also won’t argue any further here, as I know how things go when one of us strays off the reservation on one particular sub issue.

      • annie
        annie on November 24, 2014, 7:56 pm

        wouldn’t it be clever to mix the Nativity scene with an image of the Wall as a way of criticizing Israel

        well, i can’t begin to guess what goes thru bansky’s mind.you asked a bunch of questions and tried to answer the best i could. it’s a hugely popular image. re New Testament passages about “Jews” , i have never read the bible and assume lots of people have lots of different interpretations. but, it is the holy land and taking a position of “using an image from the New Testament” is probably not going to be a universal reaction. i didn’t even think of the new testament. i just thought christmas scene, mary and joseph…wall…can’t get into bethlehem.

        wrt straying off the reservation, i wouldn’t worry too much about it. we just disagree. to me, it’s a great piece of art, it does everything art is supposed to do. it never occurred to me it had anything to do w/jews in the new testament.

      • just
        just on November 24, 2014, 8:32 pm

        Donald~ I’m happy for your recovery!

        (I’m really interested why your views changed, if you care to share.)

    • gamal
      gamal on November 24, 2014, 1:05 pm

      “Aren’t we the ones who say that Biblical claims have nothing to do with the rights of people 2000 years later and then we…”

      what do you mean “we”… white man?

      • just
        just on November 24, 2014, 5:22 pm

        lol!

      • Donald
        Donald on November 24, 2014, 5:57 pm

        Usual crap from gamal. “We”, meaning people here, often say that Jewish claims to Israel based on what the Bible says or who lived there 2000 years ago are ridiculous because no sane person bases an argument about human rights today on whose ancestors lived where 2000 years ago.

        But hey, if you think that Jewish claims to Israel based on the Bible and what people were doing 2000 years ago are strong arguments, go for it. That’s what we need more of on this subject–competing religious claims and arguments about religious symbolism.

      • annie
        annie on November 25, 2014, 3:00 am

        donald, the image has nothing to do w/a real estate claim (for me). it is saying if a coming messiah was about to be born bethlehem would not be an option. the wall creates a barrier. a barrier to a sanctuary or a place of birth (rejuvenation). it’s set in modern time.

        or, it says the story (or myth) of jesus’s birth, as we know it, could not happen in modern day. they be turned away or faced with a seeningly impenetrable burden,

        it’s a modern tale with a very modern image.

    • Horizontal
      Horizontal on November 24, 2014, 6:08 pm

      Donald ~

      It’s like yoga; you have to start where you’re at. This is where most Americans — God Bless each and every ignorant one — are at.

      • Donald
        Donald on November 24, 2014, 6:29 pm

        “It’s like yoga; you have to start where you’re at. This is where most Americans — God Bless each and every ignorant one — are at.”

        That’s true, but then step 2 is when the local Israel supporters start talking about how hurtful it is to see Christian imagery used to criticize Israel and then we start talking about the truly nasty things that are said about “Jews” in the (Christian portions of the) Bible and how this shows that anti-semitism is once again at the root of any criticism of Israel. And so once again it becomes about anti-semitism.

        Yeah, I know someone will say I’m doing that here. Whatever. If the poster starts having widespread impact, enough to arouse the attention of Israel’s defenders in both churches and among American Jews, that’s what I expect will happen. If I’m wrong, fine. No point in beating this to death, so I’ll shut up now.

    • Ellen
      Ellen on November 25, 2014, 5:37 am

      Donald, you make an interesting point. I think few will see it that way, but I do see where you are coming from. So I agree there is room for interpretation of the card to go that way and work against it’s intended message.

      But I think it is too much calling it “dumb.” I think most will understand it as am image of desecration of the so-called Holy Land and then forget about it on their way to the shopping mall.

      • eljay
        eljay on November 25, 2014, 7:35 am

        I agree with Donald’s point that the billboard’s image can – and may – purposely be mis-represented as an anti-Semitism. (But, seriously, what is there that can’t purposely be mis-represented as anti-Semitism?)

        That said, I think Ellen’s point is (tragically) more valid: ” … most will understand it as am image of desecration of the so-called Holy Land and then forget about it on their way to the shopping mall.”

        With any luck, though, enough people won’t forget about it.

  16. Jaunita
    Jaunita on November 24, 2014, 2:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing this along with the link to order cards. All my family and friends will be receiving a card this Christmas.

  17. Parity
    Parity on November 24, 2014, 2:48 pm

    The Israeli government does not allow Israelis to go to Bethlehem, so Mary and Joseph coming from Nazareth, Israel, would have a hard time today getting into this Palestinian city, wall or no wall. The main problem with the wall is that the Palestinians inside Bethlehem cannot get out without a special permit from Israel.

    • just
      just on November 24, 2014, 6:02 pm

      All because of the Occupation and the illegal wall……

  18. just
    just on November 24, 2014, 5:34 pm

    Thanks for the update, Annie. Stupendous and well- deserved news!

  19. Memphis
    Memphis on November 25, 2014, 7:26 am

    I get the symbolism of the card and quite like it. But my beef with it is that Joseph and Mary were jewish so they would have no troubles traveling through the ‘holy land’ and jesus was born in nazerath.

  20. Hemlockroid
    Hemlockroid on November 25, 2014, 12:15 pm

    Walls> from Derry to Jerusalem. None of which would exist if it wasn’t for imperialist London.
    http://derrygifts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/holidaysCityWallsDerry.jpg

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