banksy unveils 'scar of bethlehem' nativity complete with israel's west bank barrier

banksy unveils 'scar of bethlehem' nativity complete with israel's west bank barrier

never one to shy away from making a political statement, banksy has recently shared his alternative nativity scene that comments on the imposed divide between palestinians and israelis. titled ‘scar of bethlehem’, the piece shows a quintessentially festive image of baby jesus in his makeshift crib with mary and joseph looking on. however, looming behind them is the concrete wall of the west bank barrier, and in place of the north star is a huge bullet hole.


the work has appeared inside the walled off hotel, which actually overlooks the barrier in bethlehem. the ‘art hotel’ was set up partly by the artist and features many of his original artworks, including a mural of an israeli soldier and a palestinian having a pillow fight.


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. . Scar of Bethlehem. A modified nativity set for the @walledoffhotel

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on


construction of the ‘west bank barrier’ first began in 2002 and the enormous structure now stretches more than 440 miles (708 km) along the west bank. constructed from both concrete and wire, the imposing edifice rises 8-meters high in parts. while the israeli government cites issues of security as reasons for building the huge separation, the UN has previously described the divide, or annexation, as ‘illegal’


in september 2019, UN rights expert michael lynk condemned plans by israel’s prime minister benjamin netanyahu to extend the barrier into the jordan valley, which would effectively cut off the west bank’s border with jordan: ‘to assert the right to annex in the 21st century is to attempt to re-enter a world that no longer exists… the annexation, if realized, will effectively end the illusion of a meaningful two-state solution, and will instead further entrench a one state reality of separate and vastly unequal legal systems, political rights and social opportunities.’



project info:


artist: banksy

piece: scar of bethlehem

location: the walled off hotel, bethlehem

  • Powerfull! Really good work! Really!
    On the other hand, I invite all the far away ctitics to come and live in Israel for a while, really understand both sides and then make a statement 🙂

  • Thanks Lynne!

    The Banksy Hotel is on the other side of the Hebron Road at Ida Street (Google map) behind the high walls from the Rachel’s Tomb which was there for almost 4000 years. Merry Christmas. Another year is nothing after 4000 years but can be heaven and earth.

    Rachel (means Ewe) was one of the two wives of Jacob, the ancestor of Israel.. She gave birth to Joseph and then she died in child birth to her second child Benjamin. “So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb.” (Genesis 35 written 3500 years ago). The pillar of the place was called Migdal Eder (the tower of the flock) . Later for intermittent 1000 years, the shepherds nearby raised the lambs for the purpose of temple sacrifices for their sin offering. Nearby there was this natural rock formed trough used to feed the animals called a manger, where the babe Jesus was with His creation. He would be the lamb who takes away the sin of the world.

    “And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for you have another son.” The angels said the same to the shepherds in the same field. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, ….. you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

    When Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named the baby Ben-oni (which means “son of my sorrow”). The baby’s father, however, called him Benjamin (which means “son of my right hand”).(Genesis 35:18)

    Jesus on the cross was the son of my sorrow to Mary, but the Abba Father now seated Him on His right hand, He is now Son of my right hand.


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