Richard Millett reports on Hinde Street Methodist Church ‘Israeli checkpoint’ exhibit

Cross posted from the blog of Richard Millett


Hinde Street Methodist Church’s reconstruction of an Israeli checkpoint.

I went to Hinde Street Methodist Church’s exhibition in London about Israel’s security checkpoints today expecting something on the scale of the St James’s Church’s lifesize reproduction of Israel’s security barrier outside their own church in 2013 which cost £30,000 to construct. Hinde Street Church’s reproduction, however, was more of an IKEA job.

First, all of the exhibition was inside the church and second, the checkpoint was made from simple plywood with various negative commentaries about the wall, including quotations from the Bible, attached to it.

There were also real photographs of Israeli checkpoints, some sort of jenga section and three prayer stations for silent contemplation.

Third, the Zionist Federation and the Board of Deputies had spent the weekend persuading the church to accept as part of the exhibition literature (including two big boards) explaining why the security checkpoints are so necessary (see below).

The exhibition didn’t seem to be busy (it runs till friday) but the ZF/BOD literature will be effective in countering those unsuspecting members of the public who wander in. My hunch though is that the exhibition will only attract real Israel haters coming to have their views on the Jewish state confirmed.

David Collier and I sat at a prayer station in discussion with two elderly British women for about 15 minutes. We played dumb about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one of the women proceeded to tell us, inter alia, that Israel has an “unkind society” and that Israel in the West Bank is akin to Putin conquering the Ukraine and transporting Russians there.

Although the exhibition itself is pretty downboat the fact that the church decided to criticise checkpoints that keep Israelis alive is pretty bewildering. Nowhere in the exhibition does the church condemn the Palestinian terrorism that has killed so many Israelis.

But reading the Church’s Facebook page marketing the exhibition gives you an indication of the mindset of some Methodists, perhaps.

Comments like these:





More photos from the checkpoint exhibition:



Jenga insruction

Jenga instruction!


Brilliant ZF/BOD response inside the Church.


Some poetry on the checkpoint.

Eyewitness account

‘Eyewitness’ account

28 replies »

  1. Didn’t the Worldwide Methodist KKK (or whatever that obscene body is called) decide to boycott Israel?
    Not so surprising to see them continue their propaganda at individual churches, after all.
    Just like the Quakers.

    • I never cease to be amazed at the people who think that it is wrong for Israel to try to keep terrorists from attacking its citizens. Any citizen, Jew, Arab, or other. If anyone were to suggest that the UK stop checking to see who was entering the country via ship or airline, they would laugh in your face. One doesn’t have to even be pro-Israel to understand that. No other country in the world is being condemned for trying to keep its people safe. The anti-Semitism at this church just drips from its whole being.

  2. It’s not all bleak, this posting is from Methodist Friends of Israel.

    By Methodist Friends of Israel on September 19th, 2016

    Anti Israel exhibition
    Category: Editorial
    Several supporters of Methodist Friends of Israel have drawn my attention to an exhibition that is to take place at Hinde Street Methodist church in London.

    A reconstruction of a border control point at the separation barrier between Israel and occupied Palestine is being installed. Visitors to You cannot pass today: Life through a dividing wall will walk through the checkpoint accompanied by documentary photography, sound, testimony and eyewitness accounts.

    Exhibition organiser Katherine Fox, recently returned from monitoring human rights in Bethlehem, said: “Londoners know what it is like to be constantly late for work, miss hospital appointments and get crushed on a lengthy commute through no fault of their own.

    “But most are shocked when I tell them the extent of what I witnessed daily at the checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.”

    From September 2000 to mid-2005, hundreds of Palestinian suicide bombings and terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians killed more nearly 1,000 innocent people and wounded thousands of others. In response, Israel’s government decided to construct a security fence that would run near the “green line” between Israel and the West Bank to prevent Palestinian terrorists from easily infiltrating into Israel proper. The project had the overwhelming support of the Israeli public and was deemed legal by Israel’s Supreme Court.

    Israel’s fence garnered international condemnation, but the outrage is a clear double standard – there is nothing new about the construction of a security fence. Many nations have fences to protect their borders – the United States, for example, has one to prevent illegal immigration. In fact, when the West Bank fence was approved, Israel had already built a fence surrounding the Gaza Strip that had worked – not a single suicide bomber has managed to cross Israel’s border with Gaza.

    Will visitors to the exhibition be informed about the need for checkpoints to prevent homicide attacks in Jerusalem and beyond? Will the decrease in number of such attacks, and the lives saved as a result, since the opening of the checkpoints be displayed within the exhibition?

    Once again it seems that Israel is to be singled out for taking necessary measures to protect its citizens – Jews and Arabs – and visitors to the land. Were there exhibitions re the wall and checkpoints in Belfast? Have there been exhibitions about the checkpoints in the USA – checkpoints which are allowed within a 100 mile strip of any land or sea borders?

    “In 1946, revisions to the Immigration and Nationality Act granted extra-constitutional authority to
    CBP (then INS) to search any vehicle for “aliens” within a “reasonable distance” of any external
    boundary of the U.S. That distance was later defined in federal regulations —with no public comment
    or debate—as 100 miles. That area now encompasses roughly two-thirds of the U.S. population, nine of
    the ten largest cities, and the entirety of ten states. At the time those regulations were issued, the Border
    Patrol was comprised of fewer than 1,100 agents; today, there are over 21,000. The INA also gives CBP
    authority to enter private lands within 25 miles of the border for purposes of preventing unlawful

    “The Ceuta border fence forms part of the Morocco-Spain border at Ceuta, a city on the North African coast. Constructed by Spain, its purpose is to stop illegal immigration and smuggling. Morocco objected to the construction of the barrier since it does not recognize Spanish sovereignty in Ceuta.

    The fence consists of parallel 6 metre (20-foot) fences topped with barbed wire with regular watchposts and a road running between them to accommodate police patrols or ambulance service in case of need. Underground cables connect spotlights, noise and movement sensors, and video cameras to a central control booth; dozens of Guard ships and patrol boats check the coast, while 621 Guardia Civil officers and 548 police officers control the shore.”

    Why is it acceptable for some nations to have checkpoints, whether temporary or permanent, while Israel is expected to allow totally free movement, even it puts its citizens at risk of injury or death?

    The Hinde Street exhibition opens today so it is too late to ask for a rethink about setting it up BUT it is not too late to explain our disquiet at such a display and ask for another exhibition to be held in which the positive aspects of the checkpoints can be seen.

    The person at the Church to be contacted regarding this matter is Rev Val Reid e-mail

  3. “…more of an IKEA job…”
    More likely an ebay job. Duvidl has just checked that one roll of chicken wire netting (£6.99), one roll of lining wallpaper (£3.00) and one ten-pack of timber battens (15.99) are all available through ebay with free delivery to the miserly, moribund Methodist Jew-hating church of your choosing.

    At £25.98 all-in for a DIY Jew-hate exhibition, Methodist Jew haters will relish having more to spend on repairing the church roof for a disintegrating congregation than those at St. James’s Piccadilly.

  4. No doubt they will continue to have a wall a week condemning all the walls and fences being built all over Europe , Africa and Asia to keep people out, not because they want to murder someone, but just because they are fleeing murder.

    They have such tender consciences, after all. Except regarding Jewish lives. Of course.

  5. The fence built in Calais by their own British government is not on their agenda. No Jews are involved.

    • Two years ago we drove our van (a large “stealth van” with no windows in the back, in which we sleep, cook and eat) into the Calais terminal. We live in Spain, and can drive throughout the Schengen area with never a check at any border. So we waited, and suddenly a squad of British officials in uniform arrived, demanded that we open our van for inspection, and proceeded to check that we had no foreign riff-raff aboard. This was in Calais – technically part of the Schengen area in which there may not legally be any inspection of any vehicle except by local police.

      We were not going to argue – we are just ordinary citizens who wanted to visit family in England – but it staggered me. This abrubt assumption that “they” (British officials) had the right to inspect our vehicle on French soil is a confrontation that I (a child of Jewish boat people) found difficult to absorb.

      We are nice white EC citizens, aboive suspicion except maybe we are illegally transporting economic migrants. So the officials spoke fairly politely to us, but there was no question that they were looking into our van, and we were to accept their right to do so. I shudder to think of their treatment of the driver with a German passport and a Turkish face, or a French driver with an Algerian name.

      I look forward to an exhibition by some or other English church in the UK on this procedure.

  6. Surely to be truly realistic they need Palestinians attempting to stab visitors as they arrive… or maybe stabbing a Methodist dressed as an IDF soldier… rubber knives would be OK.

  7. So how many of their visitors passing through the ‘checkpoint’ have whipped out a knife and stabbed the people there? If not then it is a might piss poor representation because happens daily

  8. It might be a useful exercise for the Hinde Street Methodist Church to construct a model of the city of Hebron. They could then smash it to bits and re-title such a work of art “Aleppo”. In fact there could be two models showing ‘before’ and ‘after’. We should suggest this idea as a proposal for them to enhance their ‘exhibition’. Now that wouldn’t be too much to ask would it?

  9. Re the signs on the wall. “Think of Others” apparently doesn’t include the Israelis eating pizza at Sbarro or dancing at the Dolphinarium or even enjoying a Seder at the Netanya Hotel. Those mothers with children grabbing lunch, and teens out on a Friday night, or strangers gathered together for a Thanksgiving feast of Jewish persuasion definitely do not count as others to think of. At least not for these Methodists.

    Re Diane Garza Facebook posts. Disgusting piece of shit like her will never find peace in the Middle East. Amen.

  10. Sorry, Hinde Street Methodist Church, but you don’t get to dictate morality to the Jews. Build all the mock check points you wish to indulge your rather selective obsession. Just don’t pass through before checking your hypocrisy, and have stopped bearing false witness.