Google+ Followers

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

J-Big Carol Service at the Actors Church, Covent Garden

Old Hymns Brought Up to Date

Well it was the first ever carol service I have attended and what a wonderful event it was. Encouraged by a small Zionist demonstration outside nearly 200 people attended the service, a more than tripling of the numbers last year. We have a lot to thank Jonathan Hoffman, Zionist Federation co-chair and it would seem one of our main recruiters to date! And the fact that they picket us shows who is now responsible for setting the agenda.

Inside the Alternative Carol Service was choreographed by Debbie Fink, our soprano and there were readings by Bruce Kent (making it an ecumenical service indeed!) and Baroness Jenny Tonge. A number of professional actors gave up their time in order to perform a play echoing the cries of those trapped in Gaza. New hymns were written to somewhat older music the titles of which were:

The Olive and the Army, We Three Women Travellers Are, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Away and in Danger, God Rest All Ye Who Talk of Peace. As a sample of the alternative message we wanted to convey, the O Little Town of Bethlehem began:

O little town of Bethlehem
Imprisoned how you lie
Above thy deep and silent grief,
Surveillance drones now fly.
And through thy old streets Windeth,
A huge illegal Wall.
The hopes and dreams of peace, it seems
Are dashed in pieces fall.

Bethlehem symbolises the strangulation of Occupied West Bank and was therefore a very appropriate example of what the occupation has done.

As I stood outside listening to the demonstrators shout ‘Hamas wants to kill Jews like me’ I imagined that I was watching a group of white South African demonstrators chanting ‘The ANC want to kill Whites like me’. The same settler mentality that talks of peace at the same time as supporting the use of overwhelming violence.

And towards the end Mike Cushman of Jew-Big and Bricup made an appeal for money towards 3 different charities including Interpal and Free Gaza. In the best traditions of the labour movement he called for anyone to donate £100 and sure enough 3 people volunteered!

And to those who say the Church should not be involved in politics, i.e. it should be totally irrelevant to the oppression people experience and should confine its activities to flattering the rich and powerful, what is really being said is that the Church should turn a blind eye to evil and iniquity. Wasn’t that what the church in Germany was accused of? Turning a blind eye to the deportation of the Jews? It’s not accidental that the Zionists echo the very arguments that they criticise when Jews are the recipients of discrimination and worse. But in reality it is not so surprising given that Zionism has transformed the Palestinians into the Jews of the Middle East.

And to show what side he is on, god decided to open up the heavens and drench the Zionist chorus! All in all a wonderful night to remember.

Tony Greenstein


Anonymous said...

Sorry I was not able to attend.
U do seemed to have annoyed a few people see Jewish Chronicle usual distortions about anti-semitism, jew haters etc etc.
In the 70's I even took part in defending Jewish insitutions against potential attack by the NF scum-bags, now I am called a racist!!! and jew hater.
Gratitude knows no bounds.

Deborah Fink said...

Thanks for this Tony. Just to say that I am a soprano, not a tenor! Feel free to change this, then you don't have to post this part of my comment.

Although I organised the music and booked some of the readers, Naomi helped to choose the readings and planned the programme.

btb_london said...

There are few people less like a tenor than Debbie. She is fine soprano and proud of it.

Tony Greenstein said...

Oops! I can only say it was late at night so I made even more mistakes than usual! All of which I've corrected.

Anyway it was a wonderful event, the Zionists outside just made themselves look like the self-pitying trash they were.

It's like members of the BNP chanting 'they want to kill fascist scum like me' except of course they translated 'fascist scum' into 'Jews' instead!

I know how anonymous feels. But let's not forget that when we took on the NF in the 70's and 80's, these self-same Zionists were nowhere to be seen. Indeed they condemned us as vigorously as the fascists.

Deborah Fink said...

Yes, tenors are usually male voices!