Banksy’s Christmas Card Shows a Bible Scene Abruptly Interrupted by Middle East Conflict

Yesterday an image that is purportedly British street artist Banksy‘s Christmas card this year started making the rounds on Twitter. The artwork in question is, in many ways, a conventional Biblical landscape painting, which shows what are presumably the figures of Joseph and Mary — she astride a donkey — making their way toward Bethlehem, only to find their route blocked by the graffiti-covered Irsaeli West Bank barrier.

To the left, a shepherd tends his sheep, while in the distant sky a cross-shaped star lights up the heavens over the imposing concrete wall.

This is hardly the first time the mysterious muralist has commented on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One of his pieces that currently makes up a controversial display at the Art Miami fair was among those he created during a 2005 trip to Palestine. At the time he also painted nine murals directly on the West Bank barrier, though none of them appear in his Christmas card’s rendition of the region.