“Give us Barabbas!”

There is a very neat paragraph in Rob Brown’s review of Gerry Adams‘ film about Jesus in the New Statesman:

The film does contain a bit about Barabbas, who was banged up in a Jerusalem prison for taking part in an insurrection against the ruling authorities in that city, and for murder.

“From someone else’s viewpoint, he might well have been a freedom fighter,” muses Adams, clad in a keffiyeh to demonstrate his solidarity with the Palestinians.

No surprise there. Faced with the very same choice as Pilot put to the multitude in Jerusalem — Jesus or Barabbas? — generations of Irish Republican zealots (what Joyce would have called the ‘Rabblement’) have yelled back:

“Give us Barabbas!”

It is a neat parallel.

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