Bearing Witness

Seperation Wall

I have Just returned from Bethlehem, where my main objective was to checkout some the art work on the Separation Wall. It is claimed by the Israeli Government that the wall is being built for security reasons, however if that was the case it would be being built on the Green Line. The term Green Line refers to the 1949 Armistice lines established between Israel and its neighbours Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria – after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. This is not the case, with the wall being built far into the West Bank to include often illegal Jewish settlements – redefining the boarders to even further limit Palestinian movement. The Palestinians have about the same population as Israel, but are limited to around 10% of the land. In many instances the wall comes right up the edge of Palestinian city’s cutting the local residents off from their farm land just outside the city. Not to mention separating family members and friends who now have to travel for hours, if your lucky enough to obtain the relevant permit, to stay in contact with some one who used to live down the street. It has been stated by some Israeli officials in unguarded moments that the plan behind the wall is to take as much land as possible with as few Arabs as possible – a land grab plain and simple. The other effect of the wall is to further limit Palestinian movement, with the aim of making life so difficult for the residents of the West Bank that they decide to leave – transfer by stealth, which is a commonly occurring theme in Israeli policy in the occupied territories.

This is the case of a Palestinian I shared a service taxi with today, he is a Doctor who lives in Rammalla and has to travel to Bethlehem every day for work – a trip that used to take 40 minutes before the wall, checkpoints and road detours [most of which has been put in place during the so called peace process]. The same trip now takes three hours at best, today taking four hours due to being detained at a Israeli Defence Force [IDF] checkpoint, while my passport and the other passengers Israeli issued ID cards where being verified – not sure how IDF soldiers verified them as they had several cigarettes and joked to them self’s while the passports and ID cards where sitting unopened on the ground, where they stayed until they where hand back to our driver. It makes you wonder weather these checkpoints, just like the wall, are as the Israeli’s clam there for security or weather there real purpose is just to further inconvenience the Palestinians already forced to endure the longest occupation in modern history and all that comes with it.

I likened the situation to apartheid in South Africa in the 80’s in a discussion with Hakim the director of Project Hope, only to be told that it was worse, as Black South Africans never had any where near the same limitations placed on their movement as Palestinians do living in the occupied territories. Which is of course true,  so why then is the oppression of Palestinians less offensive to the world ? 

  

At least this depicts a fair fight - which is definitely not the case in the occupied territories.

At least this depicts a fair fight - which is definitely not the case in the occupied territories.

 

The Palestinian and the cat, both pinning for freedom.

The Palestinian and the cat, both pinning for freedom.

 

I thought this was appropriate as the US gives Israel between $2 to $3 billion in aid a year.

I thought this was appropriate as the US gives Israel between $2 to $3 billion in aid a year.

 

Kennedy's famous comparison between himself and a jam donut.

Kennedy's famous comparison between himself and a jam donut.

 

Does any one have a Rhino for sale ?

Does anyone have a Rhino for sale ?

 

The only Banksy I could find, always wonderfully playful with the most controversial.

The only Banksy I could find, always wonderfully playful with the most controversial.

 

Nothing lasts forever - inshallah.
Nothing lasts forever – inshallah.

 

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November 29, 2008 - Posted by | My Thoughts, My Travels | , , , , ,

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