Divide And Conquer

The reporter didn’t correct himself, forgetting to mention that the wall that Banksy addressed actually divides Palestine from itself *not* just Israel from Palestine.

The Palestinian population and its leadership are essentially unanimous in opposing the barrier. A significant number of Palestinians have been separated from their own farmlands or their places of work or study, and many more will be separated as the barriers near Jerusalem are completed. Furthermore, because of its planned route as published by the Israeli government, the barrier is perceived as a plan to confine the Palestinian population to specific areas.They state that Palestinian institutions in Abu Dis will be prevented from providing services to residents in the East Jerusalem suburbs, and that a 10-minute walk has become a 3-hour drive in order to reach a gate, to go (if allowed) through a crowded military checkpoint, and drive back to the destination on the other side.

In any event, Banksy went to town with his unique style:


He followed up the street art with a more traditional painting of Jesus & Mary unable to get to Bethlehem because of the Israeli wall:


8 thoughts on “Divide And Conquer

  1. Don’t you think it’s a bit much to note that the reporter “didn’t correct himself?” Regardless of your own personal opinion or the general consensus on the wall, isn’t it a bit biased and presumptious to take what is labeled as the “Palestinian Opinion” as the unequivical moral or legal truth? Rightly or wrongly, Israel is an actual political entity that does exist, whether people like it or not; choosing to not use its’ label doesn’t make that less so.


  2. i don’t know. i guess my presumption is that a country building a 25 foot high wall in contested land is, well, a bit messed up. for a reporter to miss the historical and geographic facts is pretty shoddy journalism.

    international opinions:

    george bush on the wall (July 25, 2003): “I think the wall is a problem. And I discussed this with Ariel Sharon. It is very difficult to develop confidence between the Palestinians and Israel with a wall snaking through the West Bank.”

    the international red cross on the wall (February 18, 2004): “[the Israeli barrier] causes serious humanitarian and legal problems” and goes “far beyond what is permissible for an occupying power”

    On March 9, 2006, The New York Times reported then acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as saying that if his Kadima party wins the upcoming national elections, he would seek to set Israel’s permanent borders by 2010, and that the boundary would run along or close to the barrier.

    is that objective enough?


  3. The wall is indeed problematic, I’m not debating that. But saying that the wall ‘divides palestine from itself’ rather than from Israel negates the existence of Israel. Which doesn’t make sense.


  4. And besides, using language like that implies that rather than solving the problem of the wall (an outcome desired by all those quoted), that your desired outcome is that Israel cease to exist, and that its current existence is not in fact ‘real’.

    (Perhaps having Israel cease to exist is in fact your desired outcome, but I think it’s a bit blind to assume that everyone who objects to the wall to automatically shares that opinion. Which is what is implied in your astonishment that the journalist didn’t correct himself.)


  5. well, that’s how you read it, deanna.

    admittedly, the geographic border conflict makes this conversation difficult, but when a reporter clearly and factually states that banksy’s work is on “the controversial barrier that separates israel from palestine,” it’s a position that implies that the wall is a border between explicit nations or an explicit border of a nation and a territory… and it’s not.

    how you twisted that into me wishing the state of israel away, i’ve no idea.


  6. well, i guess what I’m confused about then, is.. how is NOT a border between a nation and a territory, or between two nations? Is Israel not a nation? Is palestine not a nation or a territory?

    I didn’t mean to put overly negative/reactionary words into your mouth, but I guess I was working on different assumptions about how those two entities are defined. (So, I apologize for that.) Seriously though, with no ill intent, i’m curious as to your answer.


  7. np, deanna. here’s my best attempt at explaining my point/issue:

    fact: israel has internationally recognized, sovereign borders
    fact: palestine is not a state, but a few territories — the gaza strip and the west bank.

    the history of how modern day palestine came to be is long and twisted — from the british mandate of palestine to the arab-israeli war to the six day war.

    the disagreement about whether or not the territories are actually “occupied” by israel is why strife currently exists between the israeli government, the palestinian authority, the people of both areas, as well as the remainder of the middle east.

    the west bank barrier isn’t a wall that explicitly runs the border between two sovereign nations (e.g. the US and mexico) or the border between a sovereign nation and a non-related territory — the wall runs along the explicit border of israel, but it also jets into palestinian territory at numerous points.

    hopefully that clears up why i had issues with the casual reporting of the barrier as one between two nations.


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