Two sides of the Wall in Bil’in

Israel/Palestine
on 4 Comments
IMG 8461
(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)

I went on a tour to photograph the Apartheid Wall that was built on the territory of the Palestinian village of Bil’in, located in the West Bank.

After a ruling of the highest Israeli Court, the path of which the first wall had been built had to be changed and now the Israel has to build a new wall: the new wall is a set of concrete cubes ranging in length up to eight meters tall. The old wall was an electric fence with barbed wire which would send an electric shock at the slightest touch. This first wall was set up by Israel on Palestinian land and has been extremely dangerous (in some cases deadly), not only to human beings but also to animals and other wildlife. Many animals lost their lives after running into the fence and being instantly electrocuted.

IMG 8486(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)

The Palestinian resistance has been ongoing and consistent for the past five and a half years. The people insist on continuing this resistance and do not want to give up their rights to their land. They refuse to be silent about the theft by Israeli companies building illegal settlements on Palestinian land. The people also refuse to be silent about the destruction of their olive trees; these trees are not only considered a living for some but a symbol of strength for all Palestinian people,

This “Non-Violent” Resistance that started in most Palestinian areas after the building of the Wall and the building of illegal settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will continue and will not cease. This new kind of resistance has an unprecedented amount of support from Palestinian, Israeli and international activists and volunteers alike.

After the changes of the route of the old Wall in Bil’in, 1,000 dunums of land located behind the wall will be returned to the respective owners in the village.

When I arrived at the Israeli side of the new Wall, I saw a strange thing. This wall is not only racist in its completion but also in its composition. I am familiar with the cubes on the Palestinian side of the Wall, but I discovered that on the other side the Wall is decorated with beautiful motifs. So people on the Israeli side of the wall do not feel the same as people on the Palestinian side of the wall. To me it seemed that if one did not know what the real purpose of the wall was, from the Israeli side it looks like a decorated highway partition….however, on the Palestinian side it’s concrete cubes stacked one above the other, which is ugly and not pleasant and looks exactly how the wall of a maximum security prison looks like.

This type of racism is applied by the Israeli government on Palestinians. This and other types of scams deceive people and does not show them the truth. It paints a picture that is beautiful on the outside but on the inside, in reality, is grim.

IMG 8473
(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)

4 Responses

  1. Taxi
    October 26, 2010, 10:04 pm

    The blank gray walls make excellent canvas for the British street artist, Banksy.

    Here’s a link to his work on the israeli apartheid wall:
    link to google.com

    The settlers can keep their philistine decor.

  2. Taxi
    October 26, 2010, 10:16 pm

    “The segregation wall is a disgrace… the possibility I find exciting is that you could turn the world’s most invasive and degrading structure into the world’s longest gallery of free speech and bad art.”
    Banksy.

  3. Antidote
    October 26, 2010, 10:19 pm

    Thank you for the pictures. What you say about the two sides of the wall:

    ” if one did not know what the real purpose of the wall was, from the Israeli side it looks like a decorated highway partition….however, on the Palestinian side it’s concrete cubes stacked one above the other, which is ugly and not pleasant and looks exactly how the wall of a maximum security prison looks like.”

    reminds me of the two sides of the Berlin Wall:

    link to upload.wikimedia.org

    The concrete blocks are the same as the final version of the BW which (interrupted by fences and rivers) actually consisted of two walls with a ‘death strip’ in between to prevent escape to the West (the crime of ‘Republikflucht’) . Unlike the wall in the OPT, the BW was neither an apartheid wall (from the Palestinian perspective) or an anti-terror/land acquisition security fence (from the Israeli perspective), but designed to keep out capitalism/pluralism (the official East German term was ‘anti-fascist protection barrier’) and imprison/keep apart the population.

    It was called the Wall and ‘Schandmauer’ (‘wall of shame’) in the West, even though West Berliners were shown (produced) the ‘bright side’ of the Wall, covered in graffiti. It became a huge public bulletin board for personal messages and political slogans, an art canvas and tourist attraction, while East Berliners stared at the unadorned wall of a ‘high security prison’.

    Graffiti on the East side of the Wall was verboten and promptly removed by the East German guards. The purpose of the decorated side of the Israeli security wall is, as you suggest, to hide an ugly reality behind a pretty facade. They probably also want to avoid the Israeli side turning into a huge blackboard, as on the ‘free side’ of the Berlin Wall. Who would want to expose either Israelis (or tourists/visitors/journalists) to slogans such as ‘Kill Arabs’ , or ‘Free Palestine’? If I understand the situation correctly, there is graffiti and art on the Palestinian side of the wall, but not on the Israeli side?

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    Finally, a question: which side is the ‘free side’, compared with the Berlin situation, in the ‘only true democracy in the ME’?

  4. Saleema
    October 26, 2010, 11:41 pm

    Truly disgusting. I had no idea. Like always, Israel presents it’s two-faced politics–the worst kind of hypocrite.

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