As world marks 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Israel’s Wall has become a new global icon for oppression

Israel/Palestine
on 54 Comments

Keep Your Eye on the Wall is a book conceived and edited by Olivia Snaije and Mitchell Albert. It brings together seven award-winning artist-photographers and four essayists, including an introduction by Raja Shehadeh, all responding to the Wall in images or words specially commissioned for this book. The photographers present unique perspectives, whether documenting the journey of laborers across the barrier, the desolation of abandoned checkpoints, a surreal grey bulk cutting across a landscape or the tattered posters of “martyrs” on a wall in Gaza.

Keep Your Eye on the Wall was published by Editions Textuel in French, and by Saqi Books in English, in 2013. Exhibitions of photographs from the book were held at the Arles international photography festival, in Paris, in Kuwait and in Ramallah. An exhibit of the photographs will be held during Art Dubai 2015 at the Empty Quarter gallery.

Piece of the Wall not finished between the Israeli settlement of Modi'in Illit and the Palestinain village of Bili'in. After an Israeli High Court decision the wall was rerouted and the village got back a part of its agricultural land in June 2011. Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 2010. (Photo: Frontiere de la bande de Gaza © Kai Wiedenhöfer/2010)

Piece of the Wall not finished between the Israeli settlement of Modi’in Illit and the Palestinain village of Bili’in. After an Israeli High Court decision the wall was rerouted and the village got back a part of its agricultural land in June 2011. Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 2010. (Photo: Frontiere de la bande de Gaza © Kai Wiedenhöfer/2010)

Four Times as Long as the Berlin Wall

On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, the wall running through the West Bank, called the “security fence” by Israel, the “Apartheid Wall” by Palestinians, and the “Separation Barrier” or “Separation Wall” by nearly everyone else, is one of the world’s most emotionally charged and controversial constructions of the past ten years.

The "sunken road", the connecting road between the West Bank and the Bir Nabala enclave, three villages of Jerusalem that are completely surrounded by walls and fences. Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 2009. (Photo © Kai Wiedenhöfer/2009)

The “sunken road”, the connecting road between the West Bank and the Bir Nabala enclave, three villages of Jerusalem that are completely surrounded by walls and fences. Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 2009. (Photo © Kai Wiedenhöfer/2009)

Symbolically, the wall in Palestine is this century’s Berlin Wall, albeit four times as long as that hated Cold War icon and more than twice as high. Under construction since 2002, it is expected to eventually extend for 709 kilometers through the West Bank. A series of concrete slabs, barbed-wire “buffer zones”, trenches, electrified fences, watchtowers, thermal-imaging video cameras, sniper towers, military checkpoints and roads for patrol vehicles have dismembered the cities of the West Bank and segregated them from occupied East Jerusalem.

The wall defies international law as well as United Nations Security Council resolutions, and deviates considerably from the original boundaries demarcating land captured by Israel during the 1967 War. It is more than twice the length of the Green Line, Israel’s recognized border with the West Bank. Israel maintains that it is intended as a defense against terrorist attacks; Palestinians view it as a cynical, long-term maneuver aimed at annexing more land to Israel and inhibiting Palestinian movement within the Occupied Territories.

(Photo: © Rula Halawani/2012)

(Photo: © Rula Halawani/2012)

The wall makes it impossible for thousands of Palestinians to farm their land; restricts access by rural Palestinians to hospitals in nearby towns; prevents teachers from going to work; and disrupts family and social ties. Lengthy and circuitous journeys must be made over distances that were previously ten minutes away, to reach the dozens of checkpoints and gates that Israel has installed.

Photo taken during the first months of the second Intifada. (Photo: Taysir Batniji/2001)

Photo taken during the first months of the second Intifada. (Photo: Taysir Batniji/2001)

The wall has cost over $2.6 billion so far, while the cost of yearly maintenance is $260 million.

The Palestinian writer and human rights laywer Raja Shehadeh says of it: “The sight of the stark concrete evokes confinement, desolation, fragmentation, and land theft.”

Keep Your Eye on the Wall: Palestinian Landscapes is published by Saqi Books. Photographs reprinted here with the permission of Saqi Books.

(Photo: Ange 2013 © Raeda Saadeh/2013)

(Photo: Ange 2013 © Raeda Saadeh/2013)

About Olivia Snaije

Olivia Snaije is a journalist and editor based in Paris who has covered the Middle East for the past 20 years. Her latest book that she co-edited with Mitchell Albert, Keep Your Eye on the Wall, was published by Saqi Books in 2013. There is an ongoing exhibition of photographs from the book at the Franco-German Cultural Center in Ramallah until June 20, 2014.

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54 Responses

  1. ivri
    November 7, 2014, 8:58 am

    There is a pathetic element in the aroused sensitivity to human right issues since WW2 and the Jewish Holocaust in it that finds its expression among Europeans in identifying in the Israel-Palestinian conflict once more the Jews as the villains. In other words, the descendants of yesterday`s Europe`s victims that as a result of those events found their way to Israel are now the blame-target of Europeans in their “learning experience”, their awakening to human-rights, from those events. Strangely, or rather sadly, the Europeans don`t seem to get the irony here. And why, consequently, this “moral outrage” of theirs gets such a meager appreciation, even counter outrage, in Israel

    • Mooser
      November 7, 2014, 11:17 am

      “There is a pathetic element in the aroused…/…appreciation, even counter outrage, in Israel.”

      Wow, I read that and heard the distinct sound of scraping. Easy there, “ivri” don’t go all the way through the bottom of the barrel!!

    • Mooser
      November 7, 2014, 11:23 am

      “There is a pathetic element in the aroused sensitivity to human right issues since WW2 and the Jewish Holocaust in it that finds its expression among Europeans in identifying in the Israel-Palestinian conflict once more the Jews as the villains”

      And it’s too bad, isn’t it, because the cask was full of vintage whines.

      But really, can I go out now and say I’ve seen everything? I mean, c’mon a Zionist bemoaning the “sensitivity to human rights issues” which is getting in the way of the Zionist Reich? Okay, “ivri” we’ll just fight it out along the ‘reduced rights is a good thing’ lines!

      • seafoid
        November 8, 2014, 10:12 am

        Ivri’s eternal Jewish persecution meme is self fulfilling. If Jews go into Gaza and blow up families because “otherwise they will wipe us out ” it’s more likely that they will be persecuted again at some stage in the future.

      • Mooser
        November 14, 2014, 5:18 pm

        Ivri’s eternal Jewish persecution…”

        Seafoid, I would wager, heck, I’d near stake my life on the fact that “ivri” has absolutely no fear of persecution. “ivri” sounds much more like a person familiar with dishing out persecution than somebody who has the slightest fear of persecution.

    • eljay
      November 7, 2014, 9:21 pm

      >> ivreee @ November 7, 2014, 8:58 am

      The rapist abducts the woman, chains her in his basement and physically and sexually assaults her on a regular basis. The woman retaliates by punching, biting, scratching and otherwise trying to hurt her captor. So why is the rapist the victim?!

      Zio-supremacists like ivreee are morally bankrupt people.

      • eljay
        November 7, 2014, 9:22 pm

        >> eljay: So why is the rapist the victim?!

        No edit function. :-( I meant to say: So why is the rapist always the villain?

      • eljay
        November 7, 2014, 9:24 pm

        BTW, I love the two images with the young woman in them, especially the angel with her wing trapped in the wall.

    • Horizontal
      November 7, 2014, 10:04 pm

      Hey, irvi, you seem like a guy who appreciates irony, so how about this? The descendants of the Holocaust victims are behaving more and more like the original perpetrators. Pretty funny, eh?

      As far as what level of moral outrage is appreciated in Israel, believe me, this says way more about the current state of Israel than it does about Europe.

      • light2014
        November 13, 2014, 2:20 am

        The Jews of Germany , Poland etc did not attack Germany with invading armies as the Arabs did after the UN partition and founding of the subsequent Jewish Reservation, Sanctuary, Preserve- the State of Israel. 66 six years
        later the Arab population in Israel proper and
        in the disputed territories has grown. Arab sits on Israel’s Supreme Court. Arabic is an official language as is Hebrew .Jews and Arabs that commit crimes are arrested. Inspite of the 5th column like behavior of Arabs Israel has not adopted the understandable policy adopted by the valiant Kurds which is the wholesale expulsion of Arab Sunnis from their midst. At first the Kurds allowed Arabs to continue to live alongside them. But this policy changed when Syrian and Iraqi villagers sided with ISIL . That Israel doesn’t do the same to their neighbors who would surely side with Israel’s enemies shows unusual restraint . Every living creature
        has a membrane around it to protect it from external threats and expel
        noxious internal threats.

    • seafoid
      November 8, 2014, 2:14 am

      The bots in their shtetl moaning about the Europeans. Some things never change!

      • just
        November 8, 2014, 6:55 am

        plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

        (a lot of those shtetls belong to other people and their descendents who are living in enforced refugee camps/prison. but I don’t have to tell you that, seafoid.)

    • talknic
      November 12, 2014, 9:38 pm

      @ ivri “There is a pathetic element in the aroused sensitivity to human right issues since WW2 and the Jewish Holocaust in it that finds its expression among Europeans in identifying in the Israel-Palestinian conflict once more the Jews as the villains”

      Who are the villains? Please correct me if I’m wrong…

      The Palestinians DID NOT decide to colonize Israel. In 1897, long before the Holocaust, the Jewish led Zionist Federation DID decide to colonize Palestine! http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8632-jewish-colonial-trust-the-judische-colonialbank ( At the time, Jews could have and did migrate to Palestine, gain legitimate citizenship, bought land and settled anywhere in the Jewish People’s Historic homeland without it being necessary for a separate Jewish State. Odd that Herzl could have but didn’t bother! )

      The Palestinians HAVE NOT taken any territory belonging to the Jewish state. The Jewish state HAS illegally acquired by war over half of what remained of Palestine after the Jewish state was declared independent of Palestine! http://pages.citebite.com/y1f0t4q1v4son

      The Palestinians DO NOT have any territory belonging to the Jewish state under occupation. The Jewish state HAS all of Palestine under occupation!

      The Palestinians DO NOT have any illegal settlers in any territory belonging to the Jewish state. The Jewish state DOES actively encourage its citizens to illegally settle in Occupied Palestinian Territories! http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/b86613e7d92097880525672e007227a7/6de6da8a650b4c3b852560df00663826?OpenDocument

      The Palestinians DO NOT have any citizens of the Jewish state in Palestinian gaols. The Jewish state DOES hold Palestinian men women and children in Jewish state gaols without charge!

      The Palestinians DO NOT demand any territory belonging to the Jewish state for their defense or to illegally settle and; the Palestinians DO NOT demand that the Jewish state disarm. The Jewish state DOES demand, without any legal basis what so ever, that Palestine disarms and that Palestine cedes parts of Palestinian territory for Israel’s defense.

      The Palestinians WERE NOT given more than half of their own territory for a state, they had more than half of their existing state TAKEN from them. More than half of Palestine was given and taken for the Jewish state, completely gratis!

      None of the Jewish leaders of the Zionist Federation who decided to colonize Palestine in 1897 were from Palestine.

      None of the Jewish leaders of the Zionist Federation who decided to colonize Palestine in 1897 were Holocaust survivors.

      Only one of the signatories to the Jewish state’s declaration of statehood was from the region and; NONE represented the 20% non-Jewish population. http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/israeli-portland-seattle#comment-718764

      The provisional Govt of the Zionist led Jewish state, peppered with terrorists http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/releases/2006/march/jewish.htm immediately reneged on the constitution it promised Israelis. http://pages.citebite.com/p2b0i7o9o6xlh

      The Zionist led Jewish state has never had a legally elected government, under a constitution.

      The Palestinians have no forces in Israel. The Zionist led Jewish state has had its military forces in “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” for 66 years. http://pages.citebite.com/x1r0b4d1y6mkv

      You support a Zionist led state now in breach of laws and a UN Charter adopted in large part because of the treatment of our Jewish fellows under the &*(# Nazis.

      You support a Zionist led Jewish state that has lied to its citizens about its borders for 66 years http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

      You support a Zionist led Jewish state that lies to its citizens about UN bias http://wp.me/pDB7k-XU

      You support a Zionist led Jewish state that illegally sells land in occupied territory not yet belonging to the Jewish state to citizens it encourages to illegally settle

      You support a Zionist led Jewish state that actively encourages its citizens to break the very laws that were adopted to protect ALL civilians including those of the Occupying Power from the almost certain violent consequences of occupying another people.

      You and all like you are the problem

      • eljay
        November 13, 2014, 7:40 am

        >> talknic @ November 12, 2014, 9:38 pm

        Great post, talknic.

        ivreee’s reply will be the equivalent of “I know you are, but what am I?”

  2. seafoid
    November 7, 2014, 9:20 am

    The sight of the stark concrete evokes confinement, desolation, mass brainwashing, neoshtetlism, dead end messianism, the enduring trauma of WW2 , the wrong learnings from ww2, the infinite human capacity for delusion and the hopelessness of modern Judaism

    • Mooser
      November 7, 2014, 11:59 am

      “The sight of the stark concrete evokes confinement, desolation, mass brainwashing, neoshtetlism, dead end messianism, the enduring trauma of WW2 , the wrong learnings from ww2, the infinite human capacity for delusion and the hopelessness of modern Judaism “

      Seafoid, that may be so, but at least there’s none of those goddam “pathetic elements”. I mean, “ivri” has got us, there. It may be a lot of things, but there’s nothing “pathetic” about it!

      • seafoid
        November 7, 2014, 1:04 pm

        Ivri is a moron.

      • Horizontal
        November 7, 2014, 10:07 pm

        Moron to me denotes someone who can’t do any better due to severe intellectual limitations. I think irvi could do better if he wanted to, but chooses otherwise.

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2014, 11:26 am

        “I think irvi could do better if he wanted to, but chooses otherwise.”

        Sure, “Horizontal” you are thinking of the inspiring story of Tzvia Thiers, who was over sixty before the facade of Zionism began to crack for her.
        But she had a strong sense of innate decency which Zionism was unable to corrupt.

      • seafoid
        November 8, 2014, 3:24 pm

        horizontal

        a moron can be anyone who isn’t curious and takes whatever they have been fed for granted.
        there are lots of morons working in Wall St

      • bryan
        November 9, 2014, 2:58 am

        Seafoid – I think you are being a little harsh on Ivri – he has been dealt a very poor hand but nevertheless he keeps insisting that his two of trumps is the killer card. Invariably he provides a useful opportunity for those with a wider vision to demonstrate the flaws in his logic, which he could probably have done for himself had he not been so infatuated with his sweetheart. Today’s pearl of wisdom – Six million horribly annihilated in World War II gives their six million heirs apparent in Israel decades later a carte blanche to behave abominably – of course does not bear serious examination – but surely you can admire his dogged persistence and misplaced loyalty – without calling him a moron.

      • Mooser
        November 9, 2014, 12:44 pm

        ” but surely you can admire his dogged persistence and misplaced loyalty – without calling him a moron.”

        Oh, I’m sure he can, I have no doubt of it. The question is, why should he bother?

  3. seafoid
    November 7, 2014, 9:22 am

    One on of those wall blocks there is a base with “al quds lina”(Jerusalem is ours) painted on it. I saw it in 2003.

    Zionism is so fucked up. Like concrete is going to stop the Palestinian imagination.

  4. just
    November 7, 2014, 9:42 am

    Kudos on the book.

    The illegal ‘wall’ is the ugliest of the always ugly Israeli ‘architecture’.

    • Kay24
      November 7, 2014, 1:38 pm

      True, years later it will be part of Israel’s ugly history, with the story of illegal land grabs and the horrible occupation.

      That wall was viewed well when the Pope stood before it, holding it, beside the words “Free Palestine”.

      • Horizontal
        November 7, 2014, 10:09 pm

        Just look at that wall.

        It is one ugly structure.

        Just showing those pictures to Americans would have a strong effect, I believe.

        I know it does me.

      • Kay24
        November 8, 2014, 7:14 am

        Everything is ugly about zionism, from the wall to the illegal settlements, and in their brutal actions actions civilians. So much like the Nazis.

  5. Kay24
    November 7, 2014, 9:47 am

    It is time the world regarded this despicable wall as an apartheid wall, or the wall of oppression.
    These zionist fences and walls have brought nothing but death, injury, destruction, and loss of land and resources, for the victims of occupation. At the slightest excuse, the zionists have stolen, grabbed, and fortified for themselves, acres and acres of lands, that they have no damn right to, ignoring world condemnation, their usual arrogant trait.
    When will the US tell them to end the occupation, and land grabs, for the stones and rockets to cease?

    Meanwhile Abbas seems to waffle again, but perhaps this time he may act on going to the UN.
    Any bets?

    Abbas set to submit UN resolution on borders and ending occupation
    The Palestinian president says the move later this month will define the entire West Bank and East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory.

    A resolution demanding the 1967 lines as the borders of a Palestinian state and an end to the Israeli occupation will be submitted to the UN Security Council later this month, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday. Haaretz

  6. ivri
    November 8, 2014, 3:57 am

    What I am trying to highlight is that somehow Europeans always end up seeing the Jews as the wronged party with the only thing changing is the cause. It covered religion, greed, disloyalty to nation, barbarism (gentiles` blood in Passover bread), ambition of control (the Zion Protocols), treason, intellectual manipulation and brainwashing – really everything negative you can think of. And at every junction it was both believed at the onset and disowned later. Now it has come to the national issue – it is the first time that Jews have a state of their own since millennia and well – surprise, surprise – many Europeans are once more on the opposite side, blaming Israeli Jews for the problems. And that when the situation is truly so complex and it is so easy to sympathize with Israel, as many Americans or Canadians actually do, located in a region with so many serious intrinsic problems of in the midst of mayhem and yet it does not help – Europeans once more choose, and vehemently so, to point their blaming fingers at their “usual target”. Isn`t it a disappointment?

    • just
      November 8, 2014, 5:49 am

      What is “a disappointment” is what Israel has done and is doing with impunity.

      Israel’s most enormous “problems” are of its own making– they are “intrinsic” and are a major source of “mayhem”. Unfortunately, Palestinians and other indigenous and innocent people have been made to pay for the evil and sins visited upon European Jewish people in WW2 (and everything else you cite in your list of grievances).

      Are you really that incapable of introspection?

      (I think your first sentence might contain a Freudian slip, of sorts)

      maybe you might consider this wrt your Israeli anger:

      ‘Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.’

      – Mark Twain

      • Kay24
        November 8, 2014, 7:19 am

        I am guessing a good percentage of of those “anti-semitic” attacks might be related to the brutality of Israel, the consistent breaking of international laws and human rights violations. It provokes the anger of the world by it’s despicable actions, and then wails about anti-semitism. I am sure anti-Semitism does exist, but so does Islamaphobia. Israel is one of the most disliked nations in the world, not because of the Jews, but because of the horrible, horrible, actions, and massacres, and diabolical actions of Israel, against it’s neighbors, and even other nations.
        It is so convenient for Israel to lump it all together.

      • just
        November 8, 2014, 7:49 am

        Remember Reverend Shipman. He got gone by suggesting something similar.

        We have to challenge and change the narrative. The truth will out. I cannot recommend enough Katie Miranda’s Telesummit! Last night, I watched her interview with Noura Erekat. If you need a boost of solidarity with Palestinians, and a distinct inspiration when you feel hopeless, sign up and watch!!!

        From Katie’s introduction last pm:

        “Today I have a fascinating interview with Noura Erakat, Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya online magazine and Georgetown University scholar of humanitarian law.

        Noura discusses how and why Israeli state narrative is accepted as trustworthy in the media in contrast to the Syrian, Iranian, Russian or Chinese state narratives. She explains that the flip side of this problem is that the mainstream media does not consider Palestinians to be trustworthy authorities.

        In this interview you will learn:

        Why demonstrating or small acts of resistance matter even if you do not see immediate results
        The underlying factors of media bias against Palestinians
        What people like you can do to challenge that bias ”

        Do yourself and your fellow human a favor. Sign up:

        summit.katiemiranda.com)#sthash.oLCHRgQJ.dpuf

      • just
        November 8, 2014, 7:52 am

        pooh. the link didn’t work…

        try this:

        http://summit.katiemiranda.com/

    • Horizontal
      November 8, 2014, 8:14 am

      ivri ~

      You’re comments treat Israel as if it were a blank slate with absolutely no chits against it on the moral ledger. Taken that way, all this negativity aimed at Israel seems unfair and prejudicial. But that’s a crazy way to look at it.

      Tell me, isn’t Israel militarily occupying territory and encouraging settlement on that territory? Didn’t Israel attack and kill civilians in International waters? Doesn’t Israel enforce a tiered legal system based on race/religion? Didn’t Israel steal passports of foreign nationals in order to accomplish a hit? And more recently, didn’t Israel launch an attack on Gaza with little regard for civilian casualties? Doesn’t Israel regularly spy on its closest ally and great friend, the United States? (This is a short list which could be much longer, but hopefully you get the point.)

      Now I know you believe that all of these actions can be justified; but you must be honest and realize that it is more than possible to look at each of these actions as legitimate reasons for international condemnation that do not spring from anti-Semitism 2.0.

      You’re acting like Israel is blameless. It’s not that Jews finally have a homeland that is causing all the problems mentioned, but the way they’re going about it that’s so wrong. You, for whatever reasons, refuse to see that.

      One more thing: I’m not certain how popular Israel actually is among average Americans, since you spend so much money and effort keeping the lid on any kind of criticism or information that might put Israel in a bad light. How you guys have our congress locked up with the big money stick is no secret, either. I believe that if Israel was truly as popular as you think, all these efforts would be quite unnecessary.

      It must be hard being a nineteenth-century soul trapped in the twenty-first.

      • just
        November 8, 2014, 8:29 am

        “It must be hard being a nineteenth-century soul trapped in the twenty-first.”

        It’s “millenia” according to ivri.

        “millennium
        [mi-len-ee-uh m]

        noun, plural millenniums, millennia
        [mi-len-ee-uh] (Show IPA)
        1.
        a period of 1000 years.
        2.
        the millennium, the period of a thousand years during which Christ will reign on earth. Rev. 20:1–7.
        3.
        a period of general righteousness and happiness, especially in the indefinite future.
        4.
        a thousandth anniversary.”

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/millennia

        go figure.

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2014, 11:30 am

        Jewish victimhood, most definitely no longer exists and that is a GOOD thing. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/confrontation-highlights-relationship#sthash.T9wbu6uv.dpuf

        Aside from some old folk maybe who survived the Holocaust or oppression in the USSR or various Arab countries, or on a much lesser scale, have experienced discrimination in the USA in the early half of the last century, on the whole, Jews don’t regard themselves as victims. Young Jews are strong, confident and successful. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/confrontation-highlights-relationship#sthash.T9wbu6uv.dpuf

    • bryan
      November 9, 2014, 5:57 am

      Perhaps the time has come, Ivri, to change the hymn-sheet. Wallowing in eternal victim-hood and lamenting constant mutual hatred may have served a purpose in the past, in maintaining social solidarity during difficult times, but surely times have changed. Israel has its state, one of the most powerful “defence” forces in the world, and a thriving economy. Diaspora Jews have “never had it so good” in Macmillan’s words – they are accepted, influential, wealthy. Now is the time to do what other successful states have done – to embrace modernity, pluralism, secularism, the proper rule of law, internationalism, not just because you can afford to, but because you cannot afford not to. The choices are stark – you can maintain the status quo, become an ever sicker society, be an international pariah, watch as BDS bites deeper and deeper, and Israel becomes ever more embattled and divided, between those who want peace and those who want to recreate a biblical ethnocracy, with institutions that become ever more intolerant, racist and even fascist – or you can embrace the twenty-first century.

      Why not introduce mixed secular schools? Why not end the rampant social segregation (Arabs v Jews, rich v poor, Ashkenazi v Mizrahi, secular v religious) that leads so many citizens to a conviction that Palestinians hate us, because they have never met a Palestinian, and because they rely on media, institutions and political parties that are without an ounce of empathy for others. Why not start a serious dialogue with Hamas instead of constant demonisation? Why not introduce a constitution, or if that is impossible because of your social divisions, at least stop the slew of racist legislation? Why not stop the attacks on Palestinian footballers and stadia, invest in sports development throughout Eretz Israel, even invite Palestinian teams to enter your leagues? Why not grant as much freedom of movement as possible, without sacrificing your “security”. Why not relax the blockade and ease the occupation, even if you do not end them as you should. Why not introduce an effective civilian police force in the lands you rule so that “crimes” can be investigated evenhandedly? Why not impose proper military discipline, investigate potential war-crimes and ensure that soldiers do not stand idly by whilst settlers attack helpless civilians or daub graffiti on mosques? Why not embrace the Arab Peace Initiative which would permit you to drastically cut defence spending and redirect resources to your crumbling social infrastructure, as well as hugely increasing revenue as the Israeli economy became the powerhouse of an expanding middle-eastern economy, as well as spreading a prosperity which would encourage secularism and discourage fundamentalism?

      Surely Ivri there are so many things to which you could apply your energies to make the world a better place, rather than to sit there lamenting that the world is against you, without any reflection on the possible causes.

      • ivri
        November 9, 2014, 11:03 am

        It`s not about victimhood, Bryan, that`s gone with the establishment of Israel. It`s a sense that some people in Europe act as if they are “genetically programmed” against Jewish issues and the pathetic try to differentiate from that a deep hostility to Israel (euphemized as “criticism of the Israeli government policies”), which transcends in its emotional intensity any other foreign agenda, demands a serious explanation.

      • bryan
        November 10, 2014, 5:47 am

        As you say victim-hood should have gone with the establishment of a state – but has it really? Are your politicians not exploiting every possible opportunity to conjure up existential threats – whether they are the irritating but ineffectual resistance of Hamas (quite ready to agree a long term truce if the quid pro quo were an adequate relaxation of a brutal blockade), the mere words of Hanin Zoabi (an acknowledged anti-Zionist but no more than a verbal opponent exploiting what ought to be the legitimate right of any citizen of a democracy) or the absurd spectre of a second Iranian holocaust (the reality of which is denied by both top Israeli and American military analysts).

        Granted there is strong and growing criticism of the Israeli government from some people in Europe – as indeed there has to be given this summer’s rampage, the enduring and extending occupation and illegal settlement and the attempts by pro-Israel organisations to censor and close down debate – but much of this criticism seems motivated not by anti-Semitism but by a desire (which you recently advocated) for the state to become “normal”.

        Anyway you don’t address my point that that there are a huge number of simple steps that the government could take to ease the situation. Instead of your simply swearing that black is white, it would be helpful to the debate if you could put forward your own prospectus of policy initiatives that you would like to see pursued. Then we could understand properly where you are coming from.

    • Mooser
      November 14, 2014, 5:21 pm

      “What I am trying to highlight is that somehow Europeans always end up seeing the Jews as the wronged party”

      Did you realise you typed this, “ivri” or were your fingers just trying to get you out of making an ass of yourself?

  7. just
    November 8, 2014, 6:31 am

    “JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian activists affiliated with local popular resistance committees in the villages northwest of Jerusalem on Saturday broke open a hole in the separation wall to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    “No matter how high walls are built, they will fall. Just as the Berlin Wall fell, the wall in Palestine will fall, along with the occupation,” the popular committees said in a statement.

    The activists said that their aim in destroying the wall was also to stress that Jerusalem is an Arab and Palestinian city, and that neither the construction of the separation wall nor Israeli military reinforcement could prevent Palestinians from reaching Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque.”

    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=738413

    • just
      November 8, 2014, 6:41 am

      Dadgum it! here’s the link to the song:

      • Marnie
        November 8, 2014, 2:17 pm

        Love this song –

        Well I won’t back down
        No I won’t back down
        You can stand me up at the gates of hell
        But I won’t back down

        No I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around
        And I’ll keep this world from draggin me down
        gonna stand my ground
        … and I won’t back down

        Chorus:
        (I won’t back down…)
        Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
        (and I won’t back down…)
        hey I will stand my ground
        and I won’t back down

        Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
        in a world that keeps on pushin me around
        but I’ll stand my ground
        …and I won’t back down

        (I won’t back down…)
        Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
        (and I won’t back down…)
        hey I will stand my ground
        (I won’t back down)
        and I won’t back down…

        (I won’t back down…)
        Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
        (I won’t back down)
        hey I won’t back down
        (and I won’t back down)
        hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
        (and I won’t back down)
        hey I will stand my ground
        (and I won’t back down)
        and I won’t back down
        (I won’t back down)
        No I won’t back down…

  8. Marnie
    November 8, 2014, 2:14 pm

    The wall is hideous and the perfect reflection of the state of israel, complete with razor wire wrapped around the “beating heart” of zionism.

  9. yonah fredman
    November 8, 2014, 4:04 pm

    There are those on the right wing of israel, Moshe Arens comes to mind, who are opposed to the wall and would favor taking it down. To put their point bluntly, in terms they wouldn’t use, it is the boot on the Palestinian neck in the casbah of Nablus (or to be less artistic: it is the system of collaborators developed among the occupied Palestinians) that stops the suicide bombings and not the wall.

    The wall will not come down soon. It would take a leader with vision, either right wing or left wing, but some vision or another, to take down the wall. Netanyahu is not a leader with vision nor is anyone with vision on the near horizon for Israel’s leadership.

    • seafoid
      November 8, 2014, 4:29 pm

      Yonah

      Israel doesn’t have time to wait for a leader with vision.
      YESHA is not going to fly.
      American power is fading too.
      Capitalism is in serious shit.
      And climate change is here.

      The world is going to look very different even 10 years from now.
      the only allies Israel can count on are whichever beltway pols the bots in DC buy.

  10. Horizontal
    November 8, 2014, 8:56 pm

    The wall will not come down soon.

    I can imagine an East German saying the same thing around 1989. You lack imagination, my friend, or is it a satisfaction with the status quo?

    Why don’t you go out and work at electing yourself a leader who can get the job done? The only thing the wall is separating is Israel from its humanity. It’s a concrete band aid on a self-inflicted wound.

  11. Daniel Rich
    November 8, 2014, 11:07 pm

    Hollywood proudly presents:

    “Haim Saban Raises $34M to Support Israeli Defense Forces”

    Excerpt: ‘Even by the standards of the always well-supported annual FIDF events, this year’s dinner raised a remarkable amount for a single fundraising event, with major support from Hollywood moguls and studios execs.’

    But we can’t say it, can we?

    • Horizontal
      November 9, 2014, 10:50 am

      Considering the staggering amounts of scarce tax dollars that our country already funnels to propping up the insidious IDF, having this fundraising event for the exact same thing is just wrong on so many levels.

      It almost strikes me as just showing off.

      It would be nice to email this link to my new congress-critters the next time they vote to waste our tax money on these butchers. “See, they’re plenty well-funded already,” I could tell them.

  12. seafoid
    November 9, 2014, 9:50 am

    25 th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. I wonder how long it will take before an Israeli Jew puts humanity before orders, as Lt Jäger did…

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3e62e2b2-638a-11e4-8216-00144feabdc0.html

    “Headquarters called with new instructions: let a few hundred across but pick out the activists and mark their passports so that they could pass without a right of return. Thus about 500 people crossed the border before the Wall actually came down – the sight of which prompted West German TV to report the borders were now open, which brought thousands more East Germans on to the streets.

    Lt Jäger was at his wit’s end: “I said [to my men]: ‘What should I do? Should I let you open fire? Or should we let GDR citizens leave the country? Neither is right’.”

    I was just a normal person in a difficult situation . . . The heroes were the people in front of us . . . They could not know whether we would use our guns or not.

    – Harald Jäger, former Stasi official

    A decision was forced on him when a young couple who had been among those to earlier cross into the west sought to return to their home and young children. The wife’s papers were valid, but the husband’s were not – he had been singled out and his passport stamped.
    Mr Jäger recalls: “My responsibility was clear – enforce the law and split the couple. But at the moment it became so clear to me . . . the stupidity, the lack of humanity. I finally said to myself: ‘Kiss my arse. Now I will do what I think is right’ .””

    • eljay
      November 9, 2014, 10:26 am

      >> Mr. Jäger: ” …  the stupidity, the lack of humanity. I finally said to myself: ‘Kiss my arse. Now I will do what I think is right’ .”

      I can respect the Zio-supremacists – like Tzvia Thier – who have had that sort of epiphany.

      Unfortunately, far too many Zio-supremacists have not yet had it or have had it and rejected it.

    • Horizontal
      November 9, 2014, 10:54 am

      Kiss my arse. Now I will do what I think is right

      Doesn’t quite have the same right to it as, “Give me liberty, or give me death,” but it is, in it’s own way, an equally beautiful phrase.

      Thanks for posting.

  13. Refaat
    November 11, 2014, 2:53 pm

    the martyr in the poster is my relative

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