It was bound to happen. A guerrilla graffiti artist painted an image of Donald Trump on Israel’s separation wall inside of the West Bank city of Bethlehem in the early morning hours Monday, mocking the president’s repeated statements on his intention to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The painting is accompanied by the text, “I’m going to build you a brother…” in a thought bubble next to the president’s head.
The Trump mural is based on widely circulated photographs of the president visiting Jerusalem’s Western Wall last May during his first trip abroad. Trump’s stop at the Jewish religious site stoked controversy and a number of memes. The wall is located inside of East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in 1967. Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to pray at the wall.
“Who paid for you?” he whispered. But the old wall keeps her secrets. pic.twitter.com/xplQhXvzQ3
— Jackie Jennings (@ohhijackie) May 22, 2017
Palestinian sources identified the designer of the mural as Lushsux, an Australian street artist known for modifying well-known images of politicians and celebrities and replicating them on public spaces.
Other new graffiti was found in Bethlehem today bearing Lushsux’s signature, and the words “Open borders for Israel,” an apparent satire on Israel’s separation wall encircling Palestinian cities in the West Bank.
Social media accounts linked to Lushsux also show pictures of the painting of Trump on the wall.
— LUSHSUX (@lushsux) July 31, 2017
Lushsux has painted Trump in the past. He produced a two-story nude of Trump in Melbourne in 2016, along with a portrait of Donald Trump kissing Hilary Clinton. He participated in the 2015 exhibition “Dismaland,” a project of the elusive street artist Banksy, who created a series of political murals across the West Bank and opened the “Walled Off” hotel earlier this year, an occupation-themed hotel yards from the wall.
Whats up Palestine? pic.twitter.com/uuywbBJL7g
— LUSHSUX (@lushsux) July 28, 2017
Israel began building the wall in 2002 in the occupied Palestinian territory. The entire route—both planned and areas where construction is completed—spans 440 miles, twice the length of the West Bank, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. Bethlehem, a city that was hit hardest by the snaking path of the wall, is the only Palestinian urban area where the wall runs through the center of town, cordoning off much of the downtown from outer neighborhoods.
The British-based activist group Open Bethlehem estimates that Palestinians have access to only 13 percent of the Bethlehem district because the Israeli military has made large swaths of the town off limits through the wall and settlements.