Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Israel's Apartheid Wall, Again

 A Section of Israel's Apartheid Wall in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, Separating Palestinian Villages from an Illegal Israeli Settlement

I've posted pictures of the Wall before, I know. But every time we drive past a section I am struck again by the madness of it. Sometimes the average Palestinian will say things like, "I wouldn't mind the Wall if it was built along the 1949 armistice borders, on Israeli territory," in a fit of there's-nothing-I-can-do-anyway.

"They can do what they want, khalas, as long as they just leave us alone," they add, weary of having their territory confiscated, occupied; their homes demolished; their every step monitored and their movement restricted. Blue IDs for Jerusalem Palestinians, green for West Bank Palestinians. Yellow license plates for Israeli-registered cars, white for Palestinian cars. Color codes that decide whether you can pass through military checkpoints or not. If you have rights or not.

Maybe I haven't been here long enough, but there's nothing nothing nothing anyone can ever tell me that will make me think this is even remotely acceptable. Any argument--security-related or otherwise--that justifies separating one human being from another by a huge concrete wall can never make sense to me. I believe that the most dangerous, destructive, and also probably the most seductive idea that we humans ever had is that the social group we belong to is superior to others. Especially when this idea becomes so strong that we imagine that we need to separate ourselves from others in order to protect our identity, our superiority, the privileged world we've created for ourselves on the expense of our neighbors.

Seriously. I thought we had learned from colonial projects of the past, of segregated societies in South Africa, America, Germany and where ever else your skin color or your birthplace or the name of your parents or grandparents decided on which side of a concrete wall you could be, or what part of a bus you could sit in. Apparently not.

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