The Wall’s Guerrilla Artists

IMG_1716The Israeli Wall, the “security barrier,” or the “apartheid wall,” has been constructed since the Second Intifada in 2000. Although the Israeli government projected a Wall some 440 miles eventually, the government and its contractors have built approximately 275 miles. It varies from a concrete barrier 25 feet in height (primarily around urban areas) to 8 foot wire fences.

I hope to have shots of the famous “guerrilla artist” Banksy. Unfortunately, some of his work has been painted over; other existing work I simply haven’t seen in my three Bethlehem wall walks.

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Here are some photos beginning with Ian Knowles “Lady of the Wall” at the end of one section nearest the Bethlehem checkpoint. There are other pieces explicitly religious.

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Some are haunting.

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Some have an almost “children’s” quality to them.

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Besides the art, individuals paint messages. I’m struck by the many languages. Individuals all over the world want to show solidarity with the Palestinians. I also was struck by the lack of obscenities. I saw the “f…” word probably only 3-4 times in English. Of course, I could have missed the obscenities in other languages.

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Other images show Palestinian figures.

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Surprisingly, I rarely saw overtly activist messages.

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I’ll talk about the Israeli-Palestinian situation in a future blog. From an Israeli point of view, the Wall has succeeded in reducing terrorism. Of course, whether the Wall has been the cause or whether other causes have primarily contributed to the general reduction of terror is debatable. From a Palestinian point of view, the Wall restricts freedom of movement, makes going to work more difficult, and leads to loss of land. Whichever the point of view, there is a tragic sadness surrounding the Wall.

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