I came across this cartoon on the ISM Canada website. I’m posting it here, because it sums up so well what is incorrect with the image most people have of Israel’s Wall. It is NOT a “separation barrier” built between Israelis and Palestinians. It is an annexation barrier, the vast majority of which is built or is being built within Palestine. The primary aim of this project is to take more land away from Palestinians and add it to the state of Israel. For a long time, the Israeli government denied this, and claimed it was “only for security”, and that the route of the Wall could be moved in the event of a final status agreement. To anyone on the ground suffering from the effects, this was a transpartent lie. It is now conceded by high Israeli officials (including Tzipi Livni) that the Wall is going to be “the border”, within the framework of “convergence”.
Still, the cartoon is not the whole picture. It would be more acurate to show a series of fences being built within the Palestinian house, separating the mother from the father, from the children. Because this is what is being done – Palestinians are being divided into isolated, unliveable ghettos. Consulting some of the various maps available, demonstrates this plainly. Palestinian Reservations, modeled on the North American manifest destiny example are the ultimate aim.
So, what can we do to stop this? From outside, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign (similar to that of the boycott of apartheid era South Africa) is, in my judgement, one of few hopes left for any kind of future for Palestine. This article by a British academic who worked in Beirzeit University (near Ramallah, in the West Bank) during the early 80s, brilliantly argues for the academic boycott, and speaks from first hand experience about the denial of academic freedom that Israel routinely enforces on Palestinians. This article by a friend of mine is a good summary of the current state of the campaign.