Life beyond “The Wall”

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It is commonly referred to as the “Apartheid Wall” or the “Racial Segregation Wall” or even some call it the “Separation Barrier”. Others go further in calling it the “Security fence” or “anti-terrorist fence”. But the question is: what is its purpose?

The so-called wall is a 15 minutes walk from my house in Bethlehem. It’s true that it is made of cement but I’m made of steel. I walk. I talk. I laugh. I cry. I eat. I go out. I enjoy life. I’m human. We, Palestinians, live our lives as normal as we can with the existence of “a wall”. It only became part of our lives.

As a Christian living in the heart of Bethlehem, I seize every moment of my life. I spend my days working, cooking, blogging, and reading as any normal person around the globe. I, sometimes, go further to imagining myself on the other side of the wall and have come to the conclusion that it would be boring and would suffocate me. The wall on our side is covered in graffiti, while it is blank on the other side.

Then what is the wall’s purpose? Israel built it thinking it could affect the lives of Palestinians and would stop them from resisting. Well, they got it wrong. The fact that they have stolen our freedom of movement is true, but we resist. Our resistance is by living. Our resistance comes from our love to the Lord, to our country, and to our lives. We do have the power of popular resistance. We hold non-violent demonstrations on a weekly basis to demand our rights.

Israel began constructing the wall in 2002 and has yet to complete it.  This is the main reason for the protests; it is trying to confiscate more Palestinian land.  The wall’s total length will be 760 km when it is done.  But can Israelis afford to spend millions on such a wall?  Well, not really.  ”On the average, in 2009, poor [Israeli] families became poorer: the income gap ratio, which expresses the depth of poverty in families increased from 34.2% in 2008 to 35.5% in 2009,” a 2010 report by Israel’s National Insurance Institute said.

I have been to Berlin, Germany where there’s a museum with parts of the Berlin wall. I believe that someday in the future, Palestine’s museum will consist of parts of the current wall not through politics but by people on both sides.

The vague question remains. Are the Israeli people enjoying living in a country surrounded by a wall? If not, they should do something about it!

[this blog post was also published here]

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