Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Banksy's West Bank

The 400+ mile concrete wall separating Palestine from Palestine has at least one purpose--the public display of art. Banksy, the UK-based guerrilla artist, recently stenciled several images on the wall, now making it reminiscent of the art the appeared on Berlin's "anti-fascist" Wall shortly after its fall. One of his new pieces is of a little girl in a pink dress frisking an Israeli soldier. It is almost exactly like the image on a UK wall of Scotland Yard frisking the little girl in a red dress. All of the new images were thrown up in the areas surrounding Bethlehem, a major pilgrimage site at this time of year. On the website, Banksy encourages people to visit Bethlehem and witness the uselessness of the wall for themselves. Like most walls in history, this one has only served to keep people who have legitimate claims to the land out. The ICJ stated that the barrier was "contrary to international law" and the UN stated that the wall created significant humanitarian and economic issues, not to mention that Palestinian land was confiscated to create the barrier. Initially contemplated by Israel as a security barrier, it has now become a political, economic, and humanitarian barrier.