Saturday, 6 March 2010

A wall for Palestine

In its cruelties, its injustices, its repetitiveness, and its gifts, there is nothing more exaggerated than reality.
John Berger

Yesterday the students at the UNRWA school in Abu-Dis showed me the wall display they have created which highlights significant moments in the history of Palestine.

These are early Jewish immigrants to Palestine. Generally they lived in peace alongside Arab Palestinians, which is why they are portrayed as happy and friendly.

This is Theodor Herzl, one of the founders of Zionism, who wrote in 1895, "We shall endeavour to expel the poor population [i.e. Arab Palestinians] across the border unnoticed, procuring employment for it in the transit countries, but denying it any employment in our own"

This is Lord Balfour, the British cabinet member who in 1917 promised support for a Zionist homeland in Palestine. This meant colonising and partitioning the land against the interests of the Arab majority.

This depicts the nakba (catastrophe) of 1948, when more than half of Palestine's native population were forcibly expelled, and half of Palestine's towns and villages completely destroyed. Upon this act of ethnic cleansing Israel was created.

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