Mock wall serves as symbol for Middle Eastern conflict

By Suzanne Khazaal

Standing 10 feet tall and 64 feet long, the mock Israeli wall
will be displayed in University Park until Thursday. The Muslim
Student Association and the Student Coalition for a Just Peace are
hosting this four-day demonstration as a part of Justice Month.

On Thursday during U-hour, there will be a skit re-enacting an
Israeli checkpoint. After the skit, Mahmood Ibrahim, chair of the
history department, will be giving a breakdown of the current
situation in Palestine.

“We decided to put the wall up this year as part of the annual
Justice Month in which we bring awareness to different issues of
social justice,” said Ahmad Faqih, the Islamic outreach chair of
the MSA and a third-year civil engineering student. “This year is
especially important to the Palestinian cause because it marks the
60th year of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

The wall, a contentious issue, has been largely supported by the
U.S. government and tax dollars.

“By bringing the mock wall and checkpoint, we hope to bring the
realities of Palestinian life to the campus community to create
awareness of a real problem that is being directly funded by our
tax money,” said Faqih.

The wall is merely a representation of the one that exists in
Palestine, so it is not built to scale.

“In some areas [in Palestine], the wall reaches about 28 feet
high, making the Palestinians feel like prisoners,” said Hassen
Morad, president of the SCJP and a third-year philosophy student.
“This is clearly against the standard expected from a country that
claims to espouse the virtues of democracy.”

Morad expressed his opposition toward the Israeli wall built in
Palestine.

“The wall constructed by Israel reflects just how the apartheid
works. It is part of the overall Zionist aim to push Palestinians
out of the region by subjecting to disgraceful living standards,”
said Morad. “The wall is built on Palestinian land, not Israeli,
and it is constructed in such a way that it separates Palestinian
farmers from their agricultural land and drastically limits the
movement of Palestinians in and out of their villages.”

The demonstrative wall has stirred up some controversy on campus
in the past.

Last year, one sign drawn by a SCJP member displayed the Israeli
flag portraying the Star of David as equal to the Swastika. This
caused a student to get angry and claim that the event was
anti-Semitic. In response to this, the SCJP said the Israeli flag
contains the Star of David as a symbol and it is used in the same
way many European countries have the cross on their flag.

To say that criticizing the flag is criticism of the religion is
not accurate, explained Faqih.

Another issue brought up by some students is that the wall is a
one-sided view of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

In response to this, Faqih said, “the other side is readily
available in the media.”

With such diverse ideas and perspectives, the mock wall sparks
both positive and negative interest from students. Last year, the
wall was vandalized and people attempted to intimidate
volunteers.

“To maintain security, there will be shift schedules set up for
volunteers to make sure the campus and volunteers remain safe,”
said Faqih.

To clear the air of any tension, the MSA has reached out to
Hillel, a Jewish club on campus, asking it to bring any concerns it
might have regarding the wall, as well as possibly planning a
dialogue together.

Micki Abramavitz, president of the Hillel club and a second-year
hospitality and restaurant management student, said that
co-sponsoring an event is a possibility, but no plans have been
established yet for such collaboration or time to prepare for a
joint discussion.

“It is an important argument and one that needs a lot of time
for preparation, so students intricacies of the issue,” said Erin
Mascho, a second-year hospitality and restaurant management student
and treasurer of Hillel club. “We have nothing against MSA and we
feel that is important for students to be able to discuss such
issues.”

Mock wall serves as symbol for Middle Eastern conflict

Allen Chen/Poly Post

Mock wall serves as symbol for Middle Eastern conflict

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

You May Also Like

College of Engineering hosts lecture series

By Guadalupe Pinedo The College of Engineering has been committed to providing students with ...

Red Folder an opportunity to help students

By Daniel Flores The Red Folder, an informational guide given to faculty and staff ...

Faculty and staff attend diversity workshop

By Jessica Wang Cal Poly Pomona faculty gathered for a talk by a prominent ...