By Salina Nasir
Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s destruction ” a monumental event in history that reminded the world that apartheid should never be tolerated.
But not too long after the Berliners united, the state of Israel began construction on a separation wall of its own in 2002: The Israeli West Bank Barrier, colloquially deemed the Apartheid Wall, signifies apartheid in modern times and thus prolongs our world’s exposure to separatism.
Article II of The International Covenant on the Suppression and Punishment of Apartheid classifies apartheid as “any measure, including legislative measures, designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separation reserves and ghettos.”
In violation of this covenant, Israel’s separation wall does just that.
It runs nearly 450 miles along the West Bank, or the 1949 Armistice Line, and fences the landlocked territory entirely off from Israel.
But, it should not be considered just a fence, nor is it to be thought of as simply a wall: This is a strict separation barrier that detaches villagers from their farmland, isolates families from their loved ones, and prevents people from their livelihood. It has resulted in a destabilized Palestinian economy, politicizing essentials such as land, food and water.
The Israeli government claims that the wall is a defense mechanism, which ultimately lessens the number of attacks from the other side. However, such an expansive “defense” apparatus also resembles a ploy to reduce freedoms and colonize Palestinian land.
This past weekend, Palestinians gathered in the West Bank village of Bir Nabala near the apartheid wall to prove their solidarity with the precedent citizenry of Berlin.
Activists equipped with sledgehammers and other tools attempted to break though the controversial wall ” an act that not only honored the fall of the Berlin Wall, but also shed light on the current quandary that defines Israeli apartheid.
Their solemn yet optimistic voices echoed familiar messages that were heard in Germany from 1961 to 1989 when the Berlin Wall stood tall.
An unnamed Palestinian activist said it best.
“No matter how high walls are built, they will fall,” he said. “Just as the Berlin Wall fell, the wall in Palestine will fall, along with the occupation.”
Michael Torres / The Poly Post
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