Paint the Israeli Separation Barrier in the Usdan Courtyard

Members of ADAPT write in with an explanation of the wall that has been constructed outside of Usdan. I’d like to add that in the past few days the wall has received some damage, most likely from those who don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, what the purpose of the wall is. As with any political statement, there are those who will agree or disagree, and then there are those who will refuse to engage and/or will actively stifle others’ voices. Don’t do that?

From Saturday until Wednesday you may notice a free-standing 9-feet-tall wall in the Usdan courtyard. As members of Awareness, Dialogue, and Action about Palestine/Israel Today (ADAPT), we intend for this wall to represent the very real Israeli West Bank separation barrier. This barrier has devastated Palestinian life in a number of ways, including the seizure of Palestinian land for its construction, the blockage of Palestinian access to vital health and medical services, and the restriction of movement that has made it extremely difficult for Palestinians to sustain themselves economically. Much of the controversy over the wall stems from the fact that a great deal of the 640km (400-mile) barrier, started in 2002, is being built on territory Israel occupied in 1967, rather than along the internationally recognized boundary between Israel and the West Bank (BBC).

You may also notice that the wall will be mostly blank, in contrast to the actual separation barrier, which is covered in artwork and graffiti done by Palestinians and international activists. We invite everyone to come and paint whatever they want on this wall. We will have supplies and spray paint available.  There is no restriction as to the views that may be expressed on the wall (except for obscene material). Please only join us in painting it during the stated times- lunchtime Sunday to Wednesday– as we intend for this to be an opportunity for tangible dialogue on an issue that many on campus are afraid to talk about.

22 thoughts on “Paint the Israeli Separation Barrier in the Usdan Courtyard

  1. anon

    @8 Obviously, your relationship with the dialogue on campus is lacking, because if you were truly involved you would know that the depth of perspective expressed by many on campus is both nuanced and intelligent. In most conversations I have on the matter, the notion that there are only two sides to the conflict is refuted. People at Wesleyan have ideas, reflections, and sometimes even solutions, which can perhaps someday positively influence the conflict for the better. It is petty to reduce campus dialogue here to black and white, when it could not be more shades of gray. Those involved on campus know that we will never be able to end the conflict from half way around the world unless we can end the conflict here in Middletown, and that is why so many work to further understanding, awareness and dialogue on campus.

    @9 Wrong. The border being discussed here was the recognized border known as “The Green Line” which divides Israel from the West Bank, and was formed after the war of 1967. The wall currently being built does not follow that line in many places, cutting off Palestinians from their land and limiting movement between Palestinian cities.

  2. anon

    @8 Obviously, your relationship with the dialogue on campus is lacking, because if you were truly involved you would know that the depth of perspective expressed by many on campus is both nuanced and intelligent. In most conversations I have on the matter, the notion that there are only two sides to the conflict is refuted. People at Wesleyan have ideas, reflections, and sometimes even solutions, which can perhaps someday positively influence the conflict for the better. It is petty to reduce campus dialogue here to black and white, when it could not be more shades of gray. Those involved on campus know that we will never be able to end the conflict from half way around the world unless we can end the conflict here in Middletown, and that is why so many work to further understanding, awareness and dialogue on campus.

    @9 Wrong. The border being discussed here was the recognized border known as “The Green Line” which divides Israel from the West Bank, and was formed after the war of 1967. The wall currently being built does not follow that line in many places, cutting off Palestinians from their land and limiting movement between Palestinian cities.

  3. wesleyan

    just FYI, the “internationally recognized boundary” is just a line the UN drew in 1948, before Israel declared its statehood. The lines they drew for the state of Israel and Palestine look absolutely nothing like the boundaries of today. Jerusalem was suppose to become an international city, patrolled by a UN police force that was never sent. Those lines are bullshit. There are no real borders right now, which is one of the major problems in the conflict.

  4. wesleyan

    just FYI, the “internationally recognized boundary” is just a line the UN drew in 1948, before Israel declared its statehood. The lines they drew for the state of Israel and Palestine look absolutely nothing like the boundaries of today. Jerusalem was suppose to become an international city, patrolled by a UN police force that was never sent. Those lines are bullshit. There are no real borders right now, which is one of the major problems in the conflict.

  5. anon

    Oh good, this will surely spark some more heated “Israelis vs. Palestinians” arguments. Haven’t been enough of those recently. But first, everybody pick a side! One or the other, black or white, good or bad. There’s no room for conciliation here.

    It’s really funny to me how the nature of the conflict is mirrored in the discussions we have about it. People get really mad, demonize each other and think of themselves as saints, and no progress is ever made.

  6. anon

    Oh good, this will surely spark some more heated “Israelis vs. Palestinians” arguments. Haven’t been enough of those recently. But first, everybody pick a side! One or the other, black or white, good or bad. There’s no room for conciliation here.

    It’s really funny to me how the nature of the conflict is mirrored in the discussions we have about it. People get really mad, demonize each other and think of themselves as saints, and no progress is ever made.

  7. terd bergler

    Man, you gotta love the israeli/palestinian conflict. It really strikes that sweet spot of getting american college students just mad enough to argue about it on the internet, but not mad enough to actually leave their rooms and go to the event being advertised as a place in which discussion can take place.

    Word up to #5.

  8. terd bergler

    Man, you gotta love the israeli/palestinian conflict. It really strikes that sweet spot of getting american college students just mad enough to argue about it on the internet, but not mad enough to actually leave their rooms and go to the event being advertised as a place in which discussion can take place.

    Word up to #5.

  9. parchie mordon

    “artwork and graffiti done by Palestinians and international activists”

    ISRAELIS DON’T EVEN DO ART! THEY HAVE NO SOULS!

  10. parchie mordon

    “artwork and graffiti done by Palestinians and international activists”

    ISRAELIS DON’T EVEN DO ART! THEY HAVE NO SOULS!

  11. Anonymous

    #4, like Israel is the ultimate holder of the olive branch? The Palestinians have done more in the way of peace than Israel.

  12. Anonymous

    #4, like Israel is the ultimate holder of the olive branch? The Palestinians have done more in the way of peace than Israel.

  13. anon

    Look, this is a complicated issue in which both Palestinians and Israelis suffer a great deal. We are a group of smart people who will probably largely go into lives of or related to public service. I think it is very productive to try and increase awareness and stimulate discussions of this issue in our community, as it can effect our individual efforts for the rest of our lives (a time-frame which could hopefully see some change, but probably not a “resolution”).

    If you are serious about making a difference by the way, then you should not use language that tries to make others leave the conversation. Being combative is unproductive, both in this conflict and in your discussions of it. Be impassioned, but don’t be combative.

  14. anon

    Look, this is a complicated issue in which both Palestinians and Israelis suffer a great deal. We are a group of smart people who will probably largely go into lives of or related to public service. I think it is very productive to try and increase awareness and stimulate discussions of this issue in our community, as it can effect our individual efforts for the rest of our lives (a time-frame which could hopefully see some change, but probably not a “resolution”).

    If you are serious about making a difference by the way, then you should not use language that tries to make others leave the conversation. Being combative is unproductive, both in this conflict and in your discussions of it. Be impassioned, but don’t be combative.

  15. anonymous

    The poor Palestinians. Trying so valiantly for peace but always stifled by the mean, nasty Israelis.

    #3, if your town repeatedly sent suicide bombers into my town, and shot missiles into my city square, I think I’d like to put a wall around them too.

    Sure, Palestinians are treated like 2nd class citizens in Israeli, but it ain’t like they’ve done much in the way of a real, organized effort to make peace.

    Theres a reason that wall was built.

  16. anonymous

    The poor Palestinians. Trying so valiantly for peace but always stifled by the mean, nasty Israelis.

    #3, if your town repeatedly sent suicide bombers into my town, and shot missiles into my city square, I think I’d like to put a wall around them too.

    Sure, Palestinians are treated like 2nd class citizens in Israeli, but it ain’t like they’ve done much in the way of a real, organized effort to make peace.

    Theres a reason that wall was built.

  17. anonymous

    to 1. what would propose they do? I’m guessing the people that organized the Wall outside USDAN would love to hear your suggestions

    to 2. if you are insinuating the barrier between Israel/Palestine Territories has no impact on Palestinians lives, could you be more ignorant? Would you like your town to be contained by a wall?

  18. anonymous

    to 1. what would propose they do? I’m guessing the people that organized the Wall outside USDAN would love to hear your suggestions

    to 2. if you are insinuating the barrier between Israel/Palestine Territories has no impact on Palestinians lives, could you be more ignorant? Would you like your town to be contained by a wall?

  19. student

    The BBC – what a wonderful literary source to cite. Most of the separation barrier between Israel/Palestinian Territories has about as much impact on the Palestinian’s lives as the one outside Usdan has on us.

  20. student

    The BBC – what a wonderful literary source to cite. Most of the separation barrier between Israel/Palestinian Territories has about as much impact on the Palestinian’s lives as the one outside Usdan has on us.

  21. Anonymous

    awareness awareness awareness awareness awareness awareness

    let’s not actually do anything, though.

  22. Anonymous

    awareness awareness awareness awareness awareness awareness

    let’s not actually do anything, though.

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