Whose is bigger, Bibi or Donald’s? (Border walls, what else?)

Published March 1st, 2016 - 17:24 GMT

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Benjamin Netanyahu is spending US $75m to build a 30 km-long fence along Israel’s Jordanian border "to defend...against the wild beasts," referring to his Arab neighbors. Donald Trump is aiming for a vertical borderline with Mexico, saying of his 30 ft-tall wall, "I want it to be so beautiful...someday they'll call it the Trump Wall."

Everyone knows walls are penetrable. Long before Berlin's toppled, the Greeks used a wooden horse to breach the ramparts of Troy. Barbarians bested Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans in northern England, and Genghis Khan’s armies clamored over China’s Great Wall. Seems Bibi and Donald skipped those chapters in world history. So while they boast about the size of their new erections, let’s look at the world’s most egregious one - the Israeli barrier. Continue reading below »

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The Israeli separation barrier is the brainchild of former Israeli PM Ehud Barak who approved the project in 2000. Two years later, following a wave of suicide bombings in Israel by West Bank Palestinians, Israel confiscated land, uprooted olive groves, and began construction west of Jenin. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
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Image 1 of 15:  1 / 15The Israeli separation barrier is the brainchild of former Israeli PM Ehud Barak who approved the project in 2000. Two years later, following a wave of suicide bombings in Israel by West Bank Palestinians, Israel confiscated land, uprooted olive groves, and began construction west of Jenin. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

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The barrier disregards the 1949 Armistice (‘Green’) Line that separated Israel from the occupied West Bank, and continually encroaches on West Bank lands in order to keep (expanding) Jewish settlements on the ‘Israeli-side’. At least 71 of 150 settlements are illegally located in the occupied West Bank. (Image: Institut-Medea)
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Image 2 of 15:  2 / 15The barrier disregards the 1949 Armistice (‘Green’) Line that separated Israel from the occupied West Bank, and continually encroaches on West Bank lands in order to keep (expanding) Jewish settlements on the ‘Israeli-side’. At least 71 of 150 settlements are illegally located in the occupied West Bank. (Image: Institut-Medea)

Enlarge
It’s a dispiriting collage of concrete walls, razor wire fences, ditches, and patrol roads, guarded by watchtowers and electronic monitors.  It is ringed by a “no-man’s-land” buffer zone that aids future large-scale demolitions and continued expulsion of local residents. (Image: Wikipedia)
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Image 3 of 15:  3 / 15It’s a dispiriting collage of concrete walls, razor wire fences, ditches, and patrol roads, guarded by watchtowers and electronic monitors. It is ringed by a “no-man’s-land” buffer zone that aids future large-scale demolitions and continued expulsion of local residents. (Image: Wikipedia)

Enlarge
Nearly 62% complete, its total projected length is about 720 km, twice the length of the original Green Line. As of 2012, the project cost an estimated US$ 260m; each new kilometer rings up another US$ 2m. Consider service roads, new security technology, and maintenance, and the total tab doubles. (Image: Falastin News)
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Image 4 of 15:  4 / 15Nearly 62% complete, its total projected length is about 720 km, twice the length of the original Green Line. As of 2012, the project cost an estimated US$ 260m; each new kilometer rings up another US$ 2m. Consider service roads, new security technology, and maintenance, and the total tab doubles. (Image: Falastin News)

Enlarge
Like the Berlin Wall, this barrier shattered socio-economic lives. It wraps the Holy City and surrounding Jewish settlements, further isolating Jerusalem from the West Bank, and completely cutting off East Jerusalem. It rips through villages and splits neighborhoods, in a plan many believe aims to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Jerusalem.
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Image 5 of 15:  5 / 15Like the Berlin Wall, this barrier shattered socio-economic lives. It wraps the Holy City and surrounding Jewish settlements, further isolating Jerusalem from the West Bank, and completely cutting off East Jerusalem. It rips through villages and splits neighborhoods, in a plan many believe aims to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Jerusalem.

Enlarge
As part of the ongoing building of illegal settlements, the E1 plan enabled expansion of sprawling Ma’ale Adumim to isolate Jerusalem and disrupt the territorial contiguity of the West Bank, undermining the Palestinian claim to statehood. (Image: Philip Cornish at http://philipcornish.com/).
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Image 6 of 15:  6 / 15As part of the ongoing building of illegal settlements, the E1 plan enabled expansion of sprawling Ma’ale Adumim to isolate Jerusalem and disrupt the territorial contiguity of the West Bank, undermining the Palestinian claim to statehood. (Image: Philip Cornish at http://philipcornish.com/).

Enlarge
The separation wall in the Jordan Valley cuts local communities off from the West Bank. While illegal settlers in the area are given water, electricity and fertile soil, Palestinians and Bedouins are denied access to the valley’s natural resources such as water and land, their right by international law. (Image: Uprooted Palestinians)
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Image 7 of 15:  7 / 15The separation wall in the Jordan Valley cuts local communities off from the West Bank. While illegal settlers in the area are given water, electricity and fertile soil, Palestinians and Bedouins are denied access to the valley’s natural resources such as water and land, their right by international law. (Image: Uprooted Palestinians)

Enlarge
The Separation wall continues to divide even in marriage. Many couples and families have found themselves split on either side of the arbitrary wall, no longer allowed to visit one another. A less tangible wall also exists if you are not both from the same faith. Mixed couples are often targeted by hate groups. (Image: Haaretz)
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Image 8 of 15:  8 / 15The Separation wall continues to divide even in marriage. Many couples and families have found themselves split on either side of the arbitrary wall, no longer allowed to visit one another. A less tangible wall also exists if you are not both from the same faith. Mixed couples are often targeted by hate groups. (Image: Haaretz)

Enlarge
Palestinians must obtain special permits in order to cross military checkpoints to get to work, or visit families beyond the barrier. Communities suffer reduced access to ambulances, fire brigades, and regular trash collection. (Image: Philip Cornish at http://philipcornish.com/).
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Image 9 of 15:  9 / 15Palestinians must obtain special permits in order to cross military checkpoints to get to work, or visit families beyond the barrier. Communities suffer reduced access to ambulances, fire brigades, and regular trash collection. (Image: Philip Cornish at http://philipcornish.com/).

Enlarge
Palestinians with granted West Bank ID cards and special permits can enter East Jerusalem only through four (of 14) checkpoints. In 2008, UNHCR reported 69 cases of women giving birth at these crowded gateway (between 2000 and 2006). Five died in the process, and 35 miscarried. (Image: occupied palestine)
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Image 10 of 15:  10 / 15Palestinians with granted West Bank ID cards and special permits can enter East Jerusalem only through four (of 14) checkpoints. In 2008, UNHCR reported 69 cases of women giving birth at these crowded gateway (between 2000 and 2006). Five died in the process, and 35 miscarried. (Image: occupied palestine)

Enlarge
Barrier crossings for agricultural purposes channel through 80 gates, most of which only open during the six-week olive harvest season, and then for limited hours. In 2011, about 42% of these permit applications were rejected citing security reasons or lack of demonstrated connection to the land. (Image: wikipedia)
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Image 11 of 15:  11 / 15Barrier crossings for agricultural purposes channel through 80 gates, most of which only open during the six-week olive harvest season, and then for limited hours. In 2011, about 42% of these permit applications were rejected citing security reasons or lack of demonstrated connection to the land. (Image: wikipedia)

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The permit and gate regime has decimated earnings potential for farmers in over 150 communities by restricting their access to farms behind the barrier. The wall cuts off access West Bank’s biggest aquifer, forcing permit-holders to grow only to low-value, rainfed crops, or to abandon their fields. (Image:  justincgio)
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Image 12 of 15:  12 / 15The permit and gate regime has decimated earnings potential for farmers in over 150 communities by restricting their access to farms behind the barrier. The wall cuts off access West Bank’s biggest aquifer, forcing permit-holders to grow only to low-value, rainfed crops, or to abandon their fields. (Image: justincgio)

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Despite the deterrent aspects of the wall, an estimated 15,000 Palestinians without required permits smuggle themselves into Israel daily to seek work, according a 2011 report by the Israeli Government Special Committee.
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Image 13 of 15:  13 / 15Despite the deterrent aspects of the wall, an estimated 15,000 Palestinians without required permits smuggle themselves into Israel daily to seek work, according a 2011 report by the Israeli Government Special Committee.

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A 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) called for the dismantling of the wall inside the West Bank and East Jerusalem, along with the gate and permit policy. ICJ also called for cessation of settlement construction. (Image: delayed gratification)
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Image 14 of 15:  14 / 15A 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) called for the dismantling of the wall inside the West Bank and East Jerusalem, along with the gate and permit policy. ICJ also called for cessation of settlement construction. (Image: delayed gratification)

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ICJ further advised the international community of its obligation to enforce international law and not support Israel’s expansion activities. Despite their ruling, no international bodies have taken serious steps towards implementing ICJ recommendations. (Image:Chris Yunker)
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Image 15 of 15:  15 / 15ICJ further advised the international community of its obligation to enforce international law and not support Israel’s expansion activities. Despite their ruling, no international bodies have taken serious steps towards implementing ICJ recommendations. (Image:Chris Yunker)

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1

The Israeli separation barrier is the brainchild of former Israeli PM Ehud Barak who approved the project in 2000. Two years later, following a wave of suicide bombings in Israel by West Bank Palestinians, Israel confiscated land, uprooted olive groves, and began construction west of Jenin. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Image 1 of 15The Israeli separation barrier is the brainchild of former Israeli PM Ehud Barak who approved the project in 2000. Two years later, following a wave of suicide bombings in Israel by West Bank Palestinians, Israel confiscated land, uprooted olive groves, and began construction west of Jenin. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

2

The barrier disregards the 1949 Armistice (‘Green’) Line that separated Israel from the occupied West Bank, and continually encroaches on West Bank lands in order to keep (expanding) Jewish settlements on the ‘Israeli-side’. At least 71 of 150 settlements are illegally located in the occupied West Bank. (Image: Institut-Medea)

Image 2 of 15The barrier disregards the 1949 Armistice (‘Green’) Line that separated Israel from the occupied West Bank, and continually encroaches on West Bank lands in order to keep (expanding) Jewish settlements on the ‘Israeli-side’. At least 71 of 150 settlements are illegally located in the occupied West Bank. (Image: Institut-Medea)

3

It’s a dispiriting collage of concrete walls, razor wire fences, ditches, and patrol roads, guarded by watchtowers and electronic monitors.  It is ringed by a “no-man’s-land” buffer zone that aids future large-scale demolitions and continued expulsion of local residents. (Image: Wikipedia)

Image 3 of 15It’s a dispiriting collage of concrete walls, razor wire fences, ditches, and patrol roads, guarded by watchtowers and electronic monitors. It is ringed by a “no-man’s-land” buffer zone that aids future large-scale demolitions and continued expulsion of local residents. (Image: Wikipedia)

4

Nearly 62% complete, its total projected length is about 720 km, twice the length of the original Green Line. As of 2012, the project cost an estimated US$ 260m; each new kilometer rings up another US$ 2m. Consider service roads, new security technology, and maintenance, and the total tab doubles. (Image: Falastin News)

Image 4 of 15Nearly 62% complete, its total projected length is about 720 km, twice the length of the original Green Line. As of 2012, the project cost an estimated US$ 260m; each new kilometer rings up another US$ 2m. Consider service roads, new security technology, and maintenance, and the total tab doubles. (Image: Falastin News)

5

Like the Berlin Wall, this barrier shattered socio-economic lives. It wraps the Holy City and surrounding Jewish settlements, further isolating Jerusalem from the West Bank, and completely cutting off East Jerusalem. It rips through villages and splits neighborhoods, in a plan many believe aims to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Jerusalem.

Image 5 of 15Like the Berlin Wall, this barrier shattered socio-economic lives. It wraps the Holy City and surrounding Jewish settlements, further isolating Jerusalem from the West Bank, and completely cutting off East Jerusalem. It rips through villages and splits neighborhoods, in a plan many believe aims to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Jerusalem.

6

As part of the ongoing building of illegal settlements, the E1 plan enabled expansion of sprawling Ma’ale Adumim to isolate Jerusalem and disrupt the territorial contiguity of the West Bank, undermining the Palestinian claim to statehood. (Image: Philip Cornish at http://philipcornish.com/).

Image 6 of 15As part of the ongoing building of illegal settlements, the E1 plan enabled expansion of sprawling Ma’ale Adumim to isolate Jerusalem and disrupt the territorial contiguity of the West Bank, undermining the Palestinian claim to statehood. (Image: Philip Cornish at http://philipcornish.com/).

7

The separation wall in the Jordan Valley cuts local communities off from the West Bank. While illegal settlers in the area are given water, electricity and fertile soil, Palestinians and Bedouins are denied access to the valley’s natural resources such as water and land, their right by international law. (Image: Uprooted Palestinians)

Image 7 of 15The separation wall in the Jordan Valley cuts local communities off from the West Bank. While illegal settlers in the area are given water, electricity and fertile soil, Palestinians and Bedouins are denied access to the valley’s natural resources such as water and land, their right by international law. (Image: Uprooted Palestinians)

8

The Separation wall continues to divide even in marriage. Many couples and families have found themselves split on either side of the arbitrary wall, no longer allowed to visit one another. A less tangible wall also exists if you are not both from the same faith. Mixed couples are often targeted by hate groups. (Image: Haaretz)

Image 8 of 15The Separation wall continues to divide even in marriage. Many couples and families have found themselves split on either side of the arbitrary wall, no longer allowed to visit one another. A less tangible wall also exists if you are not both from the same faith. Mixed couples are often targeted by hate groups. (Image: Haaretz)

9

Palestinians must obtain special permits in order to cross military checkpoints to get to work, or visit families beyond the barrier. Communities suffer reduced access to ambulances, fire brigades, and regular trash collection. (Image: Philip Cornish at http://philipcornish.com/).

Image 9 of 15Palestinians must obtain special permits in order to cross military checkpoints to get to work, or visit families beyond the barrier. Communities suffer reduced access to ambulances, fire brigades, and regular trash collection. (Image: Philip Cornish at http://philipcornish.com/).

10

Palestinians with granted West Bank ID cards and special permits can enter East Jerusalem only through four (of 14) checkpoints. In 2008, UNHCR reported 69 cases of women giving birth at these crowded gateway (between 2000 and 2006). Five died in the process, and 35 miscarried. (Image: occupied palestine)

Image 10 of 15Palestinians with granted West Bank ID cards and special permits can enter East Jerusalem only through four (of 14) checkpoints. In 2008, UNHCR reported 69 cases of women giving birth at these crowded gateway (between 2000 and 2006). Five died in the process, and 35 miscarried. (Image: occupied palestine)

11

Barrier crossings for agricultural purposes channel through 80 gates, most of which only open during the six-week olive harvest season, and then for limited hours. In 2011, about 42% of these permit applications were rejected citing security reasons or lack of demonstrated connection to the land. (Image: wikipedia)

Image 11 of 15Barrier crossings for agricultural purposes channel through 80 gates, most of which only open during the six-week olive harvest season, and then for limited hours. In 2011, about 42% of these permit applications were rejected citing security reasons or lack of demonstrated connection to the land. (Image: wikipedia)

12

The permit and gate regime has decimated earnings potential for farmers in over 150 communities by restricting their access to farms behind the barrier. The wall cuts off access West Bank’s biggest aquifer, forcing permit-holders to grow only to low-value, rainfed crops, or to abandon their fields. (Image:  justincgio)

Image 12 of 15The permit and gate regime has decimated earnings potential for farmers in over 150 communities by restricting their access to farms behind the barrier. The wall cuts off access West Bank’s biggest aquifer, forcing permit-holders to grow only to low-value, rainfed crops, or to abandon their fields. (Image: justincgio)

13

Despite the deterrent aspects of the wall, an estimated 15,000 Palestinians without required permits smuggle themselves into Israel daily to seek work, according a 2011 report by the Israeli Government Special Committee.

Image 13 of 15Despite the deterrent aspects of the wall, an estimated 15,000 Palestinians without required permits smuggle themselves into Israel daily to seek work, according a 2011 report by the Israeli Government Special Committee.

14

A 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) called for the dismantling of the wall inside the West Bank and East Jerusalem, along with the gate and permit policy. ICJ also called for cessation of settlement construction. (Image: delayed gratification)

Image 14 of 15A 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) called for the dismantling of the wall inside the West Bank and East Jerusalem, along with the gate and permit policy. ICJ also called for cessation of settlement construction. (Image: delayed gratification)

15

ICJ further advised the international community of its obligation to enforce international law and not support Israel’s expansion activities. Despite their ruling, no international bodies have taken serious steps towards implementing ICJ recommendations. (Image:Chris Yunker)

Image 15 of 15ICJ further advised the international community of its obligation to enforce international law and not support Israel’s expansion activities. Despite their ruling, no international bodies have taken serious steps towards implementing ICJ recommendations. (Image:Chris Yunker)

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To kick off March 2016's Israeli Apartheid Week –– and mark a new chapter in the narrative of this bulwark as it snakes into the Jordan valley too –– here's the low-down on a big barrier that sprung up in our midst just when we thought the age of walls was done. Check out the world’s biggest barrier to peace.

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