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Walls of Shame: West Bank
A look at the most controversial wall in the world today.
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2007 13:05 GMT


It matters little what they are called – whether walls, barriers or fences - the intention is the same: to redefine human relations into 'us' and 'them'. This series is about division, and about the barriers that men erect, in calculation or desperation, to separate themselves from others, or others from them. When diplomacy and conciliation fail, this is the alternative, and not since medieval times have walls been so in demand around the world. Tens of new walls, barriers and fences are currently being built, while old ones are being renovated. And there are many types: barriers between countries, walls around cities and fences that zigzag through neighbourhoods.

This series will look at four examples of new and extended walls around the world. It will examine the lives of those who are living next to them and how their lives are impacted. It will also reveal the intention of the walls' designers and builders, and explore the novel and artistic ways walls are used to chronicle the past and imagine the future.

The Walls of Shame series takes its name from John F. Kennedy's reference to the Berlin Wall in his state of the union address in 1963. It will examine four new walls: The one on the American-Mexican border, the West Bank wall, the Spanish fence around Ceuta, and the walls inside the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Episode Three - West Bank

The 700km-long wall cost $2m a kilometre
There is nothing new about so-called 'protective' walls - most ancient cities had them. The ones we see today around Jerusalem date from the 16th century. But the 21st century walls not only look different - they serve a different purpose. 

Welcome to the most divisive and controversial wall in the world today. The 700km wall, costing $2m a kilometre has been criticised by the International Court of Justice, yet Israel claims it is vital for its security and the warding-off of suicide bombers.

This episode of the Walls of Shame series will look at the plight of Palestinian farmers whose land became inaccessible because of the wall, and the real intention of those who first drew its outlines. And their highest priority was not the security of Israel.

Watch episode three of Walls of Shame: West Bank here:

Part 1:

Part 2:



Walls of Shame - West Bank aired from Monday November 19, 2007.


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