Three times as long and twice as high as the Berlin wall: that's what Israel is building in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, separating not just Israelis from Palestinians but Palestinians from each other. The Palestinians call this the Apartheid Wall, evoking images of South African Bantustans.
The construction of the Wall began in June 2002 and the first phase was completed in April 2003. This first phase has affected over 100 Palestinian communities and over 875,000 people in the Qalqiliya, Tulkarm, Jenin, Jerusalem and Bethlehem districts. ("Behind the Barrier: Human Rights Violation as a Result of Israel's Separation Barrier," B'tselm, March 2003, pg. 9.)
While the Wall is claimed by Israel as a security measure, it is being built well inside the West Bank and beyond the 1967 armistice line. It has caused widespread damage to Palestinian agricultural land and irrigation networks, water resources, and homes and community infrastructure. The Wall prevents individuals and communities from accessing their land, markets, schools, jobs, and healthcare, and divides whole families. (The Wall in Palestine: Facts, Testimonies, Analysis and Calls to Action, PENGON, Jerusalem, 2003, pg. 10.) International, Israeli and Palestinian peace activists have taken stands against these injustices. We hope that this toolkit will help you to the do the same.
The toolkit aims to equip and empower student activists to take action against the Wall. It includes general information on how to start a group on campus, background information on the Wall and the conflict, and campaign building ideas. In the appendix you will find templates for event flyers and handouts, check lists, a list of films, a bibliography, flyers and informational resources. This is just a beginning but hopefully it will serve as a springboard for ideas and ways to put them into action.
Students have historically been at the forefront of major international struggles and it is imperative we, as students, do not back down now. Students must join with peace and justice activists nationally, internationally and in Palestine to TEAR DOWN THE WALL and bring an end to occupation. The Wall stands in the way of peace. We must demand that the construction of the Wall be stopped, those parts constructed be dismantled, confiscated land be returned and compensation be given for losses.