Sunday, April 17, 2011

Maximum Segregation

Posted by David Warford, PALESTINIAN SECTOR, BETHLEHEM – Segregation is present in cities all over the world. But these days few compare to the extreme segregation of Palestine. In fact the biggest obstacle I experienced traveling between Palestine and Israel was the 20-foot cement wall that separates the two countries – a wall that could easily be mistaken for one housing a maximum security prison. The purpose of the wall is to keep the Palestinians out of Israel. Israeli guards are everywhere. There are many checkpoints through which Palestinians are permitted to pass so they can get to their jobs. However, knowing which checkpoint will be open at any given time is very difficult to gauge. Each checkpoint’s hours are unreliable and constantly changing, making the daily ordeal of this passage for all the ordinary Palestinian citizens whose livelihoods depend on it, even more dehumanizing.

On the Palestinian side the wall is covered with graffiti -- graffiti that expresses the frustrations and anguish of living in a caged city where no one can come and go freely. My own experience there was both scary and humbling. I can’t imagine what it is like to have to live in maximum segregation everyday of your life.

David Warford, Jr. is a graduating Psychology major at Georgia State University. He can be reached at

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