A Wall in Palestine by René Backmann

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The West Bank Barrier is expected to be completed in 2010. Declared illegal by the United Nations International Court of Justice, this network of concrete walls, trenches, and barbed-wire fences could permanently redraw one of the most disputed property lines in the Middle East--the Green Line that separates Israel and the West Bank. To Israel the “security fence” is intended to keep Palestinian terrorists from entering its territory. But to Palestinians the "apartheid wall" that sliced through orchards and houses, and cuts off family members from one another, is a land grab.

In this comprehensive book, Backmann not only addresses the barrier's impact on ordinary citizens, but how it will shape the future of the Middle East. Though it promises security to an Israeli population weary of terrorism, it also is responsible for the widespread destruction of Palestinian homes and farmland; with its Byzantine checkpoint regulations, it has also severely crippled the Palestinian economy; and, most urgent, the barrier often deviates from the Green Line, appropriating thousands of acres of land, effectively redrawing the boundary between the West Bank and Israel. 

Backmann interviews Israeli policy makers, politicians, and military personnel, as well as Palestinians living throughout the West Bank, telling the stories not only of the barrier’s architects, but also of those who must reckon with it on a day-to-day basis on the ground. 

With bold, brilliant, and often impassioned reportage, A Wall in Palestine renders the West Bank Barrier--its purpose, its efficacy, its consequences--as no book before. 


About René Backmann

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René Backmann is an international affairs columnist at Le Nouvel Observateur foreign desk. In 1991 he was awarded the Prix Mumm, France’s highest honor for journalism. 
Published February 2, 2010 by Picador. 265 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction

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A French journalist takes a less-than-dispassionate look at a barrier constructed by Israel and concludes it’s less for security than a land grab in the West Bank.

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Publishers Weekly

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French journalist Backmann takes on the Orwellian semantic debate played out daily in the lives of Palestinians living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank: is the massive construction project snaking through more than 400 miles of the West Bank a “security barrier,” as Israel calls it, or an “apart...

Dec 07 2009 | Read Full Review of A Wall in Palestine

The Washington Post

Backmann places the barrier smack in the middle of the controversy over Israeli confiscation of Palestinian lands: He makes a compelling case that Israel set out to expand West Bank Jewish settlements on the Israeli side at the expense of thousands of acres of Palestinian territory.

Mar 28 2010 | Read Full Review of A Wall in Palestine

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